According to speculated information, King Jaja of Opobo was born in 1821, he was the third son of his parents, the Okwaraozurumba in the lineage of Umuduruoha of Amaigbo village group in the South eastern Nigeria. He was sold into slavery to the Southern part of Nigeria under unclear circumstances.
But one thing is certain, Jaja arrived Bonny land as a slave and it was there he was given the name, Jubo Jubogha by his first master. The name would later be shortened to Jaja, by the British. He was later sold to Chief Alali, the head of the Opubo Annie Pepple Royal House. At a very young age, Jaja proved to be one with great entrepreneurial skills.
Jaja was soon recognized as one of the smartest business men in the city-state. At a very young age, he exuded such a strong command for business. His intelligence in the aspect of business was soon to help him become one of the greatest leaders of the head of the Anna Pepple House. When the head of the Anna Pepple died, no one at the time wanted to fill the seat as the house seems to have incurred some debts and owed the British a lot of money. Jaja fearlessly took up this responsibility as head and in under 2 years, paid off the debt.
Opobo came to dominate the region’s palm oil trade, and controlled fourteen of what were formerly Bonny’s eighteen trade houses. Jaja blocked the access of British merchants to the interior, effectively monopolizing trade; Opobo also shipped palm oil directly to developed countries, independent of British middlemen.
At the 1884 Berlin Conference, the Europeans designated Opobo as British territory. When Jaja refused to cease taxing the British traders, Henry Hamilton a British vice consul, invited Jaja for negotiations in 1887. Jaja was arrested on arrival aboard a British vessel, he was tried in Accra Ghana then exiled to London and then the West Indies and Barbados.
In 1891, Jaja was granted permission to return to Opobo, but died on the way. Following his exile and death, the power of the Opobo state rapidly declined.
SOURCE: legit.ng, en.wikipedia.org