Igala History : Prince Adige Aguba , The Founder Of Okpe Adige Town


Prince Adige was the son of Aguba, the prince of the Igala kingdom. He was one of the sons of Attah Idoko. Attah Igala succeeded Aganapoje, who succeeded Ebulejonu, who succeeded Abututu Ejeh as Attah Igala. According to oral sources, the other sons of Attah Idoko were Egwu, Atiyele, Ayegba, Adegbe, etc.

Although they were in the palace with their father, some were hunters and would not always be stable in Idah or in the palace with their father as they used to travel far for hunting for some days or months before coming back home. Prince Aguba, the father of Adige, was in this category as he was a powerful hunter who did not only use physical skills to hunt but also spiritual skills, according to oral history.

When Attah Idoko joined his ancestors, the battle of who became Attah started and became a serious battle. But as it was supposed to be, the eldest son, known as Egwu (the founder of the Ochai Attah clan), was to be the Attah, but because of his old age, he said that Ayegba, his younger brother, should be made the Attah even though Aguba, who had the same mother as Ayegba, and Egwu, or Atiyele, was older than Ayegba,

When Ayegba was beaded as Attah Igala, some other brothers who contested with him left home (Idah) to found their own territory instead of staying in Idah with their brother. Aguba decided to leave the palace and Idah, where his younger brother was already made Attah Igala, and went far and founded a place called Idaka.

In Idaka, which is now in the Dekina local government area, attacks by dangerous animals and other people trying to conquer Aguba and his family were regular, as it was common in those days if one settled in an isolated place.

Adige was already an adult at this time or even before leaving Idah (around early 1500s or before) and he was moving about from one forest to another hunting too. Although Aguba was already a chief in that newly founded area, as he installed himself as the ruler of that domain, at a point, Adige moved from Idaka with his family to a place called Itama for hunting. After settling there for a very short time, he discovered a virgin or empty land full of okpe trees and where hunting would be favorable.

This was around about ten years (c 1510) after which his father relocated from Idah palace, and his uncle Ayegba Oma Idoko was still on the throne as Attah Igala. Without hesitation, Adige, having seen this place to be favorable for farming and hunting, decided to go to Idah with his people and meet his uncle, Agabaidu Ayegba Oma Idoko, to give him that land to settle with his family. He described the place as an area with Okpe trees.

Adige was the son of Prince Aguba, the elder brother of Attah Ayegba, and who had the same mother and father like him. Attah Ayegba gave the land to Adige to settle with his people.

That was how Adige migrated from Itama with his family members immediately and settled in the bushy area with plenty of Okpe trees (Okpe is white wood used for carving musical drums), and was giving tributes to his uncle, Attah Ayegba. Whenever he visited Idaka, his father’s home, he would tell them that he was under the Okpe tree.

People like hunters who would also pass around would see people settling under the Okpe tree. And at a point, the location was named after the trees as Okpe.

And for people to know the actual person there or the founder, the complete name of the area became Okpe Adige, which literally means Adige’s Okpe, or simply put, Adige’s territory, which is the name till date.

Okpe Adige descendants are spread in various parts of the Igalamela area and other parts of Kogi state where they settled, as many also migrated out of Okpe for various reasons. They are ruled by a traditional ruler with a title, Adige of Okpe, a title after their Patriarch, Adige.

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