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Bantu is said to be a general term for over 400 ethnic groups in Africa…. and united by a common language called Bantu. They are presently in Kenya,
Congo, Tanzania, the Zambia, etc

But where did they originate from?
According to Bantu-McGill C.s (online source), “The Bantu first originated around the Benue-Cross River
areas of Nigeria and spread over Africa to the Zambia area”

According to History of Bantu people-African Global News (online source), “The original homeland of the
Bantu community people is believed to have been West Africa along the boundary of what is today Nigeria and Cameroon”.

Note: Benue state shares boundary with Cameroon, so, it is still referring to
the same place as in the first source.
According to Mark Cartwright (online source),”The migration of the Bantu people from their origins in southern West Africa ……… crossing from Nigeria to Kenya ….”. And so on.

But who are the Bantu people in Nigeria presently? Which tribe is presently called Bantu in Benue state
or Nigeria as a whole? Where are the located? Or did all of them migrate from Nigeria and left no family or persons behind? Not even aged people or pregnant women were left behind since their migration was because of farming and other businesses and not because of war or any natural disasters.

No, some people must remain behind
especially since they journey they were to travel (Nigeria- Congo and Kenya and Tanzania and …) was very far. Then, which tribe or people in Nigeria or Benue state or cross river are called Bantu?

Well, no tribe is called Bantu in the entire Nigeria and not just Benue or Cross River state. The truth is
that Bantu was not their original tribe but a name used to describe the group since they were of over 400 ethnic groups.

According to online sources, the word, Bantu was first used by Wilhelm Black in 1857 to describe the group, stating that Bantu means “people” or “Humans” from “Ba-ntu”. But honestly, neither PEOPLE nor HUMANS can be a name of a tribe? In addition, they were said to consist of over 400 ethnic groups.

In other words, the name, Bantu was used by other person or people to describe them and not them
identifying themselves as Bantu at the beginning. Then, in Nigeria, who were they initially before been given the tribe, Bantu?

From my investigations, there is only one tribe in Nigeria that shares common unique signatures with
some Bantu people in Kenya. That signature is Atigala, Igara and Atigara, which some of them bear as names as well as name of their towns such as
Igara in Bisau of Kenya.

In the entire Nigeria, and Benue state in particular,there is no tribe or ethnic group that is associated with Igara, Atigara or Atigala except Igala people.
The Igara people of Edo state, Atagara of Borno state and Atagara of Kebbi state of Nigeria are all of Igala root too.

In conclusion, if truly that some Bantu people migrated from Benue state (where over 45 towns were founded by Igala people mostly from Attah
Igala’s clan, which is the signature (Atigala, Igara or Atigara) they carried along to Kenya, ...) or Nigeria in general according to the various sources above,
then the Bantu people sharing these unique signatures (Atigala, Igara or Atigara as names or communities) with Igala ethnic group in Nigeria were originally Igala and are still Igala irrespective of their present identities influenced by their geographical locations.

Note: People all over the world travel home to locate or reconnect with their roots, thus looking for your own people who left you or home many years
or centuries ago but have not reconnected with you is not a bad idea. Let us reconnect, our Kenyan Atigalas, Igaras, and Atigaras that were from Benue state or Nigeria in general. Thank you.

Amb Ayegba Abdullahi Aduojoh,
National Coordinator, Igala People Discovery and
Reconnection Project of Attah Igala.

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