THE ORIGIN OF OPOBO PEOPLE IN 1904-05 (G. F. DARKER)
In 1904-05, the European researcher, G. F. Darker carried out research on the people and origin of certain groups in the Niger-Delta, Opobo being one of them. He interviewed Opobo elders and took some pictures of Opobo men in the area between Opobo and where Darker wrote as Egwanga (Igwe-Nga).
Here is what he wrote about Opobo:
“Certain waterside men have inland farms, the " Opobo " men, for example; this depends, however, chiefly on the tribe to which the waterside men belong. The Opobo men are Ibo in recent origin, and as the Ibos form the chief inland population of that part, the connection is clear; nevertheless, the Opobo men are essentially a waterside people.”
G.F Darker reiterated further:
“The same change is taking place at Opobo, the Europeans going up the river to Egwanga. Here the natives concerned are Ibos, and some have inland farms; but still in the main this branch of the Ibos is a waterside people similar to the Jekris.”
The research, however, was carried out 60 years before Independence and the Civil war. How do people in Opobo see themselves today? Can you give us an answer?
Darker, G. F. (1905). Niger Delta Natives: With Special Reference to Maintaining and Increasing the Population of Southern Nigeria. Journal of the Royal African Society, 4(14), 206–225.