Oraifite people, a sub cultural group under the Ibo Cultural umbrella, have since the presence of the white man and
his planting of exploring attitude, continued to permeate other land as their traditional fathers had done.
The reasons why these attitudes are present are the need to conquer, trade, and establish some kind of independence for themselves and mostly for their immediate prosperity.
At the dawn of the 20th century, Christianity has taken a substantial influence on her Oraifite people through education
and job opportunity.
It was becoming elite to have one family member who could interpret the white man's babble thus holding an important role in the society.
It was not difficult to isolate a village man who has had contact with the different culture or exposure.
This apparent or potential success sparked the enthusiasm for the need to expand through foreign expansion.
Therefore, this reason prompted people to gain some kind of venture attitude.
Uncles, Aunts, Cousins, Brothers & Sisters never left any opportunity unfilled without having his relative in.
It is with this background that we are exploring some of the efforts of these pioneers of Oraifite people in Lagos.
Lagos, our economic capital was the hub of all different tribes including the native Yoruba tribe
that inhabits the region.
At the end of Slave trade and return of our former brethren, Lagos mothered different businesses, federal entity and private concerns.
Oraifite people could not be denied a share of the pie. Hence the trickling of Orais to the capital city at the early decades of the 20th century.
As the story went, Chief. Theo "Eze ife ka ibeya" Odiaka
(Sam Odiaka's grandfather) was one of the early-enlisted policemen.
He was impressed with his job and the economic growth that like Good Ibolo-Oraifite Pioneer Men he called upon his cousin, Mr. Godefry Ugbaja to hasten for an open space in the recruit placement in the Police dept at Ikeja.
As soon as they were trained and deployed at any station, they became the talk of the village especially in his immediate Obi.
He became a source of strength to his loyal and awe to potential enemies. No one dared messed with the family members for fear of strict handedness from the government.
Jail time was equated with a doomed life. As these men came home and got their wives both old and new, built
new homes or showed some kind of monetary prowess, everyone wanted to be like them.
Hence parents had to plead with these heroes to take their brethren to this land of gold. Of course, who could deny the affluence of the society then?
So as one brother came, the population multiplied exponentially until the third and fourth decades, when the news had spread,
gained much attention that people who were employed in some kind of federal concern, sort for transfer to Lagos.
At this time other pioneers, such as Dr. Ndukwe, MD & Clement Ndukwe became fixtures of hope and encouragement.
They were both engaged in the Nigerian Railways as Doctor, Chairman of the Lagos Amateur Football Association in the Sixties.
As these were setting their workshops, several other persons started making their way to the Capital City.
Among these were Daniel Igbokwe of the then P&T, dept of Communication. His cousin, Emmanuel Nzelu, who had just
ended his tour of duty with the Joint Nigerian & British army where he served in Burma & India during the
World War 11, where he distinguished himself, joined him to start the next family.
Many other Oraifitans from other quarters emerged into the new foreign fame. Before there was any rowdiness, there were many were thinking there should be some kind of association to recognize each other and help one another since they were in foreign land.
As mentioned earlier, other Ibo sub groups were sprouting under the umbrella of Ibo Union.
This need to get recognition prompted these pioneers to form the Oraifite Improvement Union (OIU) after series of so called
meetings on Sundays.
This idea was sealed with annual celebration called OIU Anniversary attended by almost all Oraifite families on a designated date usually a Saturday.
There the children got to know their fellow Orais and their aunts and uncles. Oraifite was then duly represented in the Ibo Union, which was the parent of all Ibos in Lagos.
The rest of the Orais in other parts began such gathering to account for all persons. It was not difficult to see the Unity of all Oraifite during meetings in Orai home branch.
We do hope that pioneering spirit of our forerunners in Lagos would be a Springboard to propel this generation in a New World to a greater height.
This modern history of Oraifite was written By: Mr. Daniel Igbokwe
[source: Modern history of Oraifite was taken from www.OraifiteUSA.org site. ]