Orokam district is located about 140 kilometers south of River Benue in the present Benue State, North Central, Nigeria, West Africa. It is sandwiched by Igbo land to the south and Igala land to the west. Other district like Otukpa and Owukpa share her boundaries to the north and to the east respectively. Both Otukpa and Owukpa speak same Idoma dialect but with little distinct and intonations.
Orokam is one of the 22 districts of Idomaland. It is currently under Ogbadibo Local Government Area of Benue State.
The district is made up five clans according to their different ancestors, namely Ai-Inamu; Ai-Oko; Ai-Ona; Ai-Agbo Oriko (popolarly called Ai-Igwu); and .
The Ai-Inamu (Inamu’s children) are progenies or descendants of Inamu the ancestor of the clan. The Ai-Oko are descendants of Oko who is their ancestor as Ona, Agbo-Oriko and Akor are the ancestors of the Ai-Ona, Ai-Agboriko and Ai-Akor respectively.
Each clan has its own settlements but with development and prevalent inter-marriages among the different clans, they now live among themselves. An Ai-Inamu man can live in the Ai-Onah settlement without fears or worries.
Orokam people are very religious. Traditionally, they are pagans but with the advent of civilization and spread of Christianity, the light of the gospel has lit the nooks and crannies of the land so much so that one could sparsely find a shrine in the land. Christianity notwithstanding, the people still hold on to the portions of the tradition that align with biblical teachings and morality.
The people’s major occupation are farming and trading. A handful of them are civil servants. Its rich and numerous palm trees make palm wine tapping and palm oil production lucrative businesses in the land. Weaving of rafia baskets and shredding of brooms from palm branches are not left out.
The people are hospitably disposed and honest to a very large extend. They are not naturally extravagant in their lifestyles.
An ancient stream named Enumabia seems to be one of the surviving body of waters in the land. The stream is believed to possess some mystics as villagers believe it purges itself of defilements and impurities. Tourists have visited Enumabia and still do.
The stream is the villages’ major source of natural water.
There is one Okpogbodo that has dried up many decades ago.
Orokam is rich in entertainment. Traditionally, they have such forms of music like Okàngá, Ogrinya, Omábé, Odé among others. Some of these were actually imports from the neighboring Igbo land of Enugu and Ikwo. Okàngá which is the traditional Idoma music could be heard in the village at nights usually at child birth celebrations or chieftaincy coronations. The music is a combination of bass drums, locally made snare drums and flutes.
The people are also very rich in traditional literature of folklore, riddles and proverbs that are handed from generation to generation.
The land has produced very prominent personalities in the country and across the world.
If you are planning a visit to Orokam, there are hotels that you can lodge and there are people who can guide you and make you your stay in the village worth the trip.
Oche Onu writes
‘AJOCHE’ PUTTING IDOMA IN BAD LIGHT?
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