RELATIONS BETWEEN IGBO AND THE NIGER DELTA STATES
The non-centralised states of the Igbos of the South-eastern Nigeria interacted actively with close and distant neighbours like the Igala, Bini and Ijo. Some Igbo communities such as Nri and the Arochukwu had more influence and interactions outside their areas. The Arochukwu commercial and religious influences played important roles in determining the relationship between the Igbo communities and their non-Igbo neighbours.
The Arochukwu oracle of “Long Juju” was believed to have developed out of a local Ibibio shrine, Ibritam in the Cross River estuary. The Arochukwu concentrated on trade and spiritual services from neighbouring communities to carry out their lucrative commercial activities with the people of Bende and Uburu.
Furthermore, the trade with the Europeans brought the Igbo into a closer contact with the Ijo and Efik who acted as intermediaries. The first result was that it was common to see the Ijo and Efik speak Igbo language. Some Igbo people speak Ijo and Efik languages.