By Dotun Ibiwoye
Researchers from Cornerstone University owerri, on fact finding mission weekend confirmedUmueri community, formerly known as Umuleri in Anambra East Local Government Area of Anambra State, Nigeria, as the nexus of Igbo origin.
Earlier, during their first visit, a fortnight agothe group of researchers made up of Academicians, Theologians and Scholarsafter an extensive discussion with the people of the community on possible ways of assisting the team by furnishing them with accurate and unhindered truth about the origin of Igbo people were able convinced beyond all historical proof that Umueri holds the truth towards unlocking the real and untainted history of Igbo origin and that all Igbos can trace their ancestral home from the ancient town founded by Children of Eri, the son of Gad, a direct son of Jacob who is founder of the tribe of Israel.
According to Dr. Chinedu Ozims, wholed the researchers, gathered for the first time that the settlers who founded the commununitywere led by a man known as Dabarwo, against all the widespread fallacy that it was Eri that led the settlers into Africa, where they finally settled in Umueri, Anambra East L.G.A of the state.
The people of Umueri, however, in their immeasurable sense of hospitality and peace, accorded warm reception to their guests from the CornerstoneUniversity of Theology. As a people who hold dear to their tradition custom and culture of Igbo tribe, as “Isiigbo” especially, their biblical historyas progenitor of Igbo-Jews, sons of Eri son of Gad the seventh son of Jacob, assured the team on a fact finding mission to their community of maximum support in thepropagation of their uncommon history in Africa, Nigeria and the Igbo ethnic nationality.
The team of researchers was taken to some prominent traditional rulers of the community including Crown Prince Chikwuma Okoye, the crown-prince of Umueriwho had earlier, during an interface with the visiting team, said that Umuericommunity is peace loving community, whose hospitality is second to none among communities in the south-east geopolitical zone of Nigeria and beyond.
The Crown Prince notedthat evidences abound for even a blindperson to affirm that Umueri people are the Aboriginal Igbos fromwhom other nations of Igbo race originated but have for years suffered undue infiltration and threats of obliteration from their own brothers and now a neighboringcommunity of people living in the geographical location, their ancestors named as Agu-Eri (Eri farmland) The Crown Prince stated originally the Igbo’s are not ruled by any King.
Praying at the synagogue (holy temple) in Umueri, DrOzims prayed for peace and forgiveness to reignsupreme among Igbo people. The crown prince commended DrOzims and his team for being the second to enter the synagogue after NnamdiKanu the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB)leader
Unarguably though, the fact-finding mission to Umueri community, was fashioned to investigate by research method on the biblical Eri, in order to know more about his children and others who settled with him at the banks of the river Omambala, and in order also, for the team to know the exact cradle of Igbo tribe, as well as for Dr. ChineduOzimsto be guided properly, as he puts finishing touches on the yet-to- be published book, precisely, with the theme, understanding the geology of Igbo people. But, the researcher, never, relented, as he worked with information sourced from other researcher and journalists, who went visited Aguleri to have a firsthand information from fromthe neighboring Aguleri communities. These team also were received byIgwechukwuemekaEri, and Eze-Elect, B.I llochi both of Aguleri communities. The people of Aguleri, no doubt, in their oral tradition contradicted the bible account of the death and burial of Gad, 7th son of Jacob
DrOzims,having clearly given the accurate report of the death of Gad, father of Eri, as one who died and was buried in Egypt before the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt, the Aguleri monarchs and people continue to claim that the biblical Gad was buried at their home stead in Aguleri.In fact, this is the crux of the findings to convince all and sundry, including non-Igbos that, Umueri, maintains original traces of the Igbo-jew lineage ancestrally.
It was also, made clear by the Dr. Ozims missionary team during a lecture series with people of Umueri, that, both Gad and his son Eri, died and were buried in Egypt, they never stepped their feet in the Biafra-Igbo nation, rather, bible research indicate that, the children of Eri were brought to the Eastern Nigeria, at the banks of the river, Omambala through a descendant of Eri called, Dabarwo.
DrChineduOzims cautioned other theologians and researchers who went about feeding the Igbos with fallacious and baseless teaching that Gad was buried in Aguleri. He advised them to use the holy Bible as their base and foundation, because no other book recorded and gave account of the lost tribe than the Holy Book he stated that no place the Bible recorded any pre-Exodus of anybody before the Exodus. “Any Theologian, Archaeologist or Researcher” who claimed that Gad was buried in Aguleri is a pathological liar, a shame and an insult to the perfect Holy Book and Christianity in general.
Archeological reports made available to the team of theologians under the team-leader, Dr.Ozims gave useful insight in the quest by the team in unlocking the secrets of the origin of Igbo people.
The account of Umueri oral traditional values and her history of origin made the team of researchers reflect more tactfully on their findings that, Umueri, are an ancient town and city in Anambra state of the south East, Nigeria. The community was homogeneously of Igbo ethnic group, located at the heart of Omambala valley, bordered by Omambala river and Anam communities in the north, Nteje in the south, Aguleri and Nando in the eastern flank, and Nsugbe at the west.
It was the oldest human settlement established by early Igbo founders, as well as the earliest human settlement east of the Niger.
DrOzims and his team confirmed that the deities found in Umueriare older than deities found in any other Igbo land. During his visit to “OBU-GA” at Nnenyi,DrOzims questioned the Igwe- in- council about the origin of Nnenyi and the president general of Nnenyi said that Nnenyipeople are the descendants of Eri. The historical origin of the community dates back to available oral tradition passed from generation to generation, indicating that the fleeing Israelites of post Exodus era, settled at Omambala river bank and founded a clan called “Umueri (which means-sons of ERI)”. Their hospitality and warm welcome was like that of Abraham to the three angels, which show that Umueri are truly of the Jews.
Based on his research,the Biblical descendant of ‘Erithe son of Gad’ migrated into the community, which is known today, as “Umueri”
DrOzims stated that the tribe of Gad who lived in the eastern Jordan,during the Assyrian war migrated to Ethiopiatravelled through Sudan and down to West Africa through River Nile and landed at the bank of OMABALA RIVER.
The settlers seeing that it was a very huge river christened it “Omo-mbala” implying a very huge river. It was therefore named Omambala, not until, it was later tagged “Anambra” by Gen. Murtala M ohammed’s militaryregime on creation of old Anambra state in 1976.