History of Yakurr

The Yakurr which is mostly mispronounced and misspelled as Yakö, Yakạạ, or Yakuur formally comprises five villages, which were formally known as Umor, Ekoli, Ilomi, Nkoibolokom, and Yakurr be Ibe. This Article focuses on “The Origin and Migration of the YAKURR People“.

But due to linguistic problems encountered by foreigners and visitors, the settlements have come to be known by their mispronounced versions – Ugep, Ekori, Idomi, Nko, and Mkpani.

The Mkpani people were given the name Mkpani by the Ugep people after being tricked into a conflict. The Mkpani name it is a product of Yakpanikpani (which means tricks in the Lokaa language).

Migration and Origin Of Yakurr

The Origin and Migration of YAKURR from their ancestral homeland started in about AD 1617, when a conflict arose between the Yakurr people and their neighbours, “Akpa”.

To read full details about the Conflict and the Migration, Click here.

According to Mr. Ubi (1986 and 1978), the migratory history of the Yakurr people is that, between 1617 and 1677, the Yakurr migrated from their ancestral homeland to look for a new homeland because of the defeat by Akpa.

About 1617 AD, some Yakurr migrants founded their present locations. These locations are Idomi and Ugep. Between 1677 and 1707, some other Yakurr migrants founded the towns of Ekori and Nko. while between 1707 and 1737 yet another wave of Yakurr migrants founded Mkpani settlement.

Today, the Yakurr local Government comprises Ugep, Idomi, Ekori, Nko, Mkpani, Nyima, Assiga Old Town, Assiga New Town, Ekpenti, Agoi Mbami, Agoi Ekpo of which Ugep is their Headquarters. But only the first five Towns originated from Akpa while the rest got their origin somewhere else.

Language Of The Yakurr People

Lokạạ is the language spoken by the Yakurr people. The Lokạạ language is described by Iwara (1988) as one of the major languages of Cross River State, comparable, in terms of the number of speakers, with Efik, which enjoys the special status of a lingua franca in the State.

The Lokaa language is of the Bantu linguistic family. Bantu, means “the people” and is a linguistic classification of a group of closely related languages spoken in the linguistic boundary known, as the Bantu line, which runs from the south-eastern area of Nigeria, through Central and Eastern Africa to Southern Africa. Some people have often misunderstood Bantu to be a racial classification, which it is not.

Location Of The Yakurr People

The Yakurr people share their northern and eastern boundaries with Assiga, Nyima, and Agoi People of the Yakurr Local Government Area, the southern boundary with Biase Local Government Area, and the western boundary with Abi Local Government Area.

Yakurr lies between latitudes 50 401 and 60 101 north of the equator and longitudes 80 21 and 60 101 east of the Greenwich Meridian and 120 km (75 miles) northwest of Calabar the capital City of Cross River State, Nigeria.

The population of Yakurr based on the 2006 national census was rejected by the local and state government due to discrepancies in the result. The 2023 census result by the Nigerian government is awaited to know the current population of the Yakurr people.

Yakurr Culture

The people of Yakurr did not just leave Akpa without any cultural heritage, they left with most of the cultures that were being practiced in Akpa, and that is the culture they practice to date.

Some of these cultures are: “Leboku Festival”, “Ebelembi”, “Obam”, “Ukwa”, “Opko”, “Ejom”, ETC.

To read full details about the Origin and significance of the Leboku Festival, Click here.

Also, Read The Following:


Yakurr Names and their Meanings, Gender & Origin

Yakurr Names That Do Not Have Meanings 

Migration and Origin of the Ugep People

Leboku Festival 2022 – Full Documentation


Origin and Significance of The Bekwara New Yam Festival

To Watch the Yakurr Culture, Leboku Festival, and other Traditional Videos, Click Here.


  • Crabb, D. W. (1969) Ekoi Bantu Languages of Ogoja, Oxford University Press, London.
  • Enang, S. B. (1980) Mkpani Pre-Colonial History, University of Calabar B. A. History Project.
  • Iwara, A. U. (1988) Reading and Writing Lokạạ, Institute of African Studies University of Ibadan, Ibadan.
  • Okoi-Uyouyo, M. (2002) Yakurr Systems of Kinship, Family and Marriage, Bookman, Calabar
  • Ubi, O. A. (1986) “Analysis of Two Bronzes from a Nigerian Asunaju Shrine: A Rejoinder” Africana Marburgensia xix, pp. 7–8.
  • Ubi, O. A. (1978) The Yakurr: A Reconstruction of PreColonial History, University of Lagos PhDThesis. History

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