During the Aro-Ibibio wars between the Aro and Obong-Oko-Ita over the ownership of Aro Chukwu, they reached a stalemate so the Aro invited Akpa warriors from Akamkpa led by two brothers Akuma and Osei, they also invited A chief priest of Agwu from Edda (near Afikpo) called Nnachi,
To consolidate their victory they assimilated the Ibom-isi (the section where the ibibio lived) into Arochukwu and adopted their shrine... the Ibritam shrine and the deity (the original arusi) within i.e the Ibini Ukpabi
The Oracle was consulted by all and sundry and the ever pragmatic Aro saw the potential,
Nnachi who replaced Akuma as Eze Aro adopted the shrine as the chief Aro shrine and it became the abode of Chukwuabiama (Great Spirit)
The Eze Aro was the Eze Chukwu (chief priest of Chukwu)
The ChukwuAbiama which the shrine was named show the interplay between the Aro and ibibio language, it stems from two words Chukwu (Great Spirit) and Abiama - Abia which is the Ibibio cognate of the Igbo word Dibia meaning a doctor and Ama which means revelation or secret knowledge, thus Abiama is a diviner, the name Chukwuabiama means God of the diviner, and true to the name it was an Oracle to which all and sundry came to consult to know the truth about something or to get answers from God, in those days if one prays at the Oracle and obtains a child he would call him Nwachukwu that is why Nwachukwu surnames are common all over southern Igbo, the other name by which the shrine was also known by “ibini ukpabi” meaning the talking drum of the almighty, has led to the name ukpabi being common in the area.
Since the Oracle recieved devotees from as far as Ejagham, Calabar, Nsukka, down south to Isiokpo, the Aro capitalized on that to trick and sell thousands and thousands of Southern Nigerians into slavery, most people who get missing in the caves were presumed to have been struck dead by Chukwu whereas the Aro kidnapped and smuggled the victim out and sold him to waiting boats at Itu and down to Calabar where they would be shipped off to the new world, never to be seen again...