1. HIS BIRTH AND ROYAL CONNECTIONS:
The late HRH Chief Kala-Dokubo Omekwe Horsfall was born in about 1770 during the reign of King Amakoro Tyger Amachree (Amachree II, 1757-1782). His father, late Ameiye-Ofori Amachree was an adopted son of King Amachree I of Kalabari Kingdom. His mother, late Madam Beke-Angama, a royal house maid of late Queen Kalaroba-Mangiaro from Akialame Ward, a glamorous wife of King Amachree I. His mother late Madam Beke-Angama had begat late Wariboko Ngo (popularly called Ngoye-Akoko), the father of late Chief Benebo Charles Wokoma before she later married to late Amieye-Ofori of King Amachree household, because of the crisis between Fubara and Amachree houses at Elem-ama.
With Amieye-Ofori, she had late Chiefs Kala-Dokubo Horsfall Omekwe and Ibila-a.
After the death of King Amachree I of Kalabari Kingdom (1669 – 1757), his wife, late Madam Kalaroba Mangiaro from Akialame Ward, with her household members including Late Madam Bekeangama and her three (3) sons, were shared to Prince Fubara Amachree (the 4th son of King Amachree I of Kalabari Kingdom).
Late Chief Kala-Dokubo Omekwe Horsfall was brought up in the household of late Chief Prince Fubara Amachree before Prince Fubara Amachree died.
Late Chief Kala-Dokubo Omekwe Horsfall was one of the able men that was attached to and supported the creation of Chief Owukori Manuel Chieftaincy stool during the reign of King Amakro Tyger Amachree (Amachree II), when the Prince Fubara Amachree Chieftaincy stool house went into disarray and disunited because of chieftaincy dispute.
However, Late Chief Kala-Dokubo Omekwe Horsfall became the head of the Late Chief Fubara Amachree house which is still immortalized with a square and a sculptural image (Duein-Fubara) in the Memorial hall of Late Chief Kala-Dokubo Omekwe Horsfall Compound in Buguma City.
2. HIS CHIEFTAINCY ATTAINMENT AND DEFENCE OF KALABARI NATION
Late Chief Kala-Dokubo Omekwe Horsfall who was under Owukori Manuel Chieftaincy stool, created his personal chieftaincy stool in about 1823 during the reign of King Karibo (Amachree III,1782 – 1863) at Elem-ama. Others who became chiefs during the reign of King Karibo Amachree includes Chief (Prince) George Amachree, Chief Ikiri Johnbull, and Chief Abbi Princewill Amachree. These chiefs became a blessing to the Kalabari nation with their military prowess and resources in the defence of the Kalabari nation against neighbouring tribes of Bonny, Okrika and Nembe etc.
After the death of King Karibo Amachree in 1863, Kalabari nation experienced blockade at the Okaki market off Orashi river by external aggressors and it was declared and decided by the Kalabari deity (Akaso) upon the contest to the royal stool of King Amachree I (Amayanabo of Kalabari kingdom), that whoever fights to open the Okaki market shall be the next King of the Kalabari kingdom. This challenged Chief Kala-Dokubo Omekwe Horsfall, Chief (Prince) George Amachree, Chief Ikiri Johnbull to lead the campaign for their contemporary Chief Abbi Princewill Amachree to become the next King of Kalabari kingdom with all their military prowess, and accordingly supported the Chief Abbi Princewill Amachree to win the said Okaki market war which determined the enthronement of Chief Abbi Princewill Amachree to the royal stool of King Amachree I, as Amanyanabo of Kalabari kingdom (Amachree IV).
The support given by these three (3) military war lords to King Abbi Princewill Amachree in defeating his contender, late Chief Alambo Ekine Amachree, at the Okaki market war as well as their vast personal resources to protect and salvage the Kalabari nation during its extreme hours of peril, made the late King Abbi Princewill Amachree (Amachree IV) to accord them perpetual place of special recognition and enjoyment of 11/2 (one-and-half) portion of sharing emoluments and responsibilities over and among Kalabari chieftaincies. They were also constituted as Privy Council members (Bubowari Se Alapu) to the King Amachree IV in all Kalabari nation matters and sits next only to the King at every Kalabari national matters/meetings at Elem-ama and now the new settlement.
MOST PROMINENT LEADING FOUNDING FATHERS OF BUGUMA CITY COMMUNITY IN 1884
It is a notorious fact that the crises in 1879 at Elem-ama/old shipping led to the disintegration, dispersal and subsequent founding of Bakana in 1879, Abonnema in 1882, and Buguma in 1884 from dispersal the Elem-ama/old shipping.
From Elem-ama, the settlers of Buguma City community first settled at Ipokuma/Degema where Chief Kala-Dokubo Horsfall Omekwe suggeste a relocation to the present Buguma City Island that is closed to the ancient Agulama community; Omekwe Tari-ama and Omekwe-ama communities were earlier established by the Chief Kala-Dokubo Horsfall Omekwe in 1868 and 1875 respectively within the same area. This was granted and the three (3) Major groups that settled at Ipokuma/Degema were Karibo group, Ombo/Birina-omoni group and Orupoku/Lila-ama (Horsfall/West) group.
These three (3) major groups were then led from Ipokuma/Degema to the present Buguma City community by the Most Prominent War Lords of Chief Prince George Amachree leading the Karibo group, Chief Kala-Dokubo Horsfall Omekwe leading the Orupoku/Lila-ama (Horsfall/West) group and Chief Ikiri Johnbull leading the Ombo/Birina-omoni group with their resources and military prowess as leaders of the movement to the new settlement and deforested the present Buguma community.
The three (3) war lords allocated to themselves the areas adjoining the sea shores of the community in order to protect the community from external invasion.
Also, these three (3) 11/2 (one and half chiefs) were the only most prominent notable Kalabari chiefs from Buguma City community that signed among other treaties, the Protective treaty between Great Britain and new Calabar in 1884, ceding the territory of Kalabari kingdom to Her Majesty of Great Britain for administrative control.
However, it is pertinent to note that Chief Kala-Dokubo Horsfall Omekwe first deforested the land of Buguma City community and first built his one storey castle with court yard (Ibaa-ri) where initial Buguma City community meetings were held for planning and building of Kalagbea, Okuma and King Amachree I memorial houses with sticks and zincs, Kalagbea house was then built on the land behind the present Conference Hall while Okuma house was then built behind the King Amachree Memorial hall.
At the founding of Buguma City community, late Chief Kala-Dokubo Horsfall Omekwe, as a culture loving chief, donated the land space for Ekine-Sekiapu-activities from the double portion of land space he acquired.
It is also note worthy that the stool of Amayanabo of Kalabari kingdom, King Amachree I, has the jurisdiction over the whole of Kalabari Kingdom and His successors were also concerned only with the affairs of Kalabari national matters, and not for any particular community of Kalabari kingdom, though Buguma City community is the headquarters of Kalabari kingdom and the seat of the Amayanabo of Kalabari kingdom, by virtue of the fact that late King Abbi Princewill Amachree (Amachree IV) was a member and chief of the Karibo group at the founding of Buguma City community 1884.
These three (3) most prominent leading one and half (1 1/2 ) founding chiefs with others deforested and settled on the land of Buguma City Community before the late King Abbi Princewill, Amachree (IV) left old shipping (Elem-Ama) to the already founded Buguma City Community as the Amanyanabo of Kalabari Kingdom and member of Karibo group.
Buguma City Community has no Amadabo (King) like Bakana and Abonnema communities but the highest administrative organ of the Buguma City community was the Buguma City Council of Chiefs having the three (3) most prominent leading one and half (1 1/2) founding Chiefs of George Amachree, Ikiri Johnbull and Horsfall Omekwe at the high table with King Abbi Princewill (Amachree IV) as the Amayanabo of Kalabari Kingdom upon mutual respect to one another.
The King Abbi Princewill (Amachree IV) did not in any manner claim or acted to be the Amadabo (King) of the Buguma City Community over the three (3) founding war lords in his life time.
Issues affecting the Buguma City community were discussed and decided at the Buguma Council of Chiefs meeting and executed through the paramount head-chiefs of each compounds and groups.
Contributions and nominations for community assignments for the development of Buguma City community were also made through the compounds and groups paramount chiefs with patriotic spirit, contrary to the present practice of secret sharing of oil monies accrued to Buguma City Community by few persons to undermine development and progress of the community.
Kalabari Kingdom has only one (1) royal family which is the Abbi Princewill Royal family of Karibo group in Buguma City Community, Abonnema and Bakana Communities have royal families with Kings but Buguma City Community has No Amadabo (King) or royal family in any manner from her establishment in 1884 till date.
Reference is hereby made to the Eastern Nigeria Government Report of the Commission of inquiry into the Amanyanabo of Kalabari (Amachree 1 Kingship) dispute in 1959 by N. Uwechia, Esq. and centenary book titled: Hundred Years of Buguma History in Kalabari Culture by Buguma Internal Affairs Society (BIAS) in 1984.
HIS ACHIEVEMENTS AND LOVE FOR FAMILY
HRH Chief Kala-Dokubo Horsfal1 Omekwe was the ancestral builder and patriarch of his mother, late Madam Beke-angama Amieye-Ofori Amachree household family; he personally expanded and created / established many war canoe chieftaincy stools for his brother, nephew and wards including chiefs Wokoma Charles Benebo and Ibilaa at Elem-ama (old shipping), and Chiefs Cotterel, Atiegoba, Dokiwari and others in present Buguma City community before he died in 1895.
He was the Founder/Paramount ruler of Chief Horsfall Omekwe Clan in
Asari-Toru Local Government Area and he exercised authority over the whole of Horsfall Omekwe Clan which comprise the following large compounds (Polo) of Buguma city and other communities/villages in Asari-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State.
1. Chief Horsfall Omekwe main compound (Polo) in Buguma City.
2. Chief Wokoma Charles Benebo compound (Polo) in Buguma City.
3. Chief Cotterell compound (Polo) in Buguma City.
4. Chief Atiegoba compound (Polo) in Buguma City.
5. Chief Oru-adiri compound (Polo) in Buguma City.
6. Omekwe-Tariama community,
7. Omekwe-ama community.
8. Horsfall-ama community.
9. Owinkiri community.
10. Okolo-aga community.
Late Chief Kala-Dokubo Omekwe Horsfall as a freedom fighter that stood for the truth with military prowess and resources. His military powers and actions earned him the name LIVING TIGER by the Portuguese merchants.
HIS PROTECTION AND CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE CREATION OF THE CHIEFTAINCY STOOL OF LATE CHIEF ISOKARIARI OF BUGUMA CITY COMMUNITY.
Chief Kala-Dokubo HorsfaLl Omekwe as a freedom fighter’ who stands for the truth and with his fierce nature always frowned at oppression and injustice throughout his lifetime, protected and defended Late Isokariari to create his personal war canoe chieftaincy stool in Buguma City Community when all attempts were made to forestall and stop the creation of the said war canoe chieftaincy stool of late Isokariari before the Amanyanabo of Kalabari (King Amachree IV ). This was the historical account that led to the affinity between the Chief Horsfall Omekwe Clan and the Chief Isokariari compound of Buguma City Community. Today, the progress in the Chief Isokariari compound is a blessing that cannot be over-emphasized in the Buguma City community.
6. HIS RELATIONSHIP AND DEFENCE OF ANGULAMA COMMUNITY
The birth of late Chief Kala-Dokubo Horsfall Omekwe was associated with covenants his parents had with the Angulama community deity upon oracle declaration before he was born. This made him a native of the community. Upon his adulthood, he was informed about the predicaments of the community through external aggressors that had threatened and conquered six (6) out of the seven (7) compounds of the community. He was also told about the dangerous and uncontrollable influence of one of the community juju by name Angulama nomuawo (Obujuapu) that was inflicting and imposing death on the natives of the community which led many of its natives to flee away.
Our father, late Chief Kala-Dokubo Horsfall Omekwe without any hesitation, undertook to appease the terrorizing juju with the sacrifice of operating a new baby child in the womb of a pregnant woman he bought for that purpose as requested by the juju, and that was the end of the terror by the juju on the community till date. He fought with his resources to abolish the dangerous human sacrifice to the deities of Angulama community in place of animal sacrifice such as ram and dogs.
On the issue of external aggression, late Chief Kala-Dokubo Horsfall Omekwe, as a Military War Lord, set up a garrison in a community he established with his resources from Ibo land and named the community Oru-kalama (now Omekwe Taria-ama) in 1868 before Buguma City community was founded in 1884. The people of Omekwe Taria-ama community was settled to protect the Angulama community from external aggressors, the task that was carried out effectively and today the community he established have developed and expanded to have large families in other communities of Kalabari kingdom, such as the famous family of late Madam Oruabite (popularly called “Ate”) nee Orumaeresi Horsfall of Obu-ama (Harry’s town) in Degema Local Government Area.
In 1875, Chief Kala-Dokubo Horsfall Omekwe also established an agricultural settlement with his subjects for food production near Angulama and it was named Omekwe Duwo-kiri, now known as Omekwe-ama community in ASALGA.
His effort to rebuild and expand the Angulama community made him to settle some of his subjects to dwell in the community. These settlers have now expanded, developed and progressed to a chieftaincy stool house of Marcus Nkwere Horsfall. The present leader of the house is Chief Abaabo-Dike Horsfall of Angulama community.
He prevented late Chief Oruwari Briggs and others from encroaching or trespassing in the territory of Angulama community and his effort to protect the Angulama community made him to deforest many lands around Angulama community including the land of Asari (present Buguma City Community), Omekwe Taria-ama, Omekwe-ama, Horsfall-ama, Okolo-aga etc, with his military influence and resources. His presence in Angulama community saved the community from further attacks and invasions by external aggressors.
7. HIS EXTENSION TO BILLE COMMUNITY
Late Chief Kala-Dokubo Horsfall Omekwe resources have today expanded into almost every community. One of his adopted sons by name, late Ngele, begat late Madam Obuta. Late Madam Obuta married to late Paa Nimi, a member of the household of Chief Kala-Dokubo Horsfall Omekwe and begat late Paa Chris Horsfall and late Paa Alali Horsfall.
Late Paa Alali Horsfall married to late Madam Bala of Bille community and begat the following: (a) Mr. Dearson Alali Horsfall (b) Late Paa Blessing Alali Horsfall (the father of General Alali Horsfall) (c) Late Paa Godknows Horsfall and (d)Late Paa Augustine Horsfall.
Also, late Chief Kala-Dokubo Horsfall Omekwe inherited daughter, late Madam Ebei, bore a son named Paa Kumprey Horsfall who bore late Paa Obene Horsfall that married to late Madam Iwo of Bille and begat the following; (a) Madam Kilali (b) late Madam Ombu (c) late Paa Mission Horsfall and (d) late Paa Hamilton Horsfall. Today, the descendants of late Chief Kala-Dokubo Horsfall Omekwe in Bile community have developed and progressed to a chieftaincy stool house.
8. HIS PROTECTION TO THE PEOPLE OF KE COMMUNITY
Late Chief Kala-Dokubo Horsfall Omekwe married two (2) women from Ke community namely Madams Orubian and Oruabere, and upon hearing the terror of a water spirit in disguise by name KALA-ISEE that was killing the people of Ke community, he carried the responsibility to protect the community from the act of the said KALA-ISEE by ambushing and conquering the said KALA-ISEE, whose head is still displayed as masquerade in Chief Kala-Dokubo Horsfall Omekwe Memorial hall. This singular act brought peace into the community of Ke.
9. MARITAL LIFE
Late Chief Kala-Dokubo Horsfall Omekwe married over forty two (42) women with large house hold units but only had two (2) biological sons, namely: late Chief Kio Fred Horsfall whose mother was late Madam Oru-abere who hail from Ke town, and late Chief Dateme Berry Horsfall whose mother late Madam Wariboko from Minama town.
10. FAMILY ARRANGEMENT
Late Chief Kala-Dokubo Horsfall Omekwe, before his death in 1895, arranged his family for unity and progression by handing over his bunch of keys of his estates to his nephew and step-son, late Chief Benebo Charles Wokoma with an instruction to install his biological first son, Late Chief Kio Fred Horsfall, to succeed him on his chieftaincy stool.