Correcting the Misrepresentation of Eleme Counting

Correcting the Misrepresentation of Eleme Counting

It is important that I, Chief Osaro Ollorwi, Chairman of Eleme Language Center, formerly Eleme Language Study Group founded in 1970 to promote the learning and teaching of Eleme Language, correct the misrepresentation of Eleme Counting postulated by Fred Oyor as published on his facebook page.

First, Oyor tried to discredit and perhaps ridicule those who took the pains, spent their time and resources to translate the New Testament Bible (M’I’A OSŨNA bãrã NNYIMԐ ESÕ) into Eleme Language. He wrote, “Let us consider, as an example the work of the Eleme Bible translators, and went further to quote Mark 6:44 a’o-rē-ͻbεrε-obo-rē-a’o-achu and tabulated thus to prove the translators wrong.

10 + 2 x40 + 10 x 20

= 12x 40 +200

=480+ 200 = 680

He emphasized, “While the English Bible says Jesus fed 5000, Eleme Bible says Jesus fed 680”. Where did Oyor get these figures from for crying out loud?

Except typographical errors are claimed by Oyor, which is pardonable otherwise, it is an unfortunate display of ignorance. What Mark 6:44 said is this: “Onu obui oku rē ke ederĩ enu bεε a’o-rē-ͻbεrε-obo-rē-a’o-achu oku okundo”.

The tabulation is based on well-defined Eleme counting formula:

For example:

  1. Ten (10)                               = a’o
  2. Twenty (20)                        = achu
  3. Forty (40)                            = mbuma
  4. Hundred (100)                   = εbεrε
  5. Four Hundred (400)        = obo
  6. When you add “a’o-rē-ͻbεrε-obo” (12 x 400) 4800 to “a’o-achu” (10 x 20) 200 = 5000

This agrees with the English Bible which says Jesus fed 5000 people.


It is wrong to assume “that the translators were difficult at mathematics (sic) or that they were right at the level of 100 and 50 because that is about the maximum the old Eleme counting system can accommodate” (sic). There is no counting system that the Eleme Language cannot accommodate, including fractions, halves, tens, zeros, hundreds, thousands, millions, billions, trillions and quadrillions.


If in doubt or enquiring about Eleme Numerical or Counting for science, mathematics, technology, commerce, engineering, etc. please contact ELEME LANGUAGE CENTER Room #3 Women Development Center, Opposite General Hospital, Ogale; email:; or call: 08036694027 for details. Let us stop speculating because Eleme Language has developed beyond the levels of arm-chair research.