When Ginuwa left Benin in 1480AD to found his own Kingdom his sister, Oyeifo didn’t agree to be left behind, she accompanied the Iroko box from Benin to Ugharegin and also went into it when it drifted into the river to its first settlement.

When they wanted to move away from the settlement which was later known as Ibrifo, she had to be left behind with some of the people in the retinue as she was pregnant at that time and it was getting close to her labour period. 

Among the people who remained with Oyeifo were her mother’s relations from Ozala, a village after Abudu in Iyekherionmwon Area of Benin Province. After giving birth to her child, she exclaimed, Ibiefo, which means “I have delivered” In Bini. Therefore the Bini people in that village called the settlement Ibiefone.

After Ginuwa established himself at Ijala, he sent some of his people to look up his sister, on getting there they met the Bini people calling the place Ibiefo. Oyeifo’s child died a few months after delivery and she gave birth to another child named Omifo for Igwe an indigene of Ozala.

She died there and was buried there. Some of the people in Ginuwa’s retinue who moved to Ode-Itsekiri with Olu Ijijen returned to Ibiefo which they called Ibrifo and made it their permanent settlement and the place became an Itsekiri settlement with only a few Bini people living with them.

Loli Oyeifo Olu Of Warri Palace
Loli Oyeifo
Olu Of Warri Palace

The small hut by your left inside the palace of the Olu of Warri at Ode-Itsekiri was built by Olu Ijijen in honour of Her aunty Princess Oyeifo and its named Loli-Oyeifo till date.

In course of time the Bini group lost their identity and were merged with the Itsekiri. When Ibrifo became crowded one Udah who had been with Oyeifo crossed Jamieson River to found his own settlement at a place now known as Ekuobodo.

Udah went there with some of his brothers and relations and they were later joined by other people from Ode-Itsekiri and within a short time the village expanded to an appreciable size. Although the original language of the new settlement like that of lbrifo, was Bini the influence of Itsekiri people from Ode-Itsekiri subsequently changed the language and way of life of the settlers to that of Itsekiri, although certain aspects of their custom continued to be of Bini origin. 

It was also after several years some Urhobo people went to settle in Jesse, and from there they expanded to Mosogar, Onyobru and other villages which have become Jesse clan. This fact is made prominent by the fact that when Jesse people were paying an annual tribute of £30 to the Oba of Benin up unto 1954 for living on Bini land the Itsekiri people at Ibrifo and Ekuobodo villages paid no such tribute to the Oba.

As a result of the boundary adjustments which were made necessary by the Local Government Law of the former Western Region of Nigeria in 1954, Ekuobodo became part of Jesse clan in Western Urhobo District. Ibrifo and Ibitukpagha villages have now become part of Efurokpe land which was founded by a man called Jegbo several centuries ago.

Jegbo had many children, among whom were Oghiria (m), Bagha (m), Oguron (f), and Ugbo (f). Ugbo was married to Olu Akengbuwa and one of the issues of the marriage was Oritsemone (Yesuo) of Usele. Although Efurokpe is within Oghara clan, their boundary with Oghara people was defined and demarcated in 1928 by the President of the then Warri Province as a result of the land disputes between the two Communities in 1921 and 1927. All lands in Efurokpe are communal in tenure to the descendants of Jegbo while the radical title is vested in the head of the family according to Itsekiri custom.

Credit to @Mofe Oteri