The Agbara ethnic group; how leaders are named and consequences for refusing to be a leader; whether the Agbara celebrate a festival called Agbasa that includes rituals and initiation ceremonies [NGA40635.E]

Specific references to the Agbara ethnic group could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

However, references to the Agbarha clan of the Urhobo ethnic group and the Agbarha Kingdom in Warri, Delta State, were found among the sources consulted (The Guardian 28 May 2001; This Day 17 Mar. 2002; The News 3 May 1999; Vanguard 27 Sept. 2000). According to the Urhobo National Association (UNA) of North America, the Urhobo people are found in Delta State, Nigeria, and occupy the southern region of the Benin lowland of the Niger Delta (n.d.). The UNA provides the following additional information about the Urhobo:

In traditional African political organization, the Urhobo nation consists of twenty-two autonomous republics or "clans" with a common ancestral origin. The clans are: Agbarha, Agbarha-Ame (Agbassa), Agbarho, Agbon, Arhavwarien, Avwraka, Eghwu, Ephron-oto, Evwreni, Idjerhe, Oghara, Ogor, Okere, Okparabe, Okpe, Olomu, Orogun, Udu, Ughelli, Ughievwen, Ughwerun, and Uvwi. The earliest political system in most of Urhoboland is a mixture of the kingship system and the rule by elders. Depending on the clan and the system of administration, the king or clan head is called the Ovie or Orodje or Osuivie, Okobaro, Okpako or Okpara-Uku and such title may be hereditary in some clans (n.d.).

Regarding the Agbasa (also referred to as the Agbasa Juju) festival, two sources list the festival, along with the Itsekiri Juju and the Okere Juju festivals, as a tourist attraction in Delta state (Motherland Nigeria n.d.; ICSN n.d.). Another source, which also names the Agbasa festival as a tourist attraction in Delta state, indicates that the festival is celebrated by the Urhobo (NigeriaExchange n.d.).

Additional information regarding the Agbasa or Agbasa Juju festival could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


The Guardian [Lagos]. 28 May 2001. "Nigeria: Army Deploys Troops to Separate Warring Communities." (BBC Worldwide Monitoring 28 May 2001/NEXIS)

Igbo Cultural and Support Network (ICSN). n.d. "Nigerian States: Delta." [Accessed 3 Dec. 2002]

Motherland Nigeria. n.d. "Tourist Attractions." [Accessed 29 Nov. 2002]

The News [Lagos]. 3 May 1999. Okafor Ofiebor. "Nigeria: Looming Trouble." (Africa News/NEXIS)

NigeriaExchange. n.d. "Nigeria: Delta State." [Accessed 29 Nov. 2002]

This Day. 17 March 2002. Remi Adefulu. "Warri Crisis: Okumagba Vows to Fight On." [Accessed 5 Dec. 2002]

The Urhobo National Association - North America (UNA). n.d. "The Urhobo People." [Accessed 5 Dec. 2002]

Vanguard [Lagos]. 27 September 2000. Benjamin O. Okumagba. "Nigeria: Our Stand on Derivation Fund-Urhobos." (Africa News/NEXIS)

Additional Sources Consulted

Encyclopaedia Britannica

Ethnic Groups Worldwide

IRB Databases


One oral source was unable to provide information on the above-mentioned topic

Unsuccessful attempts to contact the Urhobo Historical Society, of the Igbo Cultural and Support Network

World Directory of Minorities

Internet sites, including:

Africa Online

Africa World

Almanche de Bruxelles

Anthropological Index Online

Apologetics Index

BBC Africa

Daily Times Online

Delta State

Ethnologue: Languages of the World

Human Rights Watch (HRW)

Igbo Cultural and Support Network (ICSN)

Indigenous Knowledge Network

New Nigerian

Newswatch Nigeria

Nigeria Daily

Urhobo Kinsfolk Website


World News Connection (WNC)

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