The History of Nkalu/Omere-Elegwa/Ifakala by Julius Ndunagum, Umuagwu Ifakala
ORIGIN: Why is now called IFAKALA
During the early period of migration, when the early people were moving from one place to another in search of a better and safer place to stay, Nkalu was among the immigrants who wandered to this part of the country. He was a great worrior and a celebrated hunter. He killed a big sported Antelop. This earned him the name NKALU OMERE-ELE- AGWA. This means NKALU, who dealt blows and killed a sported Antelope.
As there were so constant commercial strives among the early wanderers who scrambled for a better place to live in, Nkalu was pushed to occupy and settled down in this part of the area.
The area was full of thick forests, full of Palm trees, wild yams, forest fruits, animals and reptiles, forest vegetables and other food trees. He was so contented with goods and drinks from the forest that he called the area ‘ORI-IHEKOROM’ which is now called IFAKALA meaning "I lack nothing". Thus, the names NKALU, OMERE-ELE-AGWA and IFAKALA refer to the same person and mean the same person.
Nkalu used the central thick forest as the seat of his God of the land and the centre for worship. The Prince of the gods he called ‘IYI-AFO-EZE-ALA. He cleared the centre of the forest and erected the shrine of IYI-AFOR where people congregate for various sacrifices and worship.
In the centre also he established a market called ‘OGBO-AFO – MEANING THE Centre of IYI-AFO. This Ogboafo became the multi purpose centre for all activities in Ifakala. It was a religious center where people congregated to sacrifice and worship their good from time to time. It was the central market where all the villages meet to exchange their commodities, buy and sell their articles. It was a cultural centre where people celebrated their various cultural festivals. It was also a social Centre where elders, titled men – Nze na Ozo people meet and drink palm wife, had their weekly thrift and loan contributions.
A judicial centre where the elders and titled men meet, heard disputes among the people, decided and settled them to bring peace among them.
By then, the fours sons of Ifakala occupied the four wings of the central market – Ogbo-Afo. Owere in the south, Umuaguoche in the north, Ubaogwugwu/Amazu in the east and part of the west, Umtaku/Umungwo in the far west. By then all roads led to the centre for various activities mentioned above.
In 1946 with the understanding and by compromise, the fifth village was unanimously created and called Ama-Afo for those who live round the central market Ogbo-Afo.
Now Ifakala is made up of five villages politically viz, Oqwere, Umuagwuoche, Uba/Amazu, Umutaku/Umungwo and Amafor. Ifakala as an autonomous community occupies a central position in Mbaitoli Local government Area bounded in the north by Umunoha and Afara, south by Ubomiri, west by Ogbaku and east by Mbieri and Orodo.
The population of Ifakala is increasing by leaps and bonds. She has two secondary schools, four primary schools, two commercial and nursery schools.The town has one central daily market and a village market.
On religion, the community has one central Parish, St. Joseph’s Catholic Parish. There are many other denomination centres for church services. Ifakala is one of the autonomous communities in Mbaitoli Local Government Area. The town has one recognized town Union known as Ifakala Town Union (I.T.U) The Town Union is made up of Seventeen (17) recognized villages. Each village is under a Village Head, The Village Chairman and his elected Executives. The government of the town is directed by an elected President General and his Executive.
On the apex of the community is our elected EZE of the town, who is recognized by the State Government as the Traditional ruler of the autonomous community, the father of all the people and the custodian of our cultural heritage.