he British-Igbo War That Lasted For 31 years – The Ekumeku Resistance
The resolutions of the Berlin conference of 1804-1805, gave European nations the rights to lay claim to lands and resources in Africa.
Britain, who had engaged in the trade with coastal cities before and during the 19th century, made bold their intentions to covet resources and rule over indigenous nations all over Africa.
They came with guns and preachers. Many Africans tribes resisted the British invaders, and this led to protracted wars. Many African tribes put up a great fight against the superior fire power of the suppressive British.
One of such tribes are the Igbo people of ancient Biafra, who are now one of the three major tribes in Nigeria.
The Ekuemeku Movement was the name of Igbo army, that held the British at bay and fought them for 31 years.
The Ekumeku movement consisted of a great number of attacks and uprising by the Anioma people of land, against the British, from 1893-1914.
The Ekumeku warriors were bound by a secrete oath, and meticulously utilized guerrilla tactics to attack the British Royal company, who were determined to penetrate Igbo land. The Ekumeku warriors were drawn from thousands of Anioma youth from all parts of Anioma land.
As the war rages on, the Ekumeku warriors defended their rights tom live peacefully without foreign interjection, while the British used heavy armaments. They destroyed homes, farms, and roads, by bombardment.
The British invaded Ndoni in 1870 and bombarded Onicha-Ado (Onicha) on November 2nd, 1897, from River Niger. This set the tempo for the rest of the war. The Royal Niger Company was commanded by Major Festing. They engaged the Anioma people of Ibusa in 1898.
The battle was so severe in 0wa/Okwunzu, in 1094, that the commander W.E.B Crawford requested for more arms from the British headquarters to crush the Western Anioma communities. The people of Owa again in 1906 engaged the British in a gruesome battle that consumed the life of the British commander S. O. Crewe.
Ogwashi-Ukwu faced the British on the 2nd of November 1909, and dealt a heavy blow to the British, who sustained many casualties, with the death of H. C. Chapman. click to continue Reading here