MIGRATING FROM BENIN DOES NOT MEAN BENIN ORIGIN
For me oh... If your ancestor is claimed to have migrated from Benin check the name of that your ancestors. If the name has no meaning in Bini then look towards the direction of those that bear that name.If your community don't speak Bini or an Edoid language then there's no way your ancestors could've been Bini excerpt your ancestors migrated to an already established Community and that makes you a mere migrant and stranger in that Community.But the claim of ancestors being from Benin and establishing a Community in elsewhere thereby losing their language is not true.A people cannot lose their language in entente that easily, an example, the yorubas in Delta State known as Olukumi left Owo about 800 years ago and settled amongst Igbo speakers and till this moment (800 years later) they have retained their Yoruba dialect which they speak side by side the Igbo dialects of their overwhelming igbo neighbours. Why didn't they lose their Yoruba language to Igbo?
Another example is USEN KINGDOM in Edo state, Usen migrated with Oranmiyan about 800 years ago as well but till date they have maintained their Yoruba dialect whereas the Benin oba family that migrated further and mixed up with Igodomigodo people have lost their Yoruba dialect even though are still much culturally yorubas.
The only possiblity of losing your language in entente is when you migrated to an already established Community like a Bini man migrating to live in Oyo or Anioma today, with time his children will lose their Benin language because they settled in an already established Community where their language is not the primary language hence they will have no option than to blend with their host.
Benin was more like a cosmopolitan society. People were migrating from far and wide to Benin for trade and commerce.The yorubas that migrated from Ife to Benin most of them settled at Usen and environ and it is on record that most left and returned back to Yoruba land, the several Yoruba and Igbo(dibias) medicine men that came to cure several Obas of Benin some of them or their children migrated back to east or Yoruba land as well.If for example a man migrated from Uzebu in Benin to South west, his descendants will claim Benin descendants whereas they are originally yorubas from Ijebu and were merely on a reverse migration but most of these people will claim Benin origin not knowing their true history.
A Yoruba man that migrated from Ugbowo back to any part of Yoruba land will claim to be from Benin but what he may fail to realise is that he is only on reverse migration back to his Yoruba land. Ugbowo was established by owo people so he's originally Yoruba man.One of such example is a kingdom from Ikale that had claim Benin origin for a long time and when thorough research was carried out it turned out that they were originally from Ife, migrated to Benin and left Benin for Ikale land and their history was set aright.These are the things we need to take into cognizance when laying claim to Benin origin.
The average IKWERE or Ogba man in Rivers State claim Benin origin hanging their origin on a supposed Benin migrant called AKALAKA.
now, the name AKALAKA has no meaning in Benin but it means destiny in almost all Igbo dialects.
All the Communities founded by AKALAKA and his descendants speak igbo language and were named in Igbo language. This alone tell their origin as being originally Igbos and were only on reverse migration back to Igbo land when Benin became unfavorable for them as traders or due tonwars.Onitsha for example is said to have been founded by a called Ezechime who left Benin...
Now, both names are Igbo names and all the Communities founded by Eze Chima and his descendants are igbo speaking commmunities. None can hear a word in Benin but they can understand other Igbos when they speak. This a is pointer to their origin and it the claim of the migration from the cosmopolitan Benin of old. This alone proves that Eze Chima was not a benin man as claimed but an Igbo man living in Benin region and was only on a reverse migration back to Igbo land.
Another example are the Akoko-Oke now called Akoko Edo, there are several Communities there which they claimed were founded by Benin people, now how can a Benin man leave Benin and found a Community and ended up naming the Community Lampese, Araromi, Aiyegunle, Aiyetoro haba na this is not possible.
People name Communities after their own languages not after language they do not understand. Most communities in Africa are named after the founder and so if Araromi or Aiyegunle, Aiyetoro etc were Benin founders of these Communities then Benin people were/are yorubas... There's no two ways about it
Ambrose Alli for example, their family are said to have migrated from Nupe to Esan land, if as at today a member or group of members of the family decide to migrate back to Niger State, it will only be foolhardy to say they are Esan migrants in Nupe instead the right statement is a case of reverse migration. Returning to the place they call home.
By Nosa Tosan Omasan The only Radically honest Benin man