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The Ngwa (  NgwaIPA: [ng a]), an Igbo group, constitute the largest and most populous sub-ethnicity, or clan, in southeastern Nigeria.  Their ethnonym Ngwa is used to describe the people, their indigenous territory, and their native tongue. King Josaiah Ndubuisi Wachuku, who died on Friday 2 June 1950, was Eze, paramount chief and servant leader head of the Ngwa people during British colonial times.
The Ngwas, the main body of the Ngwa clan is said to have originated from a village called Umunoha in the present Owerri zone of Imo State Nigeria. Tradition related that people of Umunoha village had taken a journey in search of new lands in which to dwell, the journey lasted many days and the group finally arrived at the banks of the great Imo-River. Tired, coupled with the fact that Imo river had overflowed to recede, and to find food to eat. The only handy food item then was yam. One group felt it would be quicker to roast the yams, while the other group preferred boiling the yams. As soon as they were occupied cooking the food, the stream began to rise.
Three of the traveling brothers who boiled their yams, hurriedly ate the food, packed up their belongings and crossed over the other side of the river, leaving their kit and kin behind who had adopted the process of roasting their yam. The three people who gained the left bank of the river were Ukwu, Nwoha and Avosi in order of age. They were given the name ‘Ngwa’ on account of the expeditious manner of their crossing, while the stragglers on the right bank were named ‘Ohuhu’. Till this day, all towns and villages on the other side of Imo-River are referred to as ‘Ndi-Ohuhu’ or ‘Umu-Ohuhu’.
The villages of the left bank of Imo were inhabited by Ibibios, who received Ngwa Ukwu and his brothers amicably allocating to them sufficient virgin lands for their immediate needs. Ngwaukwu settled at what is now the village of Umuolike where he also established his ancestral shrine. ‘Ala Ngwa’ in a small hut ‘Okpu’ which is today the capital of Ngwa-land called ‘Okpu-Ala Ngwa’.
For many years, the three brothers dwelt around Okpu-Ala Ngwa in peace, but as their families increased in number, they moved apart in different directions.
Ngwaukwu group, Mbutu, Ovuokwu and Ovongwu, and Avosi found the villages of Mvosi and all around Okpu-Ala Ngwa.
Ntigha settled at Umunachi and established the ala-Ntigha deity, while Nsulu took part of the Juju to settle at Eziala and adjoining villages. From these early settlements, the Ngwas advanced to the southwest, which include Ihie, Oza, Obegu, Okporo-Ahaba, Osokwa, Arongwa, Amavo, Ngwaobi, and Amise, and to the southeast which also includes Aba-na-Ohazu, Akuma-Imo, Ahiaba-na-Abayi,Amaise Umuokereke Ngwa, Ibeme, Mgboko-Umuanunu, Mgboko-Amairi, Mgboko-Itungwa, Mbutu-Umuojima, Ndiakata, Ohanze,Onicha Ngwa,Owo Ahiafo Ugwanagbo and Uratta. Customs and Traditions
Ngwas have one custom, tradition and culture which we now refer to as ‘Ome na-ala-Ngwa’. He believe in the supreme deity (God), but he equally believed in the lesser deities, for example: Ala (mother earth) Ofo-La Ogu (god of right doing) Ihi Njoku (god of yam), and amadi-Oha (god of thunder). His music include Ekeravu for adults, Anyantolukwu for young girls. Ese dance for a deceased noble man and warrior. Ukom for the deceased noble woman. Wrestling was the most popular game in Ngwa-land. Other cultural festival were Ikoro and Ekpe dances. Iru-Mgbede for unmarried young ladies.
The Ngwa man as a farmer, had great regard for land. Some acts and behavior were regarded as taboo against the land. Such acts included sexual encounters in the bush, sex or marriage with close blood relatives, sexual encounter with your father’s wife while your father is still living, disrespect for the elders, killing by poisoning. Phrase such as ‘Iru-ala’ were used to describe any of the above acts. To appease the aggrieved land forms of sacrifice were carried out known as “Ikwa-ala”. Land was the source of wealth of the Ngwa man and cultivation was tied to the availability of labor. The most dependable source of labor force was the womenfolk, hence the average Ngwa man of the immediate past was a polygamist. The attachment to the land as the principal source of livelihood placed the Ngwa man of the in serious handicap especially in times of disturbances involving moving away from his habitat.
When states were created, Aba zone, Umuahia zone, and Afikpo zone formed Abia state, with the capital at Umuahia. Today, their territory comprises 7 local government areas in Abia State, namely Aba North, Aba South, Isiala Ngwa North, Isiala Ngwa South, Obingwa, Osisioma Ngwa, and Ugwunagbo.
NOTABLE PEOPLE
• Josaiah Ndubuisi Wachuku ; Traditional ruler, Paramount Chief of Ngwa land
• Marcus Wambu Ubani ; Traditional ruler, Politician, Member of the House of Representatives
• Dr. Paul Agbai Ogwuma ; Banker, Administrator, Former Central Bank Governor
• Senator Enyinnaya Harcourt Abaribe ; Politician, Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
• Mazi Omenihu Edward Onwunle ; Community Leader, Businessman; Elder statesman
• Jaja Anucha Wachuku ; Statesman, Lawyer, politician, First Speaker of the House of Representatives
• Eziuche Chinwe Ubani ; Journalist, Politician, Member of the House of Representatives
• Senator Nkechi Justina Nwaogu ; Economist, politician, Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
• Nwabueze Jaja Wachuku Nwokolo ; British Lawyer, Social justice advocate
• Chuku Wachuku ; Economist, Politician
• Chukwuemeka Ngozichineke Wogu ; Lawyer, Politician, Former Minister of the Federal Republic
• Dr. Okezie Victor Ikpeazu ; Biochemist, Professor, Politician, Executive governor Abia State
• Elder Emmanuel Adaelu ; Industrialist, Elder statesman, politician
• Chief Godson Evulukwu ; Administrator, Elder Statesman
• Chief Ogbonna Timmy Nwoha ; Prominent Lawyer, Community leader
• Richard Nnabugwu Ihediwa: Prolific Journalist, politician, communication expert
• Eze Bernard Enweremmadu: Eze Ngwa Ukwu 1, Chairman of the Traditional Rulers Council of Abia State.
• Eze Bernard Oyoyo, traditional ruler (Avosi 1) of Nvosi.
• Eze Otuonye, traditional ruler of Osokwa, Nvosi.
• Dr. Gershon Amuta; politician and former governorship aspirant.
• Dr. Maxwell Nduaguibe; Lawyer and politician.

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