Afikpo is an ancient Igbo town in present day Ebonyi state with history dating back to Neolithic Age 3000BC. The oral historical accounts was told by chroniclers and elders.According to Ottenberg and Ebonyi online,the present inhabitants are descendants of two groups Nkalu and Ego(or Egu) who were the very first setlers at Afikpo. Afikpo owe its culture and tradition to Ego,the very first to settle.The leader of Ego was a man called Anuma Ugwu,who settled in an area now occupied by Ezi ukaka Amaha Amaizu.Another tradition has it that the indiginous people of Afikpo went to war and defeated Ego (indiego) Who were originally Somewhere between Abakaliki and Ahoazara and took many of them prisoners to Afikpo.
According to research done by prof D.D Talbot in 1996 at Ezi Ukwu rockshelter Human settlement was dated between 5000BC to 3000BC.
Afikpo was an important trade route linking the non- igbo speaking people on the Cross-river with the hinterland igbos.
It has a famous Eke Ukwu market named after the day on Which they meet and is also connected to other important market centres like Akpoha and Eke Imoha markets,Ahia okpu ugwueguelu,Ahia Ogo in Amachara,Ogbanja at Ndibe,Nkwo Ozizza in Ozizza,and they generally meet on different days on the four days of igbo week.people came from neighbouring communities like Edda, Ohafia ,Ikomoro and Enna Ohia to buy pottery,fish,salt and palm produce
""According to Ottenberg (1968 ) ,He noted that Afikpo traders were active,shipping yams and other foodstuffs and pottery (made by Afilkpo women)south and European goods north by Canoe"" .
Oral tradition traces pottery to Ego(indiego).Indiego were great artists, craftsmen and knew much about pottery, blacksmithing, weaving and carving. Those that settled at ohaozara were great blacksmithers while those that moved to ishaigu and afikpo were potters and carvers. The historical linkages between Afikpo and Ishiagu reveals the existence of identical pottery tradition in Ishiagu and its believed to be same pottery origin that spread to Okigwe, Awgu,igbo ukwu.
Photo:Afikpo village, Eastern Nigeria 1951. Publisher: Simon Ottenberg.