Battles & resistance to British colonialism in Mbaise 1902-1917

In 1900, the British created the Southern Nigeria Protectorate as a colonial administrative structure.

There was resistance to British colonisation from the people of modern Mbaise and Igbo throughout Eastern Nigeria.

Southern Nigeria Protectorate

In 1904 Harold Douglas ordered the people of Eziama to make roads.

When they refused he declared war on them in March 1904.

According to documented reports by Douglas, he brought Eziama under control by destroying all the compounds as well as seizing the elders and chiefs.

In Norie, Ngor court area, Chief Nwogu a colonial loyalist, placed too much forced labour on the Igbo people.

When the people warned him to desist, he refused and was murdered.

On hearing the news, Douglas declared war on the entire village and surrounding environments.

The conquest on 21 April 1905 known as the Nkwala war (ogu Nkwala), was a battle fought fiercely in Ovoro and Okpala till May.

It was one of the major wars of Igbo resistance.

Some of the other major wars, battles and expeditions fought in and around Mbaise follows:

  • 1902 July Ngor Punitive Expedition :Umu Alum (9/10 July) Ameke (13 July)
  • 1904 March -April River Imo Expedition: Ihite (25-27 March), Nguru April Lagwo (April)
  • 1905 April -May Noria- Ovoro Patrol: Norie (22-23 April), Obor Ovoro (24 April), Ovoro (27 April)
  • 1905 Nov – May 1906 Bende Onitsha Hinterland Expedition: Ahiara, Onicha Amairi,(Dec) Eziama (March)
  • 1907 Jul -Sept Etchi-Ngor Patrol: Afara, Nihi,(Jul) Umu Neke, Mbelu, Umuhu, Umueze, Umu Owerri
  • 1911 Feb – Jun Owerri Bende Okigwi Patrol : Orimozu (4 March)
  • 1916-1917 Nov-Feb Nguru Patrol : Onicha Amairi,(Nov) Ihitte, (Jan) Avutu (Feb)