Udo is a populated area in Ezinihitte Mbaise, Imo State Nigeria.
Udo is not without folklore told to the people by their forefather and handed down from generation to generation. There are no written records starting the exact date our ancestors settled in the present location. Be that as it may, those who were verse in oral history and generation age calculation estimated it to be over 1,500 years. “Udoabia” for short called Udo, meaning Peace has come in our Community and an ancient town located East of Ezinihitte Mbaise Local Government Area. The Community is situated at the shores of the Imo River. The Community shares border with Umunwanwa in Abia State and Obowo in Imo State. A rural agrarian and fishing community. Udo played host to early Christian Missionaries who settled by the river bank and traded in palm kernel. Our people are industrious, intelligent, well educated, peace-loving and above all hospitable.
Our present traditional Ruler, H.R.H, Eze M.C. Ukeje JP, Udoabia IV is one of the oldest and longest serving traditional rulers in the entire Imo State having ascended the throne in 1977. Udo is a community in Ezinihitte clan. Oral history traces the origin of Udo to Udoabia who was a direct son of Ezinihitte.
Many centuries ago Udoabia the progenitor of Udo Ancient Kingdom sojourned at the present Umuezeukwu Onicha briefly, Migrated and settled also at Eziama Onicha many years ago.
Udoabia finally left Eziama Onicha and settled to its present location. This was estimated tobe over 1,500 years ago.
This historical fact of Udoabia’s sojourn at Eziama Onicha before his final settlement in this place called Udo, gave birth to cultural ceremony of Ibo Uzo Ukwu (meaning seasonal weeding of track road Udoabia took and returned to Udo from Onicha). The ceremony is performed every November 4. Once this ceremony is performed, no pledger will be permitted to redeem his land until the next farming year. This ceremony used to be centre of attraction in that it was rotatory between Udo and Eziama Onicha. On a yearly basis, one community will weed track up to the boundary of the other and mutatis-mutandis after which there will be elaborate merriment. There is this believe that Udoabia may have left Eziama behind at Onicha that explains why Udo and Eziama Onicha cannot intermarry. While it is true that Udo and Eziama cannot intermarry, it has not been proved with scientific or historical fact as to why they cannot intermarry or whether Eziama was left behind at Onicha. When Udo was returning, he came back with his two sons namely, Umuneorie and Umuofor while he begot Uhuala in Udo on return.
Each of the three sons of Udo married and had children. The descendants of first son “Orie” multiplied in numbers to become Umuneorie which means children of Orie. Same applied to Ofo now called Umuofo and Uhuala. It is instructive to state that Ofo and Uhuola are of the same mother and this explains why Umuofor and Uhuala villages do not intermarry.
The name Udo originated from their ancient descendent and original ancestor called Udoabia. This explains why all our traditional rulers have as suffix to their names as title indicating a dynasty of UDOABIA. It is the three sons of Udo that formed the three villages and thirteen kindred’s.
From the inception of British Rule, particularly in the early 20th century, the successive traditional rulers of Udo have been recognized by government. These were their Royal Highnesses Eze Onyewuchi Ogumba 1903-1925, Eze Uwalaka Nzerem 1925-1942, Chief Godwin Esonu 1944-1959 as a warrant Chief, Rev.Aaron Ezebugwu Ohaeri 1959-1976, who was elected head of Ezi Clan in 1960 to represent Ezi Clan in the EasternHouse of Chiefs, Enugu, and our present Eze HRH Eze (Dr.) Mathew Chukwuemeka Ukeje JP from 1976 till date. Eze M.C Ukeje has been on the throne for 38 years. He is one of the longest serving Eze in Imo State.
Udo is one of the few Original Ancient Kingdoms that has not been fragmented.
Udo has remained one indivisible and indissoluble autonomous Community under God in Ezinihitte. By implication the only community that has retained its originality as it was at creation at Orie-Ukwu. This is why it qualified to be called Ancient Kingdom. Udo is governed with constitution. Her population is about 22,000
The community is blessed with Imo River and beautiful streams in all the villages which has provided a source of livelihood to the entire citizens. Most of the sand and gravel supplied to needing communities in Mbaise and beyond is excavated from the River. Hippopotamus or Enyimiri and fish are a common sea animal’s people hunt and trade on.
Udo is decorated with beautiful fauna and flora. The land in Udo is fertile which has made it possible for cultivation of different seasonal crops. The half proportion of the community is table land while some areas are erosion prone specially Uhuala and Umuneorie. These erosion, if not checked would cause menace to the lives of the inhabitants of these areas.
The main occupation of the people i.e. for the local populace is trading, farming, fishing and our people are well educated, industrious, intelligent, peace loving and above all hospitable.
The Community which covers an area of approximately 20 square kilometers is situated west of the Imo River, bounded on the East by Umunwanwa in Abia State, West by Obokwu/Obizi Communities in Ezinihitte Mbaise Local Government, on the South by Nsirimo also in Abia State and on the North by Avutu in Obowo Local Government of Imo State.