» » The River

 

The River

Author: nick on 24-08-2013, 17:00, views: 11 822

144

Century Portuguese CaravelThe lower portion of the big Imo River, known variously as Rio de pew de Sintra by the Portuguese (Talbot, 1926, 1: 182), River Loitomba or Compotora by the Dutch, Nkontoro and Otunkong by the Obolo (Eneyo, 1991: 32; Ejituwu, 1991:7 5, 138, 141) and Opobo or Jaja's River by the European traders, but now referred to as Ikot Abasi River, provides a natural harbour for all types of water-craft in its 10 kilometre-long and opens directly to the Atlantic ocean estuary. Its deep navigable channel allows easy high-tide access to canoes, launches and engine boats into the hinterland creeks.

 

The early memories in the area are of Potoki (Portuguese) caravels, anchored offshore, beyond the river sandbar, which sent boat crews to procure slaves from the big markets and coastal baracoons (bamboo enclosures for slaves), and to exchange metal bars, manilla, clothes, tobacco and rum for ivory, timber, and agricultural products.

 

They often conducted slave raids on the nearby settlements in order to complete their cargo. Eket oral traditions tell how African children were lured aboard ship with food delicacies and fanciful presents, and, when a good crowd of them had been gathered, the ship suddenly lifted anchor and sailed off, amid the kids' wailings (Nkereuwem, 1994).

 

A boom of canon gunfire announced the arrival of a slave supercargo, causing a great excitement on shore, and a flotilla of local canoes streamed to it, bringing fresh vegetables, fruits and other objects of trade for exchange. Fast topsail schooners and brigs, Dutch, French and English, continued the slave trade until it was declared illegal at the beginning of the 19th Century.

 

The oil hulks had to spend upwards of a year on the coast, until they had disposed of their stocks and replaced them with full palm oil casks for the return journey. To avoid delays, from the 1870's, cask houses were built on rented land, while the Supercargoes (European traders) remained on board ship. At some places, old ship hulks were brought and sunk at the beach, their masts dismantled, sides repainted, decks roofed with thatch, and were attached with cables and a swinging bridgeways at the anchorage. They served as a paramount trading station and storage warehouse under the supervision of a resident agent and one or more Kru assistants and their presence exerted subtle influence on the life pattern of the neighbouring communities.

 

Palm oil hulkPalm oil hulkThe new, lighter and flat-bottomed oil hulks and steamships were able to penetrate upriver into the big Egwanga, Essene and Azumini creeks, but fear of sickness, the swamps and the hostility of the numerous agricultural and self-sufficient communities along the banks, restricted direct European contact to the coastal areas. From there, large Bonny, Andoni, Ogoni, and (after 1870) Opobo canoes paddled along the innumerable creeks and water channels, interlacing the Imo, Qua Iboe and Cross River basins, and traded imported goods and local produce up to the Benin river and the Lagos lagoon to the west, and as far as the Gold Coast, Sierra Leone and Fernando Po islands along the coast.

 

Canoe carrying palm oil (Source: QIM Archives)Canoe carrying palm oil (Source: QIM Archives)During the 19th Century, palm oil canoes, loaded with casks and puncheons of palm oil, yams, plantain, and other food items, came down the creeks and rivers from far distances, some at several days' journey, to the trade beaches at Essene, Egwanga and Ete, from where Jaja's middlemen handled the trade with the European trading ships at Bonny and later, at the Imo River estuary. Then the canoes paddled back upriver, loaded with marketable in the hinterland items - cloth, gin, tobacco, gunpowder and guns, household and hardware goods, usually taken on credit, to be exchanged for palm oil and food with the numerous small producers inland. The regular appearance of European steamships on the Imo River had been prompted by the huge commercial potentials of its hinterland, although King Jaja, in order to protect his monopoly over the lucrative export trade, and, after securing his strategic position at the estuary, banned the European ships from going upriver beyond Opobo island and brutally punished the people at any hinterland market that attempted to trade with the Europeans directly.1

 

In the height of the palm oil season, from March to September, trains of large trade canoes, belonging to the Opobo houses, passed continuously up and down the river, to and from their trading depots in the big hinterland markets.

 

Government gunboat, Jackdaw, patrolling the rivers in 1904 (Courtesy: Irene Brightmer)

They were guarded by war canoes with a big thing (canon), mounted at the bow to protect the cargo and announce the arrival of its master, who, when on board, sat under a gigantic multicoloured parasol; his passage accompanied by the echo of drumming and singing and the flurry of buntings. For canon boom and flags were a passion on the Oil Rivers, where every ship, trading post or self-respecting chief possessed a few and made the best use of them at all possible occasions, especially at the colourful canoe regatta displays, offered to all visiting dignitaries.

 

The Opobo presence attracted frequent visits by the British warships, HMS Pert, Pioneer, Rattlesnake, Flirt and Goshawk, showing the flag in the 1870's-1890's to warn against molestation of the white man's trade (Jaja 1991: 18-19, 49-50).

 

Iron canoes or steel boats, stern-propelled and appropriately armed and protected by removable side screens and tarpaulin awnings, were used by the British Consuls and the marine forces to patrol upriver, oversee the trade and persuade the local chiefs to sign the infamous protection treaties. Some of these boats belonging to government or trading companies and identified by the colour of their paint, canvass roof and flag, can still be been, sunk along the water banks.2

The Iron Canoe
The European traders and protectorate officials used steel boats known as iron canoes (ubom ukwak), to patrol the risers and trading stations, to move personnel, deliver mails and tow barges and lighters with goods and troops up and down the river, effecting their commercial and military penetration. Such boats, about 60 feet long and paddled by 12 to 15 paddlers were made of prefabricated metal plates, welded at the marine workshops on the coast, fitted with removable side screens against shore attacks and shaded with tarpaulin. A passenger's cabin was usually constructed in the middle for the master's comfort, while servants, police escort and luggage were sheltered under native thatch roofing. The Opobo District Commissioner had an iron canoe, which included the usual compliment of a 3-man band, for only small boy travelled without music, which announced their presence, directed the paddling rhythm and entertained passengers and on-lookers from the shore.

 

The navigation channel of the river, charted by the British naval survey vessels and warships in the early 1800's, and marked with buoys and floats by the steamship companies' liners, carried a heavy traffic. Surf boats, wooden lighters and launches, belonging to the trading factories or local boating firms, and propelled and steered by Kru boys, taking advantage of the tides, handled the cargo between the beach market collection points, the company beaches and the ocean-going ships. Small lighters were towed to the trading beaches upriver and left there until loaded, or until the next steam launch passed, to tow them down stream to the waiting ships.3 Government or company gigs, paddled by 6 to 12 boys in brightly coloured loincloths, singlets and red caps, crossed from ship to ship, and to the shore, carrying mails, goods and people to the sea-going vessels and mail boats. Government launches, the Vigilant and Snipe from the naval base at Calabar patrolled the coast, surveyed the water channels, conveyed government officials, load and troops. The Marine Department sailing ships, Pathfinder and Dayspring, offered services along the coast up to Cameroon, while the SB Tortoise provided regular services between Opobo, Bonny, Degema and Brass and was supplemented by ferry ships and pontoons, connecting Egwanga to Opobo and from there to Kono, Azumini and other government stations and major markets upriver. By 1934, UAC boats replaced the Elder Dempster ship services, transporting oil in bulk (Gibbons, 1934).

 

Steamship on the riverSteamship on the river

By 1910 the Opobo (Ikot Abasi) port was first in significance in the Oil Rivers and well known for its ability to handle any cargo. In the busy pre- and inter-war years, up to 30 ocean-going ships are said to have, at times, lined up at the river bar, waiting their turn to off-load at the port, their bright lights seen in the night sky from as far as the Edem Aya villages.4 Desolate buildings and abandoned piers on the old trade beaches - the African Association, Maclver, Oil Nuts and Co., UAC, Newberries, Whydah - still line up the Ikot Abasi river bank. Opposite them, the small Whydah island, with its fine white sand and tall coconut trees provided a beautiful spot for recreation for both Europeans and children from the nearby settlements.

 

Upriver, close to Essene Creek's mouth and opposite the Ogoni Channel, there was a small landing place for boats, wishing to spend the night or to avoid an unfavourable tide, when going down to the Egwanga factories. Behind it, close to the nearby market, a large expanse of flat land was initially earmarked for the Aluminium project. A new housing estate is to rise soon in that area.

 

With the closure of the port in the late 1940's and the successive governments' nonchalant attitude in the face of persistent international pressure for the payment of the Opobo Town compensation claims, and of the Udoma-led political dissension aiming at self-determination, all activity gradually declined, and stopped completely after the heavy Civil War destruction.

 

The intrusive Nypa palm, introduced by High Commissioner W. Fosbery in 1906 to check the Government Beach erosion (Ejituwu, 1991: 205), has colonised completely the abandoned waterside. Overgrown beaches, bombed and ruined buildings, decay and abandonment met the eye along the Ikot Abasi river front, where only fishermen and the occasional passenger boat crossed the water.

 

Then, in the 1990's, new motorboats, belonging to the oil-prospecting companies, and modern vessels, supplying equipment for the construction of the Aluminium Smelter Plant, appeared on the river. The private sailboats of the expatriate company staff sailed its estuary. By 1995, barges and boats converged on the scene; sand-dredging machines, sky-scraping cranes and pier-hammering hydraulic equipment began land reclamation and pier construction behind the river bend, where the new ALSCON harbour rose from the waterbed, in readiness to bring a new lease of life to the old town.

 

The small town
has come alive,
busy all night and all day
long!
At night,
the sky is lit up,
light radiates and revolves
everywhere.
At night,
the small emerging city is a
beautiful sight to behold, at day time,
it's simply awe-inspiring.
 
From: Welcome to Aluminium City a poem by U. L. Fingisi; culled from ALSCON News, vol. 1 no. 2,1995

 

Notes

 

1 Talbot, 1926, vol. 1: 206; Ejituwu, 1991: 135-140; Jaja, 1991. De Cardi and McEakin, European trade agents, moved to trade on the river immediately after Jaja's occupation of Opobo Island in 1869 and were joined there by the trading ships and representatives of other firms - Miller Brothers, Cooper and Co. and Johnson, Stewart and Douglas, which action, together with the Jaja/British treaties and his flying of the British flag, gave credence to his claims on official British backing to his dealings with the interior groups.

2 In 1904 the Egwanga government station had a steel lighter, 4 oared gigs, a mail canoe and a surf boat in its shallow draft fleet (Egwanga Inspection Book), but by 1921, the station's steam launches the Hawk and SL Curfew, alternated carrying load and passengers, while the Medical Officer toured in his motor launch Butterfly (Swanston, 1920; Purchas, 1921).

3 In the 1940s, 40-inch metal casks, weighing 17 cwt each, were decanted directly into Lever Brothers' ship tanks, the empty drums were then sorted and returned to their respective beaches (Avezathe, 1972).

4 Four British and four German shipping lines, most prominent of which were the Elder Dempster and the Woermann lines, maintained regular communication with Liverpool (fortnightly), London (monthly), Hamburg and Rotterdam (thrice monthly) and provided passenger and cargo services along the coast at the beginning of the century (P. N. Davies, 1973 pp. 147, 218-219). DO's annual reports recorded 110 ships for 1937 and 76 vessels, entering the harbour in 1940 (Dewhurst, 1938; Hartley, 1940).

скачать dle 11.1смотреть фильмы бесплатно

Category: Ikot Abasi

Dear visitor, you are browsing our website as Guest.
We strongly recommend you to register and login to view hidden contents.
<
  • Articles: 0
  • Comments: 348
  • ICQ: {icq}
31 December 2018 13:51

susanmiller

  • Usergroup: Members
  • Register: 16.04.2018
  • Status: Currently Offlline
 
The main reason why  it's always a lot better that one can significant researching preceding  doing. You'll be able to share improved page using this method.  modded apk download

<
  • Articles: 0
  • Comments: 594
  • ICQ: {icq}
1 January 2019 10:36

seoexpert

  • Usergroup: Members
  • Register: 22.06.2018
  • Status: Currently Offlline
 
This is a  great article thanks for sharing this informative information. I will visit  your blog regularly for some latest post. I will visit your blog regularly  for Some latest post.dlf magnolias

<
  • Articles: 0
  • Comments: 348
  • ICQ: {icq}
1 January 2019 14:57

susanmiller

  • Usergroup: Members
  • Register: 16.04.2018
  • Status: Currently Offlline
 
I’m a new sucker  pertaining to almost all of the articles or blog posts, My spouse and i  definitely savored, I'd personally genuinely like additional files with  regards to this specific, since it can be okay., Congratulations for the  purpose of putting up.  thirukadaiyur

<
  • Articles: 0
  • Comments: 594
  • ICQ: {icq}
4 January 2019 13:47

seoexpert

  • Usergroup: Members
  • Register: 22.06.2018
  • Status: Currently Offlline
 
I found  that site very usefull and this survey is very cirious, I ' ve never seen a  blog that demand a survey for this actions, very curious...betsafe

<
  • Articles: 0
  • Comments: 619
  • ICQ: {icq}
5 January 2019 10:27

attaseo

  • Usergroup: Members
  • Register: 20.11.2018
  • Status: Currently Offlline
 
Nice to be visiting your blog again, it has been months for me. Well this article that i’ve been waited for so long. I need this article to complete my assignment in the college, and it has same topic with your article. Thanks, great share.Snellvilleseptic

<
  • Articles: 0
  • Comments: 70
  • ICQ: {icq}
5 January 2019 18:06

trulas

  • Usergroup: Members
  • Register: 29.07.2018
  • Status: Currently Offlline
 
Which may be what is  more an outstanding present that i genuinely relished reading through. It's  not possible regularly that marilyn and i handle the chance to know anything.  Jaya Poker

<
  • Articles: 0
  • Comments: 594
  • ICQ: {icq}
7 January 2019 18:15

seoexpert

  • Usergroup: Members
  • Register: 22.06.2018
  • Status: Currently Offlline
 
This is  truly a great read for me. I have bookmarked it and I am looking forward to  reading new articles. Keep up the good work!.majestic seo trust flow

<
  • Articles: 0
  • Comments: 70
  • ICQ: {icq}
7 January 2019 19:57

trulas

  • Usergroup: Members
  • Register: 29.07.2018
  • Status: Currently Offlline
 
It all is wholly  right. All of little components were definitely generated thru countless  checklist learning. I enjoy your application tons.  iphone repair

<
  • Articles: 0
  • Comments: 594
  • ICQ: {icq}
8 January 2019 16:19

seoexpert

  • Usergroup: Members
  • Register: 22.06.2018
  • Status: Currently Offlline
 
I love the numerous blogposts, We critically loved, I'd like information about this, because it is quite fantastic., Regards regarding indicating.Salvadorroofing

<
  • Articles: 0
  • Comments: 348
  • ICQ: {icq}
8 January 2019 16:47

susanmiller

  • Usergroup: Members
  • Register: 16.04.2018
  • Status: Currently Offlline
 
I prefer the  particular distribute. It is actually outstanding to learn someone verbalize  from the cardiovascular system and in addition top quality using this  important material could be simply experienced.  Putlocker

<
  • Articles: 0
  • Comments: 594
  • ICQ: {icq}
17 January 2019 18:40

seoexpert

  • Usergroup: Members
  • Register: 22.06.2018
  • Status: Currently Offlline
 
Awesome article!  I want people to know just how good this  information is in your article.  It’s  interesting, compelling content.  Your  views are much like my own concerning this subject.pname com facebook orca

<
  • Articles: 0
  • Comments: 70
  • ICQ: {icq}
20 January 2019 18:09

trulas

  • Usergroup: Members
  • Register: 29.07.2018
  • Status: Currently Offlline
 
Your blog is  fantastic, good quality perform... I know several can accept myself even when  they just don't take the time to inform you.  tailors in dubai

The moment when i  been given onto your web page while having factor in essence considerably  touch submits. Gratifying strategy for impending, My business is bookmarking  while doing so attain forms conclude springs up way up.  muscles

<
  • Articles: 0
  • Comments: 594
  • ICQ: {icq}
21 January 2019 18:07

seoexpert

  • Usergroup: Members
  • Register: 22.06.2018
  • Status: Currently Offlline
 
That's why  its more practical that you may appropriate study previous to developing.  You'll be able to post more significant posting like this.high authority backlinks

<
  • Articles: 0
  • Comments: 70
  • ICQ: {icq}
21 January 2019 20:04

trulas

  • Usergroup: Members
  • Register: 29.07.2018
  • Status: Currently Offlline
 
That appears to be  without doubt terrific. A good number of teeny facts are meant experiencing  great deal of background abilities. I will be interested the thing a large  amount.  com facebook orca

<
  • Articles: 0
  • Comments: 1
  • ICQ: {icq}
24 January 2019 15:40

Asad

  • Usergroup: Members
  • Register: 24.01.2019
  • Status: Currently Offlline
 
I  should assert barely that its astounding! The blog is informational also  always fabricate amazing entitys.  PBN

<
  • Articles: 0
  • Comments: 8
  • ICQ: {icq}
26 January 2019 11:45

hyder ali

  • Usergroup: Members
  • Register: 26.01.2019
  • Status: Currently Offlline
 
Hey,  this day is too much good for me, since this time I am reading this enormous  informative article here at my home. Thanks a lot for massive hard work.
erectile  dysfunction treatments

<
  • Articles: 0
  • Comments: 70
  • ICQ: {icq}
27 January 2019 18:08

trulas

  • Usergroup: Members
  • Register: 29.07.2018
  • Status: Currently Offlline
 
That appears to be  without doubt terrific. A good number of teeny facts are meant experiencing  great deal of background abilities. I will be interested the thing a large  amount.  gutter replacement

Hello, this weekend  is good for me, since this time i am reading this enormous informative  article here at my home.  gutter  repair

<
  • Articles: 0
  • Comments: 8
  • ICQ: {icq}
2 February 2019 18:34

hyder ali

  • Usergroup: Members
  • Register: 26.01.2019
  • Status: Currently Offlline
 
RentA2z airbnb  clone script is platfrom designed to build a business like Airbnb in property  or any other service where shared economy benefits can be found like camping,  boating, office space, parking etc. We have all the primary functions needed  to create a web application like airbnb in our main code skeleton. Any type  of design can be created and workflow can be added to the skeleton to built  your own personalized business. The system is open source and available in  Wordpress & PHP. We also provide custom features development  services.   <a  href="https://sspectra.net/vacation-rental-airbnb-clone-script/">air
bnb  clone wordpress theme</a>

RentA2z airbnb clone script is platfrom designed to build a business like Airbnb in property or any other service where shared economy benefits can be found like camping, boating, office space, parking etc. We have all the primary functions needed to create a web application like airbnb in our main code skeleton. Any type of design can be created and workflow can be added to the skeleton to built your own personalized business. The system is open source and available in Wordpress & PHP. We also provide custom features development services. airbnb clone wordpress theme

<
  • Articles: 0
  • Comments: 2
  • ICQ: {icq}
7 February 2019 14:24

nelam

  • Usergroup: Members
  • Register: 4.02.2019
  • Status: Currently Offlline
 
Himachal Pradesh Board which has conducted 10th exams will release the HPBOSE 10th Result 2019 soon in the board website.

<
  • Articles: 0
  • Comments: 8
  • ICQ: {icq}
11 February 2019 11:32

hyder ali

  • Usergroup: Members
  • Register: 26.01.2019
  • Status: Currently Offlline
 
I found so many  interesting stuff in your blog especially its discussion. From the tons of  comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the  enjoyment here! keep up the good work...  <a  href="https://bbdevtt.com/casinosite/">카지노사이트</a>

I found so many interesting stuff in your blog especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here! keep up the good work...카지노사이트

I found so many  interesting stuff in your blog especially its discussion. From the tons of  comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the  enjoyment here! keep up the good work...카지노사이트

<
  • Articles: 0
  • Comments: 70
  • ICQ: {icq}
13 February 2019 11:04

trulas

  • Usergroup: Members
  • Register: 29.07.2018
  • Status: Currently Offlline
 
We prefer your  present post. It may be excellent to see anybody clarify within phrases with  the cardio together with lucidity with this crucial concern may be rapidly  observed.  info

<
  • Articles: 0
  • Comments: 70
  • ICQ: {icq}
14 February 2019 16:16

trulas

  • Usergroup: Members
  • Register: 29.07.2018
  • Status: Currently Offlline
 
Might  be likewise a reasonably wonderful short article that we all most certainly  most popular assessing. Might be no day-after-day in which watch the  possibility to look through unit.  find out here

<
  • Articles: 0
  • Comments: 70
  • ICQ: {icq}
16 February 2019 12:40

trulas

  • Usergroup: Members
  • Register: 29.07.2018
  • Status: Currently Offlline
 
There are still  dissertation website pages utilizing the online as you end up evidently says  as part of your webpage.  have a peek at this website

<
  • Articles: 0
  • Comments: 594
  • ICQ: {icq}
16 February 2019 19:58

seoexpert

  • Usergroup: Members
  • Register: 22.06.2018
  • Status: Currently Offlline
 
I admire this article  for the well-researched content and excellent wording. I got so involved in  this material that I couldn’t stop reading. I am impressed with your work and  skill. Thank you so much.Accountants Lingfield

<
  • Articles: 0
  • Comments: 619
  • ICQ: {icq}
18 February 2019 09:05

attaseo

  • Usergroup: Members
  • Register: 20.11.2018
  • Status: Currently Offlline
 
KP ceilings ltd are Manchester’s number one choice when it comes to suspended ceilings, glass partitions, Dry lining we also work nationwide we have just complete the Ivy restaurant Manchester & Crystal Maze Manchestersuspended ceilings Manchester

<
  • Articles: 0
  • Comments: 70
  • ICQ: {icq}
19 February 2019 14:31

trulas

  • Usergroup: Members
  • Register: 29.07.2018
  • Status: Currently Offlline
 
I actually  checked right up your website considering Concerning listened to a great deal  of pertaining to a person's discussions.   free  instagram analytics  

<
  • Articles: 0
  • Comments: 23
  • ICQ: {icq}
19 February 2019 16:02

kahtri

  • Usergroup: Members
  • Register: 17.11.2018
  • Status: Currently Offlline
 
Die besondere  ONMA aus Hannover gibt Organisationen, die ein legitimes Erfolgserlebnis über effektive Online-Marketing-Maßnahmen nutzen. Wir helfen Ihnen auch gerne weiter.

<
  • Articles: 0
  • Comments: 619
  • ICQ: {icq}
20 February 2019 10:53

attaseo

  • Usergroup: Members
  • Register: 20.11.2018
  • Status: Currently Offlline
 
I’m going to read this. I’ll be sure to come back. thanks for sharing. and also This article gives the light in which we can observe the reality. this is very nice one and gives indepth information. thanks for this nice article..Free Find My Business

i never know the use of adobe shadow until i saw this post. thank you for this! this is very helpful.Riverfront Residences

<
  • Articles: 0
  • Comments: 23
  • ICQ: {icq}
20 February 2019 17:58

kahtri

  • Usergroup: Members
  • Register: 17.11.2018
  • Status: Currently Offlline
 
Thank you for your article post. Much thanks again. Really Cool.cool free downloads

<
  • Articles: 0
  • Comments: 594
  • ICQ: {icq}
23 February 2019 19:48

seoexpert

  • Usergroup: Members
  • Register: 22.06.2018
  • Status: Currently Offlline
 
Super-Duper site! I am Loving it!! Will come back again, Im taking your feed also, Thanks.name birthday cakes

This  unique seems to be thoroughly ideally suited. Each one of minor essentials  are produced alongside large amount of story knowledge. I’m a for the  considerably.forskolin supplement

Information
Users of Guests are not allowed to comment this publication.