Age Grade

Posted On 16 May 2010
By :
 
As soon as the child was old enough to associate with others, the child  is then combined with children of his age to form a new age-grade. The names of the known age-grades and their various years of foundation are given  below.
The names of the age-grades appear significant as they seem frequently to reflect the most topical issues at the time when particular age-grades came of age (i.e. when the members were fifteen years of age). At that age, most age-grades took a permanent name. The following examples may clarify this point: The Osukwu (highest grade oil palm) age-grades member (born about 1868) were about fifteen years old in 1883 when legitimate trade in palm oil was most probably at its peak. Ogbomdi (cannon) age-grade members (born 1888) were fourteen years old in 1902 when the “expeditionary forces” used cannon to subdue different parts of southern Nigeria (e.g. Arochukwu expedition for the destruction of the long juju or chukwu took place in 1902).
The Abaam age-grade born about 1890 were fifteen years old in 1905 when many of the battles of resistance against colonial conquest were fought. (The Abaam people near Ohafia and Arochukwu were the recognized professional mercenaries hired by the Aro and others in their resistance efforts). The “German” age-grade youths were fifteen years  old in 1901. (Around this time, German control of the neighboring Cameroon territory may have been topical). Okpamma (armed men) age-grade suggests violence and insecurity around 1905. Awusa (i.e. Hausa) age-grade youths were fourteen years old in 1914 when North Nigeria (locally known as hausaland) was amalgamated with Southern Nigeria by Lord Lugard and Hausa began to travel freely in large numbers to settle in Southern Nigeria. Zik age-grades born about 1944 were about fifteen years of age in 1960 when Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe (alias Zik) became the Governor-General of Independent Nigeria.
Ghana age-grades were fifteen years old in 1965 when the international fame of Ghana reached its peak. The Rivers State age -grade were about fifteen years old in 1970 when the Nigerian Civil war ended and former combatants came to acknowledge the rivers state for the first time.
New age-grades were formed every two or three years. An age-grade had a “President” and other officials and was organized to levy fines and dues and enforce discipline. This pattern was apparently borrowed from Oru through the contacts made since the late 18th century, every Nkwukwu or sixteenth day, members of the male age-grade hold traditional meetings at which they drink and dance asawa and sing in the Kalabari (Ijaw or Oru) tough (egwu asawa) although only an occasional member may understand that language. All age-grades have their female counterparts but these are more or less “notional” associations. On great occasions, women attend the male age-grade meetings in company of their husbands.
 
Ali Ogba: A History of Ogba people By Ellah, Francis J. 1995
 
 NO  NAMES OF AGE GRADE  YEARS OF BIRTH OF MEMBERS
1 IMERE OGBO 1866 – 1867
2 OSUKWU-OGBO 1868 – 1869
3 OKPURUKPU 1870 – 1871
4 AWARAWA 1872 – 1873
5 OWIGBA 1874 – 1875
6 IJII 1876 – 1877
7 IBAGWA 1878 – 1879
8 NNUNU 1880 – 1881
9 AGBA-AKA 1882 – 1883
10 EBULOGWE 1884 – 1885
11 OGBULOR 1886 – 1887
12 OGBOMDI 1888 – 1889
13 ABAAM 1890 – 1891
14 ABRAAM 1892 – 1893
15 OGBOSHOE 1894 – 1895
16 GERMAN 1896 – 1897
17 OKPAMMA 1898 – 1899
18 AWUSA 1900 – 1901
19 WIRE 1902 – 1903
20 IYER 1904 – 1905
21 AKPURUKA 1906 – 1907
22 AFUNEYA 1908 – 1909
23 ABRASS 1910 – 1911
24 OWAJIRI OGBO 1912 – 1913
25 AMERICA 1914 – 1916
26 GOVERNMENT 1917 – 1919
27 LAGOS 1920 – 1922
28 SOLDIER 1922 – 1924
29 IBROGWU 1924 – 1926
30 INDIA 1926 – 1928
31 ELUOYIBO 1928 – 1930
32 EUROPEAN 1930 – 1932
33 NIGERIA 1932 – 1934
34 IBADAN 1934 – 1936
35 FULL POWER 1936 – 1938
36 LONDON 1938 – 1940
37 OMOKU 1940 – 1942
38 ZIK 1942 – 1944
39 FREEDOM 1944 – 1946
40 EKWELA 1946 – 1948
41 GHANA 1948 – 1950
42 NIGER 1950 – 1952
43 WEST AFRICA 1952 – 1954
44 RIVERS STATE 1954 – 1955
45 AFRICA 1956 – 1957
46 NAIRA 1958 – 1959
47 CHINA 1959 – 1960
48 FIGHTER 1960 – 1961
49 DANGER 1961 – 1962
50 CONGO 1963 – 1964
About the Author
  1. Aduche

    this in deed is an interesting and educating page, thanks for a job well done, but i will apeal that you update the age grade to at least the year 1990.
    secondly there is need also to enlighten the present generation of ogba, it seems to me that their age grade names do not have any remarkable and significant event(s)attarched to their name

  2. ENG NWOKO, C

    thanks for a job well done, but i will apeal that you update the age grade to at least the year 2000.

  3. Roosevelt

    where is otu china

  4. Roosevelt

    where is otu china.are these the only age grade in ali ogba.

  5. eell

    Otu china is number 40 on the list, could you please send your comments and article or updates!