History Of Isoko South LGA, Delta State

Isoko South is a Local Government Area (LGA) in the Isoko region of Delta State, Nigeria. With its headquarters at Oleh, Nigeria, it is one of the two local governments that make up the Isoko region. The other is Isoko North, which has its headquarters at Ozoro.

The Isoko people migrated historically from the Benin Kingdom in nearby Edo State, and therefore share some cultural similarities with this state. The area later formed part of Bendel State, before Bendel State was split to form Edo and Delta states.

The Isoko South and North Local Government Area was established on 23 September 1991, when the former Isoko Local Government Area was subdivided. The area produces a large component of the oil and gas resources of Delta State.

The Isoko South Local Government Area covers a low-lying section of the larger Niger Delta Basin, interspersed with streams, canals and rivers. It is located in a region of deciduous and evergreen forests, with patches of mangrove forest, as well as a forest reserve along the Aviara clan area.

The local population are primarily of the Isoko people. There are eleven communities in Isoko South, and each of them are subdivided into several clans. Communities inhabiting Isoko South include the Aviara, Olomoro, Emede, Enhwe, Erowha, Igbide, Irri, Okpolo, Oleh, Delta, Umeh and Uzere. The Isoko language is predominant in much of the area.

The traditional occupation of the people of Isoko South is fishing and agriculture.

Current population centres include Oleh town – the seat of the Isoko South government – as well as the Olomoro urban community.

Names of monarchs and their titles in Isoko South
The different communities in Isoko South Local Government Area are being governed by a monarch constituted by the Delta State government. Their names and titles are as follow:

H.R.M. Ewhiri II,
The Ovie of Emede Kingdom
Monarch governing Emede Community.
H.R.M. Udogri I (JP),
The Ovie of Uzere Kingdom.
Monarch governing Uzere Kingdom.
H.R.M. Obukeni I (JP),
The Ovie of Igbide Kingdom,
Monarch governing Igbide Community.
H.R.M. Ambrose O. Owhe (JP),
The Odio-ologbo of Umeh Kingdom.
Monarch governing Umeh Community.
H.R.M. Ovrawah A. Omogha 1 (JP) FCAI,
The Odio-ologbo of Community.
Monarch governing Oleh Community.
H.R.M. Samuel Otidi,
The Odio-ologbo of Okpolo Kingdom.
Monarch governing Okpolo Community.
H.R.M. Harry Emaviwe,
The Ovie of Aviara Kingdom.
Monarch governing Aviara Community.
H.R.M. Anthony O. Efekodha (MNSE, FMHR),
Ejuzi II, The Ovie of Enwhe Kingdom.
Monarch governing Enwhe Community.
H.R.M. Kenneth Onomeregwae,
The Odio-ologbo of Erowha Kingdom.
Monarch governing Erowha Community.
H.R.M. Josiah Umukoro,
Aghaza 1, The Odio-ologbo of Olomoro Kingdom.
Monarch governing Olomoro Community.
H.R.M. Joshua Aghagba,
The Odio-ologbo of Irri Kingdom.
Monarch governing Irri Community.
Isoko South Local Government List of Divisional Officers, Residents, Sole Administrators and Chairmen
Since the creation of Isoko south local government, it has been governed by different officers ranging from divisional officers to residents, sole administrators and chairmen.

S/No. Names of Governing Officers Position Date

  1. Hon. J.E. Otobo Chairman 23 May 1958 to 19 November 1959
  2. Mr. F.O. Omodior Chairman 20 November 1959 to 3 June 1960
  3. Mr. J.K. Oziwo Chairman 4 June 1960 to 20 August 1961
  4. Chief J.U.E. Agbaza Chairman 21 August 1961 to 30 November 1968
  5. Mr. F.I. Ikpefan Divisional Officer
  6. Mr. J.A. Otutu Divisional Officer
  7. Mr. R.A. Okaka Divisional Officer 21 August 1971 to 23 September 1971
  8. Mr. J.O. Uponi Divisional Officer 24 September 1971 to 30 May 1974
  9. Mr. J.Y. Sule Divisional Officer 1 June 1974 to 30 November 1974
  10. Mr. F.O. Ekemike Residents 1 December 1974 to 11 December 1975
  11. Chief S.O. Akpotu Chairman 15 January 1976 to 31 December 1976
  12. Mr. F.O. Aimufua Residents 1 June 1977 to 31 August 1977
  13. Chief J.O. Omu Chairman 1 September 1977 to 10 September 1979
  14. Chief G.O. Akpojene Chairman 1 December 1979 to 28 February 1982
  15. Mr. J.A. Agware Chairman 1 March 1982 to 30 September 1983
  16. Mr. S.O. Okoroze Chairman 1 October 1983 to 1 December 1983
  17. Mr. S.O. Ogoh Sole Administrator 1 February 1984 to 11 February 1986
  18. Major E.U. Uzamere Ex. Na Chairman 12 February 1986 to 28 June 1986
  19. Mr. E.O. Eziashi Sole Administrator 31 June 1986 to 31 December 1986
  20. Mr. J.I. Ukpedor Sole Administrator 1 January 1987 to 31 December 1987
  21. Mr. M.C.O. Eto Chairman 11 January 1988 to 31 July 1989
  22. Mr. L.E. Ejohwomu Chairman 1 September 1989 to 31 December 1990
  23. Mr. P.O. Oju Chairman 1 January 1991 to 16 September 1991
  24. Mr. P.F. Fuludu Sole Administrator 30 September 1991 to 2 December 1991
  25. Mr. J.E. Osima Chairman 30 December 1991 to 8 November 1993
  26. Major G.O. Igbehen Chairman 7 April 1994 to 29 March 1996
  27. Chief Iduh G. Amadhe Chairman 30 March 1996 to 23 March 1997
  28. Mr. Benjamin Ogbalor Chairman 24 March 1997 to 20 July 1998
  29. Dr M. Ebereme Sole Administrator 23 July 1998 to 20 September 1998
  30. Dr M. Ebereme Chairman 21 September 1998 to 2 June 1999
  31. Hon. Mike E.B. Igbuku Chairman 3 June 1999 to 2 June 2002
  32. Hon. Fegurson Onwo Chairman 24 July 2002 to 24 June 2003
  33. Arc. Joe Iroro Chairman 26 June 2003 to 26 December 2003
  34. Arc. Joe Iroro Chairman 19 April 2004 to 19 April 2007
  35. Hon. Joel Onowakpo Chairman 17 October 2007 to 13 May 2008
  36. Hon. (Chief) Askia Ogieh (JP) Chairman 13 May 2008 to 13 May 2011
  37. Hon. Goodluck Idele Chairman 27 October 2012 to 27 October 2014
  38. Sir (Hon.) Itiako C. Ikpokpo Chairman 27 October 2014 to 27 October 2017
  39. Sir (Hon.) Itiako C. Ikpokpo Chairman 8 January 2018 to 5 January 2021
  40. Hon. Victor Asasa Chairman 8 March 2021 till Date
    Landmarks and attractions
    Of the tourist areas, the Araya Bible Tourist Center, the Eni of Uzere and the sandbeaches of Ivrogbo are popular.

The cultural attractions of the area include a range of traditional festivals, crafts (such as the distinctive pottery made from the local kaolin clays), the traditional clothing and a strong culture of hospitality.

The area’s festivals include the Oliho Festival of the Oleh kingdom, the Omode festival of Iri, the Ivri of Olomoro, the Idhu and Abarne of Igbide, the Osia of Umeh, the Ogwa-Enwhe of the Enwhe kingdom, the Oniowise of Emede, the Ovore of Erowha, the Uloho of Orie and the popular Eni of the Uzere Kingdom.

Environmental challenges and projects

Local tree planting in Isoko South LGA.
Oil and gas exploration activities began in the area in the early 1950s, and the second oil well in Nigeria was discovered in Uzere, Isoko South, in 1958. The massive growth of the oil and gas industries has created significant environmental challenges, and have been a source of much concern for the local government.

Challenges such as gas flaring, oil spills from pipelines, deforestation and waste miss-management have been made more serious by federal laws which centralise control of the oil rich land and allow local government relatively little control over activities. Due to such concerns, in 2001, the Isoko South Local Government joined ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, the first local government in Nigeria to do so.

The local government has since engaged in extensive project work to combat the effects of oil and gas pollution. It has promulgated a law that makes Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) compulsory for all developmental and industrial projects, and has also carried out environmental auditing with environmental regulators and NGOs in the local government area. Large tree planting projects have also been launched in collaboration with community-based organisations and with UNDP GEF/SGP support

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