GENERAL BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
According to Garvin and Mathios (1956), language performs a unifying and separate function. This term refer to the feelings of the members of a society or a social group that they are united and identified with others who speak the same language and that they contrast with or are separated from those who do not.
Language from another perspective is a system of signals including voice sounds, gesture or written symbols which encodes and decodes information(wikipedia). Language is an instrument of socialization. This includes among others greetings, political expressions and the likes (Yussuf, 2009).
1.1.1 THE HISTORY AND DEVELOPMENT OF ADIM
There is no consensus among the people of Adim as to where their Ancestors came from. Some people believe that their forefathers came from Otum Usa, while others believe that they had always lived where they find themselves today and that they did not come from anywhere else. Many elderly people accept the tradition that their origin is located around the area known as Otum Usa settlement in Ebom-Ebijiakara, the eastern bank of the Cross River in the present Abi Local Government Area and that their ancestors dispersed from the region and first settled in Orum-Ugom along old Abredang Road.
1.1.2 MIGRATION AND PATTERN OF SETTLEMENT
The community which came to be known as Adim in Biase Local Government Area consists of five desperate groups. Those claiming that their origin is from Isobo Area, those claiming origin from Old Otum Usa settlement and those who believe that the people of Adim migrated from the Calabar Estuary (Eyong, 2005).
188.8.131.52 ISOBO AREA ORIGIN
The tradition from Agwagwune avers that some Adim people were originally Igbos in the present Abi Local Government Area who came from Isobo area. This source further claim that the ancestors of these people were driven out of their original home by a more powerful group and this development sent this inhabitant on a process of migration. In this process, the Adim people came in contact with the Agwagwune during the headship of Onun Eo Oti. Arising from generosity of this leader, the Adim people were given a place of land to settle on.
The source further disclosed that on settling in this present location, the Agwagwune people gave them a name ‘Adimi mo Abba’, which literarily translates as ‘people pressed to the ground’. This name was given to them because of their defeat in a battle in their former settlement at Isobo.
However, this tradition is still far from being true.
184.108.40.206 OTUM-USA ORIGIN
My informant, Chief Eni Eko claimed that Adim migrated from a place called Otum-Usa meaning old settlements. Otum-Usa in Adim dialect is referred to as Orum Inuk. It was situated between Usumulong and former settlement of Ebom Ebijiakara both in Bahumono clan in the present Abi Local Government Area.
The informant asserted that a Bahumono man killed one Adim woman and the people of Adim wanted to retaliate. This development brought about a strained relationship between the Adim people and the Bahumono people. This situation forced the people of Adim to flee from Otum-Usa and moved in southwards direction and eventually arrived at the present site and established a small settlement. These settlements were Inuk-Ogama-Igeme, Inamoka, Arumigom, Onile-ejak, Ogwa, Orum-iton and Ogwe.
Some other people believed that the eruption of a fight following the murder of an Adim woman was not the reason for their migration from Bahumono area, rather, they attributed the cause of their fight to the struggle to acquire more lands and more fishing ponds. Yet others claimed that apart from this petty quarrelling and fighting, other likely cause of their movement was on grounds of famine and epidemic. Since the people were always fighting, less emphasis was placed on agriculture, leading to famine which was consistently epidemic.
Another major proponent of this view is Dr. Ajah Ekpeni Obia who asserted that the name Adim was a corrupt form, colonial coinage of Arum, original tongue and shortened form of ‘Arumerume’. He claimed that the people called Arumerume comprise of five distinct groups of families or clans sharing a common history of tribe, migration and unification. These ancestral families were Arum. Different from the whole community which came to bear the same name(Eyong, 2005).
Evidence also pointed to the fact that in the cause of migration of the semi-bantu (Ekoi) people up the Cross River Estuary, these families of Arumerume first settled in a place called Otum-Usa in the present Abi Local Government Area. Otum Usa was located on a highland situated to the eastern bank of Cross River and sandwiched between Usumutong and former Ebom-Ejiakark homeland. He argued further that the desire to search for fertile plains that could support agriculture propelled the people to migrate down hill and southeast towards the present settlement of Adim.
According to Dr. Obia, the family of Arum led by Onun Echu Otala Ogbuenyi duba first settled in a place called Orum-Ugom. This group or family had its own unique cultural and leadership structures. Originally, there were about eleven households or villages that form Arum clan. Amongst the renowned societies and deities of this ancient clan were Abu-Ukpan, Oduba and Iyase. This was the largest and strongest economically and militarily. That was why its name gradually became the common identity for the emergent union.
He opined that other four groups or families migrated later, after being assured of the habitable land by the pioneer group. The Emomolo group led by Onun Owor Ewelu settled at Onoli-Ejak and so on.
Another tradition explains that the people of Adim are the Ekoi tribe which migrate from Cameroun during the great Exodus of 15th century AD. They had come along with Umon Island on the Cross River. The source further disclosed that as a result of the incessant invasion by the neighbouring villages like Agwagwune, Ablep, Ugep and Abini, the people of Adim resolved to unite in order to face their enemies and to guard against total extermination. One of such invasion was the combined attack of Ugep people from the north and Agwagwune.