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BACKGROUND OF DOKO

By Rt,Rev Uriah N. Kolo

 Brief History of Doko

The origin of the people has not been clearly documented.  However oral evidence has provided an insight into the historical beginnings of the Doko people. From oral tradition, it is indicated that Hama Kolo was the first man who was said to have settled at Sakoba.  This is the place the Doko people as known today settled first.  The people at Sokoba were known as Edoko, meaning plenty.

Hama Kolo was said to have come from the East with a Chieftaincy titles known as Defian and Zhitsu.  The Hama Kolo also had a son called Saba.  A time came when the Fulanis took away this Saba as a slave to Raba ( a village far away beyond River Kaduna) to cut grasses as fodder for their horses.  Later Saba escaped from Raba and came to his father Hama Kolo at Sakoba.  On his way coming, Saba came along with the sickle which he used in cutting grass for the Fulani horses. 

On his arrival he was asked what he was doing at Raba with the sickle.  Saba then informed the father that he was cutting grass for the Fulani horses and that in Nupe language is ego doko-gbe.  This work of Saba then later became the name of the settlement hence Doko having his name.  The descendants of Saba and his father are still known in Doko today as Edoko and still maintained the titles of Defian and Zhitsu!

Dazhi, another group of people who lived in Doko, were two brothers who came from beyond the river, from a place called Gara ( a village beyond river Kaduna), possibly from Benue State.  They came to a place now called Kopa (Kopa is about five kilometers from Doko, on the other side of the hill on the slope of which Doko is situated).  There was nothing in this place except bush.  They settled there, first as hunters and later they began to work on the land.  After two years the younger brother called Lafiya left Kopa and came down to the hill to a place called Kokogi about two kilometers away from Edoko people.   Lefiya came with a title of Etsu Dazhi, meaning Chief of Dazhi people.  Lefiya became the first Etsu Dazhi of the people in Doko.

To escape from the Fulani raiders, Edoko people moved from Sakoba into the hillside where Dazhi people had settled.  The Dazhi people claimed that the land where Edoko people came to settle in was theirs.  This episode later made the Edoko people to surrender their sovereignty to Dazhi people, politically.  Today, the Dazhi people owned the land, economic trees and the fish ponds.  This is why in Doko today we have Dazhi as the political head of the village.  The other group that formed the Doko people apart from the one mention above are : Takogi, Kpacinninfugi and Dodofugi people.


 

 

Geography of Doko

Doko is located on latitude 80 N and longitude 50E.  It is a district in Lavun Local Government of Niger State. Doko is about fifteen kilometers away from Bida, sharing boundary with Bida in the North and Kwara State in the East.

Doko is one of the Beni organizations, a sub-tribe in Nupe Kingdom.   From the foot of the two flat-topped hills, the town sweeps down into the plains. The land is  undulating, rugged, and dotted here and there with fold ridges.  Due to its undulating land there are big river valleys which run through the village from the two flat-topped hills of the Plateau.  This accounts for Doko been situated on some water course, a stream or a brook called Danangi,Bokungi, and Santu.  Here, women fetch water, wash their clothes, calabashes and dishes.  This is common during dry season when almost all the wells have dried up in the town.

Doko, being part of Nupe country, has combinations of features from the South and North of Nigeria.  Nupe, lying lower than any of the districts in Nigeria with its two big rivers, their dry, blazing sand bank in the dry season, is one of the hottest and at the same time most-humid districts in Nigeria. Doko is not an exception to the above descriptions since she is part of the Nupe country. It has a mean rainfall of 762 – 1016 millimeters annually.  The mean temperature is 820F or 27.770c.

The major occupation of the people is principally subsistence agriculture.  The dominant crops produced are millet, maize, guinea corn, beans, sweet potatoes, rice and cassava.  Many of the farmers keep livestock like sheep, goat, cattle, and poultry, while some engage in crafts such as weaving, blacksmithing and sculpturing.


 

POLITICAL ORGANIZATION

The Rank System in Doko (Hereditary System)

S/NO

TITLE

OFFICE BY ORDER OF SENIORITY IN THE WARDS

WARD

SUCCESSION

1

Etsu Dazhi

Chief

Ward

Hereditary

2

Shaba

Assistant

Ward

Not Hereditary

3

Lile

Councillor

Ward

Presumptive

4

Kpotun

Councillor

Ward

Presumptive

5

Makun

Councillor

Ward

Presumptive

6

Defian

Councillor

Defianfu

Hereditary in one house

7

Dzoko

Councillor

Takogi

Hereditary in one house

8

Gboko

Councillor

Kpachinifugi

Hereditary in one house

9

Gbodo

Councillor

Dazhi

Hereditary in one house

10

Zhitsu Bebi

Councillor

Edoko

Hereditary in one house

11

Majin Egbe

Head of Hunters

Edoko

Hereditary in one house

12

Dzoko Gbwadua

Councillor

Konufu

Hereditary in one house

13

Majin Tswaci

Head of Blacksmiths Tswata

 

Hereditary in one house

14

Etsu Dzuko

Chief of the Market

Any House

Presumptive

15

Sagi

Head of Women

Any House

Presumptive

16

Ninwoye

Assistant

Any House

Presumptive

17

Soninya

Head of Strangers

Any House

Presumptive

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