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Monday, November 2, 2015

Time to abolish the monarchies

Written by Obi Nwakanma - Vanguard, Nigeria

At its inauguration as a free nation, Nigeria established itself as a federal democratic republic. The founding fathers of this nation thought hard, and long about the options open to a multi-ethnic society such as Nigeria, and knew that it could not, like the Kingdom of Swaziland, be a constitutional monarchy, run on a unitarist model. In 1960, the federation of Nigeria secured political independence as a free nation under the British Commonwealth.
By 1963, it established by its own act of parliament, its republican charter, and announced itself as a federal republic outside of the British commonwealth of nations. It abolished the office of the Governor-General, which hitherto was her majesty's representative officially, and established the office of the President as the Head of state and commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of the Republic.

The implication of the Republican constitution seems even now to confound Nigerians, including many who even as lawyers, do not seem to have had really good grounding in both political and legal theory, and constitutional history.
Under the Constitution of the Republic, Nigeria stopped being an appendage of the constitutional monarch of Great Britain. Nigerians stopped being "subjects" of the English monarch, but "citizens" of a free Republic of Nigeria. There is a material difference in status in those definitions. British people theoretically as "subject" people have limited citizenship. They are loyal subjects of her majesty's government, not free citizens of a republic.

In other words, theoretically, the government of Great Britain belongs to the monarch, but is run, especially after the restoration of the Stuart monarchs by Charles II, following the death of Oliver Cromwell who had attempted to establish a republic under what he called the British commonwealth, by a House of the Commoners, also known as the Commons, based on an intriguing power-sharing premise with the monarchy. So in effect, while the monarch left the commoners the happy illusion of running their common affairs, while the monarchy took long vacations, nothing happened in the land without the consent of the monarchy. The position of the Prime Minister in the House of Commons as leader of the business of her Majesty's government was basically as chief representative or spokesman of the common people, and the Queen's chief adviser on matters of the life of the commonwealth.

It is not the Prime Minister that has power, but it is the parliament which he leads, for as long as he has the support of the highest number of the MPs. The monarch was still head of state, and the Parliament served always at her pleasure. There are of constitutional restraints that have subtly limited the extreme power of the monarchy, still, under the British Parliamentary system, the English monarch has regnant powers.

It was this power that was transferred to the President of Nigeria at the inauguration of the Federal Republic, very symbolically on Dr. Azikiwe's birthday on November 16, 1963. The Republican constitution placed power in three institutions: the office of the president, the parliament of the Republic, and the Supreme Court of Nigeria. Executive power was vested in the president, and the Prime Minister became something of his Chief adviser, and leader of government in parliament under the Parliamentary system. I have heard even educated people talk about Zik as a "ceremonial president" - there was no such president. Azikiwe, as president, had invested in him the Executive power of state as provided for by the Republican Constitution of 1963, and Nigerians stopped being "subjects" but "citizens" of a republic. Sadly, all what I have written I realize, is possibly lost to an entire generation of Nigerians who have never been taught the history of their country, of West Africa, or of the World, just to enable them get a bearing of the thrust of the contexts of their existence as people.

A nation is a systematically conditioned space, and lies within the frame of how modern societies, having examined all kinds of social and historical imperatives come to organize for more efficient, more productive and more coherent social orders. Because Nigerians have largely been socially conditioned to regard each other as alien, for instance, the prospects of building a common nation, with an organic value is impossible. Without that kind of common ground, given its diversity, it would be inexorably constrained by forces of hate and extreme difference; it would be impossible to create and sustain a common goal or vision. It was the intention of tyrannical governments in Nigeria to dumb-down the nation in order to exercise control over its population.

Therefore they failed to provide real historical and civic education to the people. An educated and enlightened population is the basis for progress, and for the sustenance of democracy. An ignorant, miseducated population is the devil's workshop. It will create Boko Haram and such other movements whose aims would be to hobble the nation. It will also create tyranny and alienation. It will create an oligarchy of interests that will subvert the basis of individual freedom founded on equal citizenship. Among the oligarchic interests that have been prodded up by the wide ignorance of the population are the monarchies and pseudo-monarchies still in existence in a republican nation like Nigeria.

Let me re-emphasize this: Nigeria is a Federal Republic. It is therefore a profound contradiction that the Nigerian National Assembly has continued to allow, and even preserve, the antiquated institutions that have served mostly to emphasize the disunities that make Nigeria profoundly chaotic. Most Nigerians have no loyalties to the Republic, because their loyalties have been seized by primordial loyalties. They do not inhabit the Nigerian identity fully. If Nigerians are sincere about creating a federal democratic republic, they must as a matter of legal obligation, stop the perpetuation and proliferation of these pseudo-monarchies. We must abolish the kings; the kingdoms and principalities that continue to claim a place in this republic. It is time to abolish the titles of the Obi of Onitsha, Emir of Kano, Ooni of Ife, Eze Nri, Sultan of Sokoto, Oba of Benin, Shehu of Borno, Oba of Lagos, etc, and such claimants to titles because it is antithetical to the meaning of a republic. These offices are unconstitutional under Nigeria's laws.

A central feature of the Republican idea is the principle of the equality of citizenship, and the idea that sovereignty belongs to the people. No other offices or titles must be permitted to impose on the sovereign. Any claims of title above the title of citizenship, other than the titles conferred academically is both a fraud and an aberration under a republican order. In the East of Nigeria, for instance, which had a traditional republican ethos, the emergence of these false and new monarchies have destroyed once stable and progressive communities.
Where communities once elected their town union governments, the creation of new Ezes and Igwes, have alienated most of the people, and established a very antinomic order in the East, so much so in fact, that the development initiatives once championed by democratically elected town union governments have disappeared. 

There is a new power cult; a move towards hereditary governance, that is at loggerheads with the real trend in modern societies where individual freedom is linked to the development of modern democratic societies. The irony is that these backward medieval institutions are being supported by elected Assemblies in Nigeria, who have sort of established, at public expense, the equivalent of the Privy Purse to maintain these frauds. But we must follow the example of India, which by 1975, abolished its own, even more powerful Rajs.

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I am an Igbo, I was born an Igbo, I live the life of an Igbo, I come from Igbo, I speak Igbo, I like to be Igbo, I like to dress in Igbo, I eat Igbo food, my heritage, culture and tradition is Igbo, my parents are Igbo.

Am sorry I cannot help it if you hate my lineage. Am sorry I cannot help it if you detest Igbo, am sorry I cannot help it if you hate me because am Igbo. Igbo is who I am, my name is Igbo and I must die an Igbo.

You see Igbo as a threat, why? You call Igbo rapist, criminals, ritualist, prostitutes, kidnappers. You attribute all negative vices to represent Igbo? Why do you do that? You do because you feel threatened that Igbo might outrun the rest of the tribes. Why do you hate Igbo and despise us? You do that because we are creative, enlightened, hardworking, industrious, genius, intelligent, smart, rich, beautiful and amazing. But its difficult for you to admit it because you feel jealous of my race.

Igbo do not own politics, Igbo do not control the economy neither do we control the natural resources and the common wealth of the nation. You do, we don't and yet, despite the fact that you own everything, we still remain one indispensable race that has outshined the other race in all ramifications.

You fear us because you want to exterminate and annihilate our race, you deny us many things and yet we are stronger, richer and mightier. You fear us because we are everywhere. You fear us because no matter how rural a place might be, when Igbo steps in, they turn it into a Paradise. We have our own resources, which lies in resourcefulness, we do not bother you and your control over the polity, but yet when we cough you and the other race begin to shiver.

Am proud being an Igbo, am proud of my heritage and culture. Igbo means high class, Igbo means independence, Igbo means hard work and strength, Igbo means riches, Igbo means resourcefulness, Igbo means self belonging, Igbo means self esteem, Igbo means pride, Igbo means swag.

Udo diri unu umunnem.
# IgboAmaka
# AnyiBuNdiMmeri

Michael Ezeaka

This is beautiful poetry ...

In response to Alaba Ajibola, the Babcock Lecturer Hate Speech against Igbos.


In Igboland women live apart from their husbands and neither cook for them nor enter their husband's quarters when they are in their period. They are seen as unclean. Even up till today such practice is still applicable in some parts of Igboland especially by the traditionalists. Before a woman can enter the palace of Obi of Onitsha, she will be asked if she is in her period, if yes, she will be asked to stay out.

Leviticus 15: 19-20
When a woman has her monthly period, she remains unclean, anyone who touches her or anything she has sat on becomes unclean.

An Igbo man's ancestral heritage, called “Ana Obi” is not sellable, elders will not permit this. If this is somehow done due to the influence of the West the person is considered a fool and is ostracized by the community.

1 Kings 21:3
I inherited this vineyard from my ancestors, and the Lord forbid that I should sell it, said Naboth.

Igbos have practiced the taking of a late brother's wife into marriage after she had been widowed until the white men came. Now it is rarely done but except in very rural villages.

Deuteronomy 25:5
A widow of a dead man is not to be married outside the family; it is the duty of the dead man's brother to marry her.

In Igboland, there is a unique form of apprenticeship in which either a male family member or a community member will spend six (6) years (usually in their teens to their adulthood) working for another family. And on the seventh year, the head of the host household, who is usually the older man who brought the apprentice into his household, will establish (Igbo: idu uno) the apprentice
by either setting up a business for him or giving money or tools by which to make a living.

Exodus 21:2
If you buy a Hebrew slave, he shall serve you for six years. In the seventh year he is to be set free without having to pay you anything.

In Igboland , the yam is very important as it is their staple crop. There are celebrations such as the New yam festival (Igbo: Iri Ji) which are held for the harvesting of the yam. New Yam festival (Igbo: Iri ji) is celebrated annually to secure a good harvest of the staple crop. In the olden days it is an abomination for one to eat a new harvest before the festival. It's a tradition that you give the gods of the land first as a thanksgiving.

Deuteronomy 16:9
Count 7 weeks from the time that you begin to harvest the crops, and celebrate the harvest festival to honor the lord your God, by bringing him a freewill offering in proportion to the blessing he has given you. Celebrate in the Lord's presence together with your children, servants, foreigners. Be sure that you obey my command, said the Lord.

In Igboland it's a tradition that the male children are circumcised on the 8th day. This tradition is still practiced till date.

Leviticus 12:3
On the eighth day, the child shall be circumcised.

In Igboland, there is a practice known as "ile omugwo ". After a woman has given birth to a child, a very close and experienced relative of hers, in most cases her mother is required by tradition to come spend time with her and her husband. During which she is to do all the work of the wife, while the new mom's only assignment to the baby will be to breastfeed. This goes on for a month or more. In the Igbo old tradition, at this time, the new mom lives apart from her husband, would not cook or enter his quarters.

Leviticus 12:1-4
For seven days after a woman gives birth, she is ritually unclean as she is during her monthly period. It will be 33 days until she is ritually clean from the loss of blood; she is not to touch anything that is holy.


The Igbo tribe is in a serious problem and danger of extinction for the following reasons:

50% of Igbos are born outside Igbo land. Meaning that those children are not likely to live and work in Igbo land and cannot speak Igbo language but foreign language (Yoruba, Hausa, French, English).

40% of Igbos girls between the age of 25 & 45 are single with no hope of marriage because 35% of Igbo boys live overseas and they have all married white ladies.

75% of Igbo youths leave Igbo land every year in search of opportunities in Yoruba, Hausa land or overseas.

85 % of Igbos have family houses and own investments outside Igbo land. They strongly believe in one Nigeria but failed to know that NO Yoruba or Hausa man has a family house or investment in Igbo land.

Igbos are the only people who believe that living outside their land is an achievement.

Igbos are the only tribe that celebrate their tradition outside their land e.g. Eze Ndi Igbo, Igbo Village in America and this is because they have family homes in foreign lands.

Igbos have failed to know that the children you have outside Igbo land especially overseas will never think of living in Igbo land. So what happens to the properties you are building for them when you are gone?

Igbos are the only tribe who see their land as a place to visit or a tourist site than a place to work and live.

Igbos are the only tribe who instead of promoting and appreciating their culture through movies and documentaries they have sought to ridicule it by portraying rituals, killings, wickedness, love for money and other social vices which were not originally inherent in our culture thereby cursing more harm than actually promoting their culture.

Igbos are the only people who without hesitation believe their history and description when it is told or written by an enemy or a foreigner. E.g. that you do not love yourselves or that you love money.

Igbos are the ONLY largest tribe on earth who fought for their independence and failed to achieve their freedom after 40 years.

Igbos are the only tribe who fails to honour their brave heroes and heroines especially the innocent children starved to death during the Biafran war.

Igbos are the only tribe who embraced their enemy after a bloody civil war and subsequently become slaves.

Igbos do not find it necessary to teach their own version of history to their children.

Igbos fight for marginalisation in Nigeria but has no collective strength or teeth to bite.

Igbos how long are you going to fight for your relevance in Nigeria?

How long are you going to fight for a functional airport, rail networks and other structural establishments that underpin sustainable development?

How long are you prepared to wait for your enemy to guide you to your destiny?

Oh Igbos!
Where are your leaders?

Unfortunately, none of them live and work in Igbo land. If you wish to save the future of your children, your identity, your generation and your race then you need freedom and that freedom is Biafra.

Ukpana Okpoko gburu bu nti chiri ya!

By Chime Eze

The Igbo: We die for causes, not for personalities

Written by Emeka Maduewesi

~on fb. 28th September, 2016.

The Igbo will never die for anyone. We will not even riot for anyone. But the Igbo will die for any cause they believe in because the Igbo have a true sense of justice and a determination to obtain it.

The Igbo will not riot because one of their own lost an election. Operation Wetie was the Western response to a massively rigged 1965 election. The Yoruba doused fellow Yorubas in petrol and burnt them alife. Properties were burnt with occupants. The Igbo will never do this.

In 1983, the Yoruba went on a rampage again over the massive rigging by NPN. Lifes were lost and properties destroyed. The riots were over personalities.

Contrast that with Anambra State where Chief Emeka Ojukwu was rigged out by his own NPN, who also rigged out Chief Jim Nwobodo. The Igbo did not protest because the goat's head is still in the goat's bag.

In the North, ba muso was the battle cry when Sultan Dasuki was imposed on the Sokoto Caliphate. The riot and protest lasted for days and crippled economic activities.

The Igbo will riot over issues and causes. The Aba Women Riot was over Tax. The Enugu coal mine riot was about conditions of service. The Ekumeku Uprising was over British colonialization.

Those of "Ekumeku" ancestry - Umu Eze Chima and Umu Nri - were at the forefront of the struggles for Nigerian independence, with people like Dr. A A Nwafor Orizu and Chief Osita Agwuna serving prison terms. Any struggles the parents could not conclude is continued by the children by other means.

The Biafran war was a response to the genocide. The war in fact was brought upon us. The battlefield was Eastern Region. The war ended in 1970 but the issues and causes were not resolved. That is where we are today.

The Igbo will also jointly rise to fight evil in their midst. They did it in Onitsha in the 1980's, Owerri in the 90's, and with Bakkassi in the 2000.

The Igbo will not die for any man. But the Igbo will stand by any man who symbolizes their cause and their pursuit of justice. Even if the man dies, the struggle continues, and like the Ekumeku warriors, the children will pick up the baton from their parents.

This is the Igbo I know, the Igbo I am, and the Igbo we are. This is my story. Feel free to tell yours.


"My boy, may you live to your full potential, ascend to a dizzy height as is possible for anyone of your political description in your era to rise. May you be acknowledged world-wide as you rise as an eagle atop trees, float among the clouds, preside over the affairs of fellow men.... as leaders of all countries pour into Nigeria to breathe into her ear.

But then, Chuba, if it is not the tradition of our people that elders are roundly insulted by young men of the world, as you have unjustly done to me, may your reign come to an abrupt and shattering close. As you look ahead, Chuba, as you see the horizon, dedicating a great marble palace that is the envy of the world, toasted by the most powerful men in the land, may the great big hand snatch it away from you. Just as you look forward to hosting the world’s most powerful leader and shaking his hands, as you begin to smell the recognition and leadership of the Igbo people, may the crown fall off your head and your political head fall off your shoulders.

None of my words will come to pass, Chuba, until you have risen to the very height of your power and glory and health, but then you will be hounded and humiliated and disgraced out of office, your credibility and your name in tatters forever...”


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