Introduction / History Nigeria, whose name is derived from its major river, the Niger, is the most populous country in Africa. Initially composed of a number of ethnic kingdoms and states, the area of present-day Nigeria was brought under British rule by 1906. It became an independent state on October 1, 1960.
Following a period of tension among its ethnic groups, especially the Yoruba of the southwest, the Ibo of the southeast, and the Hausa and Fulani of the north, Nigeria was ruled by the military from 1966 to 1979. During the period from 1967 to 1970, peoples of the southeast unsuccessfully attempted to secede from Nigeria by forming the Republic of Biafra.
The Ogori-Magongo are located in the Kogi area of southwestern Nigeria. Ogori and Magingo are separate villages in this area.
Little is known concerning the specific lifestyle and culture of the Ogori-Magongo, but it is reasonably assumed that they are fairly typical of the other ethnic groups in the region. Oludo from Ile-Ife was supposedly the first settler in Magongo about 500 years ago. The town derived its name from Unagogo, one of the sons of Oludo.Magongo is well know to be the town that accepts visitors.
What are their lives like? With a large number of ethnic groups, Nigeria is a linguistic, social, and cultural mosaic. Nearly three-quarters of the population consists of the Hausa and Fulani of the north, the Yoruba of the southwest, and the Ibo of the southeast. Other groups include the Edo, Ijaw, and Ibibio of the south, the Nupe and Tiv of the central part of the country, and the Kanuri of the northeast.
Nigeria has two distinct climatic zones. Along the coast, the climate is characterized by high humidity and heavy rainfall. To the north, the tropical continental air mass brings dry, dusty winds (harmattan) from the Sahara Desert. The temperature and the amount of rainfall vary considerably, depending on the season and area.
Like most other peoples in this part of Nigeria, the Ogori-Magongo are subsistence farmers, growing millet, maize, guinea corn, and beans. They also raise animals such as goats, sheep, chickens, dogs, and horses. Goats, sheep, and chickens are eaten, along with monkey and iguana, which is a delicacy. Dogs are used for hunting and for guarding the compounds at night. Fowl are used only for ceremonial purposes. The Ogori-Magongo also engage in hunting, fishing, and some trading, but these are of lesser importance than farming.
The Ogori-Magongo live in compact villages located either in the hills or in dense forests. Their houses are made of mud, with grass roofs covering an outer porch and granary. Each village is a clan community separated into extended family compounds. The village headman handles village affairs with the help of a council of elders.
Marriage usually involves a long process of bride-service, coupled with gifts or a modest bride-price. Most tribes permit polygyny (having more than one wife), but the first wife usually enjoys a higher status. Subsequent wives usually maintain separate huts, and the husband divides his time among all his wives.
Trade is not highly developed in this part of Africa, but regular markets are reported for quite a number of groups.
What are their beliefs? About half of the Nigerians are Christians, with Roman Catholics chiefly in the southeast and Methodists and Anglicans being most influential in the southwest. Another almost half of Nigeria's people are Muslim, the majority of whom live in the north. Traditional religions are practiced by the remaining percentage of the population. Among the Ogori-Magongo, nearly all are ethnic religionists, still practicing their tribal religion.
What are their needs? Although the Ogori-Magongo live in a nation where half of the population is Christian, they remain unreached with the message of salvation. They follow the traditions and religious practices of their forefathers. Sadly, the Ogori-Magongo have few Christian resources available to them in their own language. Pioneer missionary efforts and fervent prayer are needed to impact these people with the Gospel message.
Prayer Points * Ask the Lord to call Nigerian Christians to share the love of Christ with the Ogori-Magongo.
* Ask the Lord to raise up linguists to translate the Word of God into the Oko-eni-osayen language.
* Pray that signs and wonders will follow the Ogori-Magongo believers as they proclaim the Gospel to their people.
* Ask God to raise up prayer warriors who will intercede for the Ogori-Magongo.
* Ask the Lord to bring forth a holy and vigorous Ogori-Magongo church for the glory of His name! * Pray for translation of the Bible to begin in this people group's primary language. * Pray for the availability of the Jesus Film in the primary language of this people.