Obudu Local Government Area is in the Northern Senatorial District of Cross River State. Its headquarters is Obudu town.
Location of Obudu Local Government Area in Cross River State
|Local Government Headquarter
|Hon. Bonny Ewhe Eraye
Obudu Local Government Area is bordered to the north by Benue State, to the east by the Republic of Cameroon, and to the south and west by the Local Government Areas of Boki and Bekwarra.
The Obudu geo-cultural area is home to six clans: Bette, Obanlikwu, Bendi, Utuwang, Ukpe-Alege, and Utanga-Becheve, all of which thrived as independent villages with a strong culture of kinship. The origins of the Obudu people are unknown, although it is likely they migrated from somewhere to the east and reached the location they inhabited by the 18th century. The most popular tradition of migration, the Ulanga Legend, points to Ulanga, a mountain peak in the present day village of Amandakureke, in Utanga-Becheve clan as a secondary, or perhaps, tertiary dispersal center. There is a relative consensus in traditions across families that they were displaced at Ulanga by the invasion of a group referred to as Igenyi. This was described as a light-skinned people with soft bunching hair, clad in long-flowing gowns, armed with spears, mounted on horses, and with a large following of black servants. Extant literature suggests that these could have been Fulani, the Chamba, or Portuguese slave raiders, all three of whose imperialist expeditions in sub-Sahara are recorded to have peaked in the 18th and early 19th century.
Another narrative suggests that progenitors of Obudu arrived at a place remembered as Onikal in the Cameroon country, before proceeding to Ulanga, from where the Igenyi dispersed them. Traditional accounts of the Bendi clan report they stayed briefly at Ukwel Unokel (translated as Mountain Unokel), before proceeding to Ulanga, the point of dispersal. It is likely that both Onikal and Ukwel Unokel allude to the same location. Other recollections suggest a shared origin between them, and their Bekwarra neighbors, whom they regard as historical “brothers”. This possibility is reinforced by several cultural commonalities, including mutually intelligible dialects.
In the light of the foregoing, if as believed, the Bekwarra had a powerful connection with the ancient Kwararaffa Empire, it is probable that the displacement referred to in Obudu traditions of migration correlates with the disintegration of Kwararaffa in the 18th century and spreading of its population.
What appears to be a disparity in these recollections could be easily reconciled to derive plausible primary and secondary points of dispersal. At any rate, the mild variation in mutually intelligible dialects of its clans suggests splinter group movement, separate migratory experiences, and marginal variance in time of arrival. What, however, seems incontrovertible is that the Obudu clans had taken ownership of the area they inhabited by the 18th century, having emigrated from an easterly Bantu homeland.
With the advent of British colonialism, the six Obudu clans were formally integrated into the then Ogoja province of the Eastern Region of Nigeria. After Nigeria’s independence in 1960 and the local government review commission in 1976, Obudu became an autonomous local government council. It has since remained one of the eighteen local government areas of Cross River State.
Local Government Wards
There are eleven wards in the local government area. The wards are:
OBURU URBAN 1
OBUDU URBAN 11
PEOPLE AND LANGUAGE
Bete-Bendi; Bukpe; Bumaji; Elege; Tiv; Ubang; Utugwang-Irungene-Afrike
MAJOR MARKET DAYS
PAST LOCAL GOVERNMENT CHAIRMEN
|Walter Ugbe John Uke
|Lady Cecilia Ali
|Hon. Emmanuel A. Ugbe