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Gbaramatu Kingdom

From EverybodyWiki Bios & Wiki

Gbaramatu Kingdom (Commonwealth of the Islands of Gbaramatu) is an apex coastal city of the Ijaw speaking tribe in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State famous for their constant agitations for the emancipation of the Niger Delta from the acclaimed social, political and economic longed oppression of the Federal Government of Nigeria.[1][2]

The island city is made up of nine major islands communities and several other minor island communities extending to the Escravos River estuary and host most of the oil and gas exploration and production activities of Chevron and Royal Dutch Shell. It is the home to the famous Escravos Gas-to-Liquids (EGTL) Project and Nigerian Maritime University (NMU), Okerenkoko.[3][4]

In May 2009, Amnesty International reported that a Joint Task Force (JTF), composed of troops of the army, navy, air force and the mobile police launched both land and air strikes on several communities in Gbaramatu Kingdom including Oporoza and Okerenkoko with hundreds of people feared dead. The attack saw the use of helicopters and heavy machine guns and caused the displacement of children and aged people.[5] The global condemnation and response to the massacre and agitation of the people led to the Presidential Amnesty Programme of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua.[6]

Brief history[edit]

Gbaramatu Kingdom is a dominant Ijaw speaking ethnic tribe located in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State with history dated as far back as 1200 AD as the first settlers of the Escravos River.[3] The people are known for their rich oil wealth and agitation for self-determination in response to the years of political and economic marginalization by the Federal Government of Nigeria towards the Ijaw Nation. First of the acts of such several responses was during the ‘1997 Warri Crisis’ as the people contended the decision of the siting of the headquarters of the Warri South-West Local Government Area to be Ogidigben under the late Gen. Sani Abacha. Following the success of the clamour of the people, the headquarters was relocated to Ogbe-Ijoh which is considered the rightful location seen the population of the Ijaw people and their share percentage of contribution to the nation’s treasury through their huge oil wealth.

Since the events of the Warri Crisis, the Gbaramatu Kingdom as become an acronym for the fight for the common good of the Niger Delta region in terms of social inclusion, environmental justice and economic emancipation. This situation has also attracted several enemies within and outside especially leading to unusual militarization of the Island, which in many instances has led to the loss of lives and properties and destruction of livelihoods.[2] A major incident is the May 15, 2007 episode which led to the death of hundreds of persons and rendering countless number including children, women and aged people homeless resulting from military airstrikes. The international community responded to the instance of the massacre and condemned the position of the Federal Government in using helicopters and machine guns against its own people. The event further heightened the tension in the Niger Delta leading to the Presidential Amnesty Programme by President Musa Yar’Adua as a rebuilding plan to way of quelling the tension and seeking for a lasting path to peace and prosperity in the Niger Delta.[7]

Government Oweizide Ekpemupolo (aka Tompolo) is known as the face of the Niger Delta struggle and he is from Gbaramatu Kingdom, one of the reason why the Kingdom been in radar of the Federal Government of Nigeria for several reasons.

The Gbaramatu Kingdom ‘Commonwealth of the Islands of Gbaramatu’ operates a monarchy and have seen over twenty six (26) kings in the history of the Kingdom. The king who is the ruler of the Kingdom is known as Pere which is translated in English as King. His Royal Majesty; Pere Williams N. OGOBA, OBORO GBARAUN II (AKETEKPE AGADAGBA) is the present and 26th Pere of Gbaramatu Kingdom. He was crowned on the 15th of March 2016 following the successful selection 25th of February 2016 after the demise of his predecessor His Royal Majesty; Pere Godwin K. Bebenimibo, DSP (Rtd), OGEH GBARAUN III, (AKETEKPE AGADAGBA).[8] The monarch was presented with the Staff of Office by the Governor of Delta State, Senator (Dr.) Ifeanyi Okowa as a mark of recognition on 2nd of December 2016. The coronation and Staff of Office presentation which held in the traditional stool of the Kingdom, Oporoza was well attended by major government functionaries from both State and Federal government and multinationals including the former president of Nigeria; President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.[9]

Geography and culture[edit]

The Gbaramatu Kingdom ‘Commonwealth of the Islands of Gbaramatu’ is forms part of the over 20,000 population of Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State. They are of the Ijaw tribe, which is known as the fourth largest ethnic nationality in Nigeria.[10]

The kingdom is made up nine major island communities and several minor island communities which includes but not limited to the following;[3]

1. Oporoza – The Traditional Headquarters of the Kingdom.

2. Benikrukru

3. Okerenkoko

4. Azama

5. Ikokodiagbene

6. Opuede

7. Inikorogha

8. Kurutie

9. Tebuzor

10. Egwa

11. Makaraba

12. Jones Creek

13. Ibafan and several orders

The island is lie along the Escravos River and adjoining creeks and is bounded to the North by Niger River, South by Warri, West by Forcados River and East by Benin River. The Gbaramatu people primary occupation is fishing, calving of canoes, farming and weaving of baskets.

However in recent times, oil and gas exploitation activities has made fishing activities to become unproductive following several incidents of oil spillages which are left unattended to and also caused the people to embark on several protest.[11]

The people have rich cultural heritage beginning with their usual tradition of the worship of their popular Gbaraun Egbesu Deity among other several traditional festivals which also includes boat regatta. In 2017, it was reported that the Nigerian military had taken custody of the Egbesu Golden Sword from the Shrine which the Federal Government issued an immediate order for the Sword to be returned to Gbaramatu Kingdom.[12]

Economy & industry[edit]

The Kingdom is home to major Chevron Nigeria Ltd (CNL). oil and gas fields and flow stations. Some of them includes; Benikrukru Abiteye flow field, Otunana, EGTL and Makaraba flow station; all operated by Chevron Nigeria and Jones Creek and Egwa flow station which are operated by NPDC and Nestoil, etc.[13]

There are no real industrial activities within the communities in the Kingdom except for petty trading activities.

Natural and mineral resources[edit]

The Island is blessed with abundance of crude oil and natural gas and timber and mangrove woods.


The popular medium of transportation within the Island is canoe boat. The area is largely disconnected from economic activities from major cities such as Warri due to the lack of bridge. However it remains a passageway for ships to the Warri port and other terminals. The people connect Warri which is regarded as their source for almost all household goods and industrial materials through speed boats and badges.

Educational Institutions[edit]

There are host of primary and secondary schools within the island; including the famous Fiyewi Primary School and Gbaraun Grammar School. However they are highly inefficient due to the terrain as teachers offer excuse for navigation of the terrain. In June 2016, Reuters reported that the Nigerian army stormed Oporoza, the traditional headquarter of Gbaramatu Kingdom, brutalized members of the community, arrested and took away ten innocent students of Gbaraun Grammar School. The event generated wide protest as youths and parents demand for the release of their children.[14]

Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko established by former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan in 2014.[4]

Notable persons[edit]

Barr. (Dcn.) Kingsley Burutu Otuaro; the deputy Governor of Delta State.

Government Oweizide Ekpemupolo; Niger Delta Freedom fighter and face of the Niger Delta struggle.


This article "Gbaramatu Kingdom" is from Wikipedia. The list of its authors can be seen in its historical and/or the page Edithistory:Gbaramatu Kingdom. Articles copied from Draft Namespace on Wikipedia could be seen on the Draft Namespace of Wikipedia and not main one.

  1. "Tunke-Aye Bisina – Global Citizen Journey". Retrieved 2021-04-09.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Idowu, Sylvester (2019-06-08). "Nigeria: Gbaramatu Kingdom Under Military Siege Again, Tompolo's Kinsmen Cry Out". Retrieved 2021-04-09.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "Gbaramatu's superiority dance". Vanguard News. 2020-06-12. Retrieved 2021-04-09.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Senate passes law to establish Maritime University in Niger Delta | Premium Times Nigeria". 2017-05-04. Retrieved 2021-04-09.
  5. "Tens of thousands caught in crossfire in Niger Delta fighting". Retrieved 2021-04-09.
  6. "President offers amnesty to Niger Delta militants". France 24. 2009-06-25. Retrieved 2021-04-09.
  7. "Yar'Adua grants militants unconditional amnesty...frees Henry Okah". Vanguard News. 2009-06-25. Retrieved 2021-04-09.
  8. "WILLIAMS OGOBA IS THE 26TH PERE OF GBARAMATU KINGDOM". GbaramatuVoice Newspaper. 2016-08-28. Retrieved 2021-04-09.
  9. "Maintain peace to attract devt, GEJ, Okowa charge Gbaramatu". Vanguard News. 2016-12-07. Retrieved 2021-04-09.
  10. "Nigeria: Warri Crisis Coming to a Head". April 17, 2003.
  11. "Kokodiagbene, Okerenkoko, other communities protest over oil spill". Vanguard News. 2021-03-29. Retrieved 2021-04-09.
  12. "Egbesu shrine: Gbaramatu Traditional Council hails presidency's order on return of golden sword". Daily Post Nigeria. 2017-02-22. Retrieved 2021-04-09.
  13. "Kokodiagbene, Okerenkoko, other communities protest over oil spill". Vanguard News. 2021-03-29. Retrieved 2021-04-09.
  14. Owolabi, Tife (2016-06-10). "Military sweep in Nigeria's Delta risks fuelling more dissent". Reuters. Retrieved 2021-04-09.