Like most communities of Esaland, Ewu traditional called Eilu, has been where it is from time immemorial, and just like other Esan communities was governed by the Ikolo Edion ( a council of eldest men from each locality).
However, between 1440 and 1465, during the reign of Oba Ewuare, when the then powerful Benin kingdom was expanding its territories, and imposing tax on subject communities, the Uzea kingdom had to contend with the powerful kingdom of Benin on whom will collect taxes from Esaland, courtesy of the booming cotton business of Esaland.
Ewu was invaded by the Benin forces with the help of their strong military garrison. The Benins believed that they needed a place close to enough to effectively checkmate the ‘stubborn’ Uzea, and eventually invade the kingdom to subdue it.
Ewu was invaded between 1440 and 1465, and a viceroy (protege) of the Oba of Benin, from Oza, was installed as the Onojie. His naw was Ozaine. He was the first Onojie of Ewu, and his palace was located at Ehanlen which was the aboriginals of the Ewu people.
The palace was later moved from Ehanlen to a new settlement which was carved out of Ehanlen and Ihenwen called Eguare. This happened because of the succession crisis between Ughulu, Ekpebua and Uwamien, three brothers who contested for the throne. Ughulu of Eghanlen was the oldest, Ekpebua of Eguare ( the current dynasty) was the second and Uwamien of Uzogholo was the youngest.
For some controversial reasons, Ughulu was denied the throne, a version of the story said he was denied the throne because his name meant vulture, which was forbidden in Benin kingdom, another version ( the more credible one) said he was denied the throne because he was mentally challenged. Their grandfather, the Oba of Benin ruled that the younger one ( Ekpebua) should hold the throne until Ughulu’s mental issues is resolved.
Ekpebua eventually became king and Ughulu, who was the only son of his mother, became furious and accused Ekpebua of forcefully taking the throne, a battle ensued and Ekpebua, afraid of Ughulu who was a mighty man in battle, fled to Eguare where he built his palace. Ughulu continued to reign at Ehanlen, and Uwamien, the youngest and peaceful one moved quietly to Uzoghulu.
In an attempt to curtail the conflict between the brothers, it was agreed that the three families ( Ughulu , Ekpebua, and Uwamien) would constitute the kingmakers of the nation, and currently, they are the kingmakers in Ewu called the Egbemian.
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