The Isokos are a unique and delightful people, a distinct ethnic group made of seventeen (17) clans with a total of about 500,000 people. Isoko occupies a space of land south east of Delta State of Nigeria; bounded by Kwale to the North, Urhobos to the West, Ndosimili/Aboh to the East; and the Ijaws to the South. The Isokos are a peaceful people as there are no records or history of conflicts or wars between them and their neighbors in the past.
Their occupation is farming, trading, fishing and teaching. They thirst for education and they are progressing in this area. It is a happy note that today Isokos can be found in most of the professions in Nigeria, e.g. Law, Medicine, Engineering, Accounting, Education, Architecture, Survey, Estate Management, Journalism, Teaching, Business Administration, and general business, to name a few. No doubt, if the trend continues it will have a salutary effect on the development of Isoko in no distant future.
The seventeen clans in Isoko are: Aviara, Ellu, Emede, Emevor, Enwe/Okpolo, Erowha/Umeh, Igbide, Irri, Iyede, Ofagbe, Oleh, Olomoro, Okpe, Owhe, Oyede, Ozoro, Uzere
Oral history has it that the first group of Isoko ancestors migrated from Benin kingdom in about 1600 AD at the same time as the ancestors of Aboh. The ancestors in this first group were EROWHA (The Senior), UZERE, and OKPE. Isoko oral history also told that the second group led by ancestors of IYEDE left Benin about 1650-1700 AD during the reign of Oba Ozolua, the Oba of Benin. After, a short while the ancestors of Ughelli, Ogor and Agbarha-Otor (3 brothers) in Ughelli North local government area followed the trail of IYEDE ancestors and settled in their present sites.
The ancestors of Effurun-Otor in Ughelli local government area, LGA, came from ERHOWA in Isoko South LGA whilst Effurun in Uvwie clan migrated from Effurun-Otor. Ekpan and Ugborikoko towns moved from Effurun to settle in their present sites.
Irri came from UZERE whilst Oleh and Agbon clan in Ethiope East LGA migrated from Irri. Agbon consists of Kokori, Okpara, (Inland & Waterside), and Eku towns.
The present Okpe Clan in Urhoboland i.e. in Okpe and Sapele LGAs migrated from OKPE in Isoko along with Ozoro. Ozoro settled in their present site whilst Okpe went further to Orerokpe their present settlement. Ofagbe clan came from Okpe.
Emevor and Owhe clans migrated from IYEDE; and also Ibrede and Iyede-Ame in Ndokwa LGA are direct descendants of from IYEDE to settle in their present sites. Ellu clan, i.e. Ellu, Aradhe and Ovrode are descendants of Owhe. The ancestors of Aviara migrated from Benin and came to its present settlement through the river Niger. The only Isoko community that migrated from Urhoboland is Olomoro clan which descended from Olomu clan in Ughelli South LGA about 1750-1800 AD.
The ancestors of all the clans in Isoko migrated from Benin with the exception of Igbide, Okpolo/Enwe and Umeh in Isoko South LGA and Evwrheni, now in Ughelli South, which came from east of the river Niger, i.e. the present day Anambra, Bayelsa and Rivers States. They came through the river Niger to Isoko creek (a tributary of river Niger) near Patani, and advanced inland to settle in their present sites. Umeh ancestors came from Onya on the river Niger (opposite river Nun, a tributary of river Niger) and came through Isoko creek near Patani and advanced inward to settle on the banks of Isoko creek where they are at present. There was further movement of Owhawha ancestors from Igbide in Isoko South LGA to settle in Jeremi clan, Ughelli South LGA.