THE AMAZING TOURISTS VIEWS OF “OBU GAD” by Anierobi Maureen Ogechukwu
According to Merriam Webster, tourism can be described as the practice of traveling for recreation, the guidance or management of tourists, the promotion or encouragement of touring, the accommodation of tourists.
It went further to add that tourism is the activity of traveling to a place for pleasure, the business of providing hotels, restaurants, entertainment, etc., for people who are traveling.
Travels and tourism goes hand in hand, but travels can include moving from one location to another for different reasons which ranges from day to day activities while tourism centers on traveling for pleasure or recreation.
Tourism is oftentimes regarded less important. In developed countries they prefer other industries may replace it as a means of generating income, by generating Gross Domestic Profit (GDP) from alternative sources. E.g. Energy industry, banking and insurance.
For less developed countries, mostly in Africa and Asia, precisely Dubai which is regarded as the world’s tourist centre. Tourism is a vital source of economy, because travels and tourism create more jobs opportunities, and generate Gross Domestic Profit (GDP), attract foreign capitals and potential investors, increases local currency value, attract more visitors, destinations become culture-oriented, with enhanced facilities catered for tourists / tourist groups.
“Obu Gad” (Home of Gad) is believed to be the ancestral home of the Igbos; the south eastern tribe of Nigeria.
The Igbos live in the south eastern part of Nigeria and are found mainly in the whole of south eastern region of Nigeria. They are also found in south south region of Nigeria, especially in states like Rivers, Bayelsa and Delta state.
The major Igbo speaking states are Abia, Anambra, Imo, Enugu and Ebonyi.
Below is the analysis of how “Obu Gad” came in existence.
Gad (Gen 46:16) Gad had 7 sons: Ziphion, Haggi, Shuni, Ezbon, Eri , Arodi , Areli.
His fifth son Eri was believed to be the father of the Igbos/ Erites Num 26:15-18.
Erites are the so called Igbos living in Nigeria who Igbo scholars reviewed that they are of the lost Hebrew tribe of Gad.
Eri According to Igbo scholars (NWA ERI) and authorities, Eri had 5 sons and 1 daughter.
Eri’s sons: 1st son: Agulu settled in Obu-Gad, Aguleri. His 3 wives: Ada, Omali and Eke, 4 sons: Ivite, Igboezunu, Enugu and Ezaim… which are today components of the modern day town of Aguleri, 2nd son: Atta settled in what is known today as Umekete in Aguleri, later moving to Igala in Kogi State, 3rd son: Oba settled in Ugwu Ogodo (Ogodo hill), 4th son: Igbo settled in Mbito (current day Aguleri) and founded: Igboetti, Igbooda, and Igboeze, 5th son: Meneri settled in Okpu and founded: Nri, Enugu, Ukwu, Amanuke Nawfia, Enugu-Agodi, and Igboukwu, Eri’s daughter: Adamgbo settled in Obu-Gad, Aguleri.
Eri blessed and then settled each of his children in different places and left his firstborn at Obu-Gad (Compound/Camp of Gad) where Eri ended up settling and building a throne and altar in honor of his father Gad unto YAHWEH, the God of His father. Agulu inherited Eri’s Ofo (scepter) to rule over his brothers.
N.B: These places that the children of Eri settled is today names of communities in Igbo land.
“Obu Gad” has Kings, which when they died are buried in the compound of “Obu Gad”. The King of “Obu Gad” can be termed the Bible’s Melchizedek, in the sense that he is the highest respectable person in Igbo land.
His Royal Majesty Eze A.E. Chukwuemeka Eri, Eze Eri, Ezeora 34th, Eze Aka Ji Ofor Igbo was appointed leader of the Igbo-Israelites in West-Africa in May 1996, during a conference of king Solomon Igbo-Israelites (Bani-Israel) Federation, held in Philadelphia, U.S.A.
The “Obu Gad” otherwise known as “Iduu Eri Kingdom” has had thirty-four dynasties. His Majesty, Eze Chukwuemeka Eri, Ezeora 34th, Eze Aka Ji Ovo Igbo (he that hold the scepter of Igbos) is a descendant of Agulu (Agulu-Eri, Aguleri), the first son of Eri.
Tourists attraction at “Obu Gad” includes the memorial onyx stones for the sons of Israel as the lord commanded Moses (exodus 39:7).
The animal skulls seen inside Obu-Gad represents a historical fact that Eri was also a great hunter. He flaunted his skill after going for hunting. Those animal skulls in Obu-Gad are as old as what anyone can ever imagine.
The three giant Iroko trees with one root since 2980. It has behind it where kings of dynasties are buried.
The Olili-Obibia Eri Festival in honour of Eri at ObuGad palace, Umuezeora Enugu Aguleri is a festival that is being celebrated annually to mark the coming of Eri to Igbo land. It is always an awesome moments in the lives of the Igbos.
Oracles like the Igwekala of Umunoha community the Amadioha or Ogugu, the Chukwu of Arochukwu, the Agbara of Awka etc in Igbo land cannot be compared with “Obu Gad” it is like the highest court of appeal which tells the Igbos how they came into existence. Indeed, history keep nations and apart from recreation, tourism teaches us mysteries and new things worthy of learning.