System Of Inheritance In Ebiraland (ogwu Oiga Ini-et’Ebira)



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Inheritance in Ebiraland (Ogwu Oiga) is a cultural practice that cuts across the whole world. It is a critical mode of property transfer in many Sub-Saharan African countries, where inheritance distributions are culturally done through direct and intimate interactions among family members. The personal nature of such inheritance distributive practices is vulnerable to abuse.

The existing research literature from various Sub-Saharan African societies highlights how as a result of existing social conventions widows and orphans are particularly vulnerable to losing their rights of access to properties they enjoyed during the lifetime of their husbands or fathers.

Questions Related to This Article​

  1. What is the Right of Succession among Ebira People ?

  2. What are the ways of sharing inheritance in Ebiraland?
  3. How bereaved Widows are treated in Ebira society?
  4. what solution can be proffered to the challenges of inheritance in Ebiraland?

How They Share The Inheritance in Ebiraland​

In Ebiraland , distribution of a property of a deceased person, who died without a valid Will, is by the number of Wives that the deceased had and not by the number of children. Where there is a serious dispute, the family head is permitted, in some parts of Ebira land, to have a final discretion by recommending the distribution of the property, per capital; i.e. by the number of children and not by the number of wives.

Right of Succession Among Ebira People.​

To be able to claim any property in Ebiraland you must be a male child (Ozi Onoru), in most families where Ezi Enyene (Female Children) are considered! Are through humanity from the male siblings, they divide their inherited properties and share with their sisters.

In most cases the Female Children can only inherit part of the livestock the deceased person owned. The female children can get part of the property by right if and only if there was a written or said will, but it can easily be amended if people in charge are greedy set of people.

The Widows (Ogwu Oiku).​

If any of the wives of the deceased is still young and can still have children, they are given to the deceased siblings for marriage it is called Ogwu Oiku in Ebira Language. This often happens when the wife has no child for the deceased.

The Problem Facing Inheritance in Ebira Society.​

Within the past few decades, research has shown systematic investigation into the dynamics of inheritance practices and inheritance in Ebira Society. However studies particular to Ebira People traditional inheritance practice is missing.

The result is that much of the scanty pieces of information we have today on this subject matter are mere raw and unprocessed information. A wide gap still exists on the aspect of a systematic and sponsored sociological and cosmological to this critical area of development. For the same reason of lack of analytical approach, studies of inheritance practices in rural communities of Ebira land are also conspicuously absent.

This article therefore intends to establish the gaps observed above and considerably proffers measures of filling same with a specific interest paid to prevailing situations in Adavi Local Government (Inoziomi).


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