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Peter Akpogbue Okwuegbue
b. 1928
Anglican
Nigeria

Peter Akpogbue was an important figure who assisted Godwin Ikuasum Okeriaka and Abraham Osuam Osaele in their pioneering initiatives and later continued their work. He was Mr. Okeriaka's personal assistant. He received his education from the C.M.S school at Emu. b. 1928 Peter Akpogbue Okwuegbue was born on September 12, 1928 into a poor family. He was brought up by his maternal kinsman Chief Wejah, a rich textile trader. Chief Wejah was the chairman of the school's committee board. He had a great interest in the school and loved the teachers, so much so that he took his cousin Peter to the head teacher to be educated. Peter lived with the head teacher. On his own, Wejah attended the evening school with the sole aim of learning how to read the alphabet and to write his name.

Of the eleven pupils Chief Wejah sent to school, only Peter that was able to endure the rigors and flogging that went along with learning. He also benefitted from the Emu Textile Trader's Union scholarship in 1943. He was such a brilliant pupil that by 1946 he could read but could not write.

In 1952 he went to CMS College Oleh for a one year course. In 1953 he became a CMS teacher at Emu and in 1955 he went to Extra Teacher's Training College (E.T.T.C) Warri. He was then transferred from the CMS school to the Council school because the Council owned E.T.T.C. In 1965 he enrolled in college and graduated in 1967. At this time he was transferred to Abbi whence he conducted church services both in Emu and in Abbi. In 1969 he was stationed in Emu Uno to head both the school and the church.

At this time the church walls were plastered and more new benches were made. While a pupil at the CMS School from 1933 to 1952, he helped pack sand from a nearby stream used to mold the church bricks and to build the church. He was the only man who escorted Madam Mary Ibeso and other women when they went to gather white clay from a distant stream.

When he headed the school, he was the object of little or no persecution from the community. There are three possible reasons for this. First, the school, which was inseparable from the church, was for the good of the whole community. Second, his kinsman, Chief Wejah, through whom the church and school had acquired their present site, was very influential. Third, he did not overtly or even covertly oppose Emu traditional norms, values, and practices.

In 1961, he had to face a scandal in his personal life that disrupted his work at the CMS school and church. His wife accused him of infidelity before the bishop of Asaba Diocese who suspended him. His wife divorced him and he remarried six months later. Immediately after his suspension he left the CMS School for the Local Authority (L.A.) School. The unfortunate effect of his move was that many pupils left the CMS School for the L.A. School. This and the unbearable shame of the scandal made him ask the L.A. school to transfer him to the Local Authority School at Umutu directed by James Ogoro.

At Umutu, he proved his calling as head teacher. His work was so successful that the CMS authority at Umutu approached him and asked him to return to Emu Uno. Returning to Emu Uno was not to his advantage, for he had already made great strides at Umutu. Nevertheless, for the love of his hometown, he left everything behind at Umutu to go back to Emu Uno. But as the recent scandal was still fresh in the hearts of the people, he could not bear to stay there any longer and asked for a transfer to Amai. There he established a CMS school and a church at Ishomum.

Following the takeover of mission schools by the government in 1970, Peter Akpogbue retired and finally returned to Emu Uno where he cared for the church from 1970 to 1978. Presently he is a member of the church council of St. Peter's Anglican Church Emu Uno. He also gave one of his personal houses to be a parsonage.

Jones Ugochukwu Odili


Selected Bibliography:

Primary Sources (personal interviews)

Abandi, Gloria, age 45, farmer, interview in Obodeti on 15-06-02.
Abandi, Pius, age 61, retired civil servant, interview in Obodeti on 14-06-02.
Abmokwe, Ikogori P., age 72, Odibo priest, interview in Obodeti on 5-01-02.
Agbadaba, Paul, age 76, Ndichie priest, interview in Obodeti on 5-01-02.
Amaweh, John, age 75, farmer, interview in Obodeti on 9-01-02.
Agwamm, Johnson, age 86, retired civil servant, interview in Emu Uno on 14-07-02.
Ayanbine, Benedict O., age 76, retired teacher, interview in Emu Uno on 8-08-02.
Eke, Johnson, age 87, farmer, interview in Obiogo on 5-07-02.
Enudinuju, Ozeh, age 83, priestess, interview in Emu Uno on 23-03-02.
Idu, Comfort, age 43, trader, interview in Obodeti on 10-06-02.
Idu, Ikechukwu, age 36, civil servant, interview in Obodeti on 12-06-02.
Idu, John, age 66, lay leader, interview in Obodeti on 01-06-02.
Idu, Rudolf, age 28, civil servant, interview in Obodeti on 12-06-02.
Igor, Godwin, age 42, clergy, interview in Emu Uno on 16-04-02.
Igwala, Andrew, age 72, farmer, interview in Emu Uno on 30-06-02.
Ilu, Johnson, age 48, HRH, interview in Emu Uno on 10-07-02.
Izege, Beatrice, age 68, priestess, interview in Emu Uno on 7-02-02.
Johnson, Diabiagu, age 45, farmer, interview in Emu Uno on 17-02-02.
Kpolokpolo, Diana, age 93, trader, interview in Obodeti on 18-01-02.
Maduagu, Alfred, age 78, retired civil servant, interview in Obodeti on 25-06-02.
Maledo, Comfort, age 48, trader, interview in Emu Uno on 13-07-02.
Maledo, John, age 43, civil servant, interview in Emu Uno on 15-07-02.
Maledo, Richard, age 30, civil servant, interview in Emu Uno on 13-07-02.
Nwafiri, Steven, age 32, catechist, interview in Obodeti on 11-06-02.
Ochonogor, Andrew, age 75, retired teacher, interview in Emu Uno on 4-04-02.
Ochonogor, Angelina, age 47, trader, interview in Emu Uno on 06-06-02.
Ogbom, Idiagbon Y., age 82, clergy, interview in Obodeti on 12-04-02.
Ojuma, Chukwu, age 110, Ada, interview in Obodeti on 06-01-02.
Okolie, Samue, age l38, catechist, interview in Emu Uno on 28-07-02.
Okoligwe, Anamali, age 44, trader, interview in Emu Uno on 26-07-02.
Okoligwe, Enuknekwu G., age 63, retired teacher, interview in Emu Uno on 26-07-02.
Okongi, Mathew, age 58, catechist, interview in Iyasele on 28-06-02.
Okoro, Celina, age 50, trader, interview in Ebendo on 07-07-02.
Okorocha, Johnson A., age 96, clergy, interview in Ebendo on 08-06-02.
Okoyoku, Paul, age 57, clergy, interview in Ebendo on 08-06-02.
Okuegbe, Akpogbue P., age 63, retired teacher, interview in Emu Uno on 13-06-02.
Omesa, Mary, age 83, Egine, interview in Emu Uno on 13-02-02.
Omoso, John, age 54, farmer, interview in Ebendo on 07-06-02.
Omojo, Comfort, age 38, trader, interview in Obiogo on 19-07-02.
Onyefuniaga, Osa, age 92, Okwa, interview in Obodeti on 03-03-02.
Osabiku, Andrew, age 56, retired teacher, interview in Emu Uno on 15-07-02.
Osademe, Mathew, age 52, clergy, interview in Emu Uno on 19-07-02.
Osaele, Osuam Chukwuka, age 65, farmer, interview in Emu Uno on 23-07-02.
Osaele, Osuam, Innocent, age 45, farmer, interview in Emu Uno on 23-03-02.
Osifigbhor, Grace, age 70, retired teacher, interview in Obodeti on 24-03-02.
Owete, Okobi E., age 89, farmer, interview in Emu Uno on 24-03-02.
Patrick, Nwaesunaka, age 58, farmer, interview in Obiogo on 20-07-02.


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Journal Articles

Adogbo, M. P. "The Search for the Biblical Satan in Urhobo Traditional Religion." The Nigerian Journal of Theology 17 (June 2003). Pp.27-38.
Ajayi, J. F. A. "Bishop Crowther: An Assessment," Odu (1968). Pp.3-19.
Ajayi, W. O. "Aspect of Protestant Missionary Work in Northern Nigeria" Odu 3:1 (July, 1966). Pp.41-55.
Akama, E. S. "The Initial Growth and Problems of the Pioneering Mission Churches in Isokoland of Nigeria (1914-1944)" Journal of Religon, and Culture (2002). Pp.7-23.
Aiman, Jean. "Making Mothers Missionaries, Medical Officers and Women's Work in Colonial Asante, 1924-1945" History Workshop Journal 38 (1994). Pp.23-47.
Ayandele, E. A. "The Missionary Factor and Northern Nigeria, 1879-1918." Journal of the Historical Society of Nigeria, 3:3 (Dec. 1966). Pp.503-522.
Bevans, S. "Doing Theology in North America: A Contextual Model." The Gospel and Our Culture. Holland Western Theological Seminary (1993). Pp.43-67.
Danmole, H. O. "The Crescent and the Cross in the Frontier Emirate: Ilorin in the 19th century." Orita Ibadan Journal of Religious Studies xvii: 1. (June, 1985). Pp.23-36.
Fisher, H. "Conversion Reconsidered: Some Historical Aspects of Historical Conversion in Black Africa." Africa 43 (1974). Pp.128-152.
Haney, M. S. "Issues of Contextualization: Christians and Muslims" Studies in World Christianity 3:2 (1997). Pp.154-179.
Horton, R. "African Conversion" Africa 41 (1971). Pp.85-108.
Ifemesia, C. C. "The Civilizing Mission of 1841." Journal of Historical Society of Nigeria 2:3 (1962). Pp.138-157.
Ikenga-Metuh, E. "Religious Concepts in West Africa Cosmogonies." Journal of Religion in Africa xxxii: 1 (1982). Pp.11-24.
Kenny, J. "Religious Movements in Nigeria: Divisive or Cohesive? Some Interpretative Models." Orita Ibadan Journal of Religious Studies, xvi: 2 (Dec 1984). Pp.111-128.
Kolapo, F. "CMS Missionaries of African Origin and Extra-Religious Encounter at the Niger-Benue Confluence, 1858-1880." African Studies Review (Sept 2000). Pp.87-115.
Liu, William and Beatrice Leung. "Organisational Revivalism: Explaining the Metamorphosis of China's Catholic Church." Journal of Scientific Study of Religion 4:1 (2002). Pp.121-138.
Mills, J. O. Commentary. New Blackriars[sic] (Jan. 1984). Pp.1-5.
Onaiyekan, J. "What We Saw and Heard at the African Synod." Bulletin of Ecumenical Theology 6:2 (1994). Pp.1-12.
Raheb, M. "Contextualizing the Scriptures: Towards a New Understanding of the Quran--an Arab-Christian Perspective." Studies in World Christianity 3:2 (1997). Pp.180-201.
Schlorff, S. P. "Muslim and Christian Apologetic." Missiology: An International Review (April 1993). Pp.289-301.
Strayer, R. "Mission History in Africa: New Perspectives on an Encounter." African Studies Review 19:1 (1976). Pp.1-15.
Thomas, S. "Transforming the Gospel of Domesticity: Luhya Girls and Friends African Mission, 1917-1926." African Studies Review 4:2 (Sept. 2000). Pp.1-27.
Turner, P. "The Wisdom of the Fathers and the Gospel of Christ: Some Notes on Christian Adoption in Africa." Journal of Religion in Africa iv: 1 (1974). Pp.45-68.
Wilson, F. R. "The San Antonio Report: Your Will Be Done--Mission in Christ's Way." WCC Publications, 1990.

This story, received in 2003, was reprinted with permission from "The Role of Indigenous Agents in the Advent and Growth of the Anglican Church in Emu Clan of Delta State 1911 - 2002," a Masters thesis (Department of Religious and Cultural Studies, University of Port Harcourt, Choba, Rivers State, Nigeria) by Mr. Jones Ugochukwu Odili.