King Jaja Of Opobo 

Jaja was an Igbo or Ibo slave boy who at the age of 12 was bought by the Annie Pepple House of Bonny. He was a clever boy and he grew up to help his House in many ways. In 1869 he made head of the Annie Pepple House.

But there was another House, the house of Oko Jumbo that was stronger than Annie Pepple House. Jaja and his followers were not strong enough to defend themselves against the House of Oko Jumbo.

They escaped and settled at Opobo. Jaja became King of Opobo and he grew richer and more powerful . British marchants came to live at Opobo and brought wealth to the new state.

In 1875, Queen Victoria gave a sword of honor to Jaja because he had sent men to fight for the British in the Asante war. Jaja also helped in the British Consul to settle dispute in the Niger Delta area. Jaja did not allow the European to trade directly with the people on the Opobo River.

He wanted all the trade to pass through his own territory, so that he and his people would share in the wealth. The European merchants were angry about this. In 1884, Jaja signed an agreement with the British allowing the European to trade freely on the Opobo River. But Jaja's men still attacked the traders.

The British Consul invited King Jaja for a talk on board a British warship. He promised that Jaja would be free to go as soon as the talk ended. But the Consul did not keep his word. King Jaja was sent to Accra where he was tried before a court by the British and found guilty.

He was then sent to the Island of St. Vincent in the West Indies. Jaja did not stop appealing to be allowed to return to Opobo and his own people. In 1891, he was allowed to return but he died on the voyage home. His body was taken to Opobo and buried there.