There are two main theories which are related;
One, Origin in the hills of the Ancient Akoko-Edo area
Two, Origin in the North-East of the Niger-Benue Confluence Area
The Ancient Akoko-Edo area is situated in the south of the Niger-Benue Confluence. Its dominant geographical and environmental features had comprised of chains of ancient ridges of rugged rocky hills and caves, stretching across the length and breadth of what is now known as the Akoko-Edo LGA of the present Northern Edo State. The area is described as the ancestral homeland of all the sub-ethnic peoples who have been the speakers of the ancient language which is classified as Edoid. The Uneme people are one of those. The Edoid speaking people are classified into four sub-groups
- The South-Western Edoid - Eruwa, Isoko, Urhobo, Okpe, Uvbia
- The North-Central Edoid - Bini, Esan, Ora, Ghotuo, Yekhee, Ibie, Uneme, Ososo, Ate, Ikpeshi, Sasaru, Enwan, Okpella
- The North-Western Edoid - Akuku, Okpamheri, Okpe, Oloma, Ijagbe, Gbelebu, Uhobe, akotogbo, Iju-Osun, Epimi, Ishua, Iyayu-Idoani, Ukpe.
- The Delta Edoid - Degema, Egene, Epie-Atisa
The second theory poses instead an origin in the North-East of the Niger-Benue Confluence. this thesis also applies to most of the other indigenous ethnic peoples in present day Nigeria whose ancient languages and related cultural roots have been inter-linked with the ancient Nok culture and civilization. The Nok culture is described as one of the oldest and most sophisticated of the ancient cultures that had evolved and developed in what is now Nigeria in the period dating back to 1,000 BC.