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Thursday, December 10, 2015

Edo history, my heritage

Written by George Omogun, Benin-City
To all the Princesses Akenzua, Eweka, Prince Eweka and Akenzua's.
Prince Godfrey Edokpa- Orhogbuyunmwun Aiguobasinmwin Eweka was born on the 5th of April, 1899 at Irhirhi village in the late Orhumwense’s house. He was heir presumptive to the crown prince (heir Apparent) to the throne of Benin at a time that tried the soul of the Edos as their King’s life was hanging on the balance. His grand-father, Ovonramwen, the last independent King of Benin was deposed and deported to calabar after the war of 1897 on 13th September 1897.
He was the only child of his mother, Queen Ariowa as the Benin custom did not permit a second birth to the mother of a would-be King. This is seen in the adage that “Omo Kpa r’ Ekpen bie”. His mother hailed from Evbodobian village in Orhionmwon Local Government Area of Edo State. She did not live to see her son enthroned in 1933 as she passed away in 1926 but her body was embalmed at Evborubu village,according to custom until she was officially buried after the accession of her son as Oba of Benin in 1935. She was
then proclaimed “IYOBA” (Oba’s Mother) The son built a house and raised monument to her memory at the entrance to Eguae-Iyoba. He also built a house at her village to commemorate her name.
His father, then Prince AIguobasinmwin Ovonrawen (Eweka II) was born by Queen Eghaghe who hailed from Uvbe village in Orhionmwon Local Government Area of Edo state. She was of Egbede family. Her mother was the daughter of Chief Evbuomwan, the Enogie of Abavo. Her father was Osenugbe of Isi. She passed away peacefully on 18th February, 1933 after the passing away of her son Eweka II. She was buried by her grand-son Oba Akenzua II.
Oba Akenzua, fther, Oba Eweka II was a bold and courageous per which earned him the appellation of Ovbiudu. He rebuilt the present palace after the ruin of the old palace after the Benin Expedition war of 1897, hence the appellation of “ Eweka N’ Ologbe”. The term became so appropriate in that it was Oba Eweka I, who started the second dynasty after the deposition of the last Ogiso and the coming of Oronmiyan, a grand-son of Ogiso Owodo from Ife where his father was on exile after being expelled from Benin through the evil machination of Esagho, the wife of Ogiso Owodo. It was Oba Eweka I who built the first palace.

After the deportation of Oba Ovonramwen, the son, Eweka II retied to his mother’s sister Ediagbonya house at Ekhor to pursue farming to earn a living until he was called back to Benin by the consul, he was appointed District Head. He then resided in his grandmother’s house at Ogbe quarters.
At the demise of his father in exile in 1914, his accession was challenged and became a matter of debate. But for the wise judgment of the British Officials, on the strong evidence of some Benin Chiefs, the table would have turned in favour of Chief Agho Ogbedeoyo, the Obaseki of Benin, who had acted for the Oba during the Interregnum, 1897-1914. If this was the case, Oba Akenzua II would have terribly missed the crown.
Oba Akenzua II in his youth was place under the Tutelage of his father’s friend Chief Ajayi, the Ovienrioba of Benin. Here he was groomed in the deposition and comportment of an Oba.
While still with the Chief he was sent to the Benin Government School under the headmastership of late Mr. Okai a Ghanaian in 1907. He passed the then Standard Six in 1915. In 1918 he proceeded to king’s College, Lagos, where he studied and passed the then Junior Cambridge examination in 1921. Which was the highest class attanable then in the college? Among his classmates at king’s College were the late Bishop A.W. Howells, Justice R. Ade Doherty and Dr Samuel Manuwa. His tutors included Mr. Earnest Ikoli and Mr. Charles James Smart who became a popular letter writer in Benin City before his death in 1966.
Oba Akenzua II distinguished himself as a brilliant scholar. He was a very keen sportsman; he was very good at cricket and football. After his accession to the throne, he took great delight at playing billiard. He had billiard table in his palace which he played most of the evenings with some Chiefs
Apart from his Western Education, he was very vast in the knowledge of Benin tradition, customs and culture. He was trained in Royalty obligations art of administration and component of an Oba. All these contributed immensely to his qualities, wisdom, virtue and forthrightness in his rule in the years of his reign.
On his return from the college, he was appointed a transport clerk in the Benin Native Administration, and later transferred to his father’s palace as the Oba’s confidential secretary, in these posts; he acquired more knowledge of administration and human relationship.
In 1925, he was sent to Abeokuta to study Native Administration system under Sir Ademola II, the late Alake of Abeokuta. To put the knowledge so gained into practice and on his return to Benin, he was appointed the District Head of Eguaedaiken, although he had not been initiated into the Palace Society or installed the Ediaken. He was virtually in change of the area of Iyeke-Uselu. That is the whole of the area after and beyond Uselu up to Benin Divisional boundary with Ondo State, in matter of jurisdiction and administration. He performed his duty creditably and judiciously without blemish and earned praise of the Colonial Administration Officers and the admiration of all. He depicted the genuity of a born ruler. He was, in fact, well prepared to assume the Obaship of his people at the time he was called upon to put on the mantle of his forefathers as a great ruler
On The demise of his father Oba Eweka II, after a brief illness he was called upon to be initiated into the Iwebo palace Society only as entry to the rest society is of right after the installation, According to tradition, he had to perform the right of Odafen-Vbonoreguae, the Ukonniwebo, Edaiken and Iyanehien respectively before he was officially informed of the passing away of his father, although he was privy to it before then. After the announcement, he had to perform the rites of the burial ceremonies for fourteen days.
Before his installation he had to face a dramatic challenge, neither from his chiefs nor his brothers as in the cases of his father and grand-father, but his senior half sister, princess Ighiwiyisi. On the ground that she was the first born of their father and therefore devolved on her to succeed their father as the Oba of Benin.
After a protracted debate the Colonial Officers, the Benin Chiefs strongly protested against her claim that there was no precedence of a woman becoming the king of Benin. She further argued that in the event that she as a woman cannot reign as Oba, she should be granted the prerogative to nominate a substitute from any of her brothers. This her new tactics was equally rebuffed and proved to have had no precedence in the annals of Benin history as there had been on several occasions of seniors sisters of an Oba of Benin and no instance could be cited to support her claim several examples were cited such as the one most recent and that of princess Ayubini, the senior daughter of Oba Osemwende and senior sister to Oba Adolo. Finally, The Government upheld the points raised by the Edaiken Prince Godfrey Edokparhogbuyunmwun Eweka to succeed his father as the Oba of Benin. After going through the various stages and ceremonies he was crowned Oba Akenzua II, Oba of Benin on the 5th April, 1933, amidst unprecedented and tumultuous jubilation crowd in the history of Benin.
He was presented with the staff of office of First Class Chief by His Honour Lt. Governor Buchanam Smith. He also read the address or message from His Honour Sir Donald Cameron, the Governor of Nigeria.
The ollowing was the message:
“I welcome the Oba-elect to the seat of his father, and of his fore fathers. I wish him well and i ask him to trust me and to heed what i am going to say. I am anxious-almost above all things in Nigeria to make a success of the policy of administering the people through their own chiefs, but my experience here and elsewhere make me doubt whether it will be possible to achieve this if we pursue the methods of the past. No sufficient attempt has been made in the past, I believe to teach and train the Chiefs in the very difficult “Art of Administration”. That is not our policy in the case of Administrative Officer. We train him in England before he came to the country at all, and we train him through many years before he is place in such a responsible position as that of resident.
On the other hand we have in the past taken the Chiefs quite untrained and quite uninstructed in methods of administration according to civilised standard, and left him to work out his own salvation as best he could with the minimum of interference and guidance from Resident or other senior Administrative Officer, I believe this to be a dangerous position from which no possible good can come; especially in these days when the people can express themselves and their grievances when all the acts of Government, including those of the Native Administration are quite properly, open to public criticism, and when it is no longer possible to rely on fear and superstition in administering subject people. It is my sole desire, I repeat to make a real success of the policy of Native Administration but I fear, as the words I have used in the foregoing remarks must disclose, that if some better methods of training and guidance of the Chiefs in the art of administration are not introduced, Native Administration through the Chiefs cannot endure in modern society in which we all now have to live in Nigeria and most eventually crumble and fade away.”
His first year in office was concentrated in acquainting him with the practical role of an Oba and the intricacies of Benin traditional law and customs. He engaged himself with the rehabilitation of the palace to meet the modern treads of the society. He under took renovation of the palace which hitherto instill awe and fear in the minds of people, particularly visitors, who attempt to visit the palace. It was most difficult then to have an audience with the Oba as there were large empty court yards before the real occupied parts of the palace where traditional, common office was created where the Oba could receive visitors and discuss freely with them, He also created a special reception room for august visitor’s to the palace.
The walls abounding the large enclosed courts gave way to large expanse of open court yard with forming a fence it were, to mark the extent of the Palace.
In 1934 the Oba attended the opening ceremony of the Yaba Higher College Lagos. He was accorded rousing royal reception by the Edo Community in Lagos in particular and all sundries in Lagos and environs. On his return journey, he called at Abeokuta to pay a courtesy visit to the Alake of Abeokuta, Oba Ademola II
The same year (1934), there was the great Forest Reserve dispute between the colonial Administrator and the Benin people. There follow a long dialogue which resulted in the establishment of the Benin Native Authority Forest Department under a British Forest Officer with the late Ranger Adams Obasogie Ekuawe at the head of the field staff.
At the end of two years of the accession to the throne he created his immediate three junior brothers Enogie; Uwaifiokun Eweka, the Enogie of Obagie, Ogiesoba Eweka, Enogie of Aideyannoba and Iyi Eweka , the Enogie of Oghada. He also initiated after few years of his reign other hereditary titles of Obarayi-Edo on Chief Ogiemudia Obaseki, Chief Johnson Francis .O. Akpata, the Aihie-Oba of Benin, and Arala of Benin on Chief Sunmola Omo Lawal Osula. He also made the Osula of Benin and Obaseki Titles hereditary.
On the invitation of the Queen, Elizabeth II, of England the Oba Akenzua II, visited England with his wife Queen Idada, the Ohan of the harem on October 5, 1950
On the 5th of February, 1956, Queen Elizabeth II of England visited Nigeria and had a stopover at the Benin Airport where she was received by Oba Akenzua II, the Resident and other dignitaries from all over the kingdom
In Oba Akenzua II relentless efforts to regain the lost glory of his kingdom, his late grand- father Oba Ovonramwen’s coral regalia were returned to him in 37 from the British Museum by the government.
He had courage ability and patience to surmount all trials and intrigues of his reign. He worked relentlessly to find solutions between the British rule and culture of his people. He was forceful and dynamic in the advancement plans for the welfare of the nation.
He was awarded Companion of the order of Saint Michael and Saint George (C.M.G) by the British Queen, conferred with the Doctorate Degree LL.D (Causa) on the 19th May 1966 by Ahmadu Bello Zaria. He was also after the Nigeria independence awarded the commander of the federal Republic of Nigeria (C.F.R.N) and he was appointed justice of peace (J.P).
Oba Akenzua II was a Minister of State in the then Western House in 1955 and a member of the Western House of Chief from 1959 to 1963, before the creation of Midwest Region.
To keep perpetual the knowledge and his of the past of his people from which posterity could learn and draw inspiration from our past history and culture, the Oba initiated the establishment of the Benin Museum under Chief Jacob U.Egharevba as the curator. To the Museum, he contributed generously and in no small measure several antiquities. Many people of goodwill also donated to growth of the Museum. The Federal Government has taken over the management of the museum under trained curators and under the Department of Antiquities. A befitting building in the heart of the City has been created to house the museum, officially opened to the public on August 10, 1973.
He was equally a notable royal monarch of Benin kingdom. He initiated the campaign for the creation of Mid-West Region which materialized in 1962.
With the fall of the tree at Emotan shrine in 1951, there was great indignation that the fall was due to evil machination of the enemies of progress and peace in the realm. It was known that an expatriate working for the French Company known as M. Gualia used a winch on the tree few days before it was blown down by storm. The tree was at the site of a royalist called Emotan who gave cover to Prince Ogun that enabled him gain the crown from his usurping brother, Uwaifiokun. Ogun later reigned as Oba Ewuare. On her death, the Oba deified her and order that on all occasion celebrations, homage should be paid to her.
To perpetuate the memory of the woman and to keep the tradition going Oba Akenzua II caused a statue of Emotan to be erected at the site, and it was unveiled by him on 11th March 1954.
The Oba’s interest in Education and for the progress of his people to measure up with other Nigerians, he sponsored the establishment of Edo College, Benin City in 1935 under the proprietorship of the Benin Native Authority. He gave land freely towards this program. The College was open in 1936 under the principal-ship of Mr. B.D. Coker, a Ghanaian and former headmaster of the Benin Government School, The original site is now occupied by the Idia College while the Edo College moved to a new and larger site along Murtala Muhammed Way, Benin City.
His love for education and the great premium he placed on Western Education he saw to it that his children got maximum training in modern education as much as their intellect and ability could carry.
The Roman Catholic Fathers approached the Oba for land for the establishment of a secondary school which the Oba gladly gave Immaculate Conception College was then established and open in 1943.
The Roman Catholic Mission also was granted land permission to establish and run Saint Philomena Catholic Hospital for the welfare of mothers and humanity in general in 1944.
Chief A. O. Airewele established the first secondary school with commercial bias and later in 1947 changed it to western Boys’ High School on a land given him by the Oba. In 1960 to give room for expansion, the school was moved to Ikpoba Hill (Oregbeni) and in 1975 changed its name to Airewele High School.
In 1954 the Eghosa Grammar school was established, first as Anglican Grammar School was established until 1975, on a site formerly given to one Enaruna for a Commercial School which he later transferred to Mr. Osazee Okpogie from whom the Anglican Mission acquired it.
A split occurred in the Benin Baptist Mission over ownership of its schools and polygamist not allows taking of the Lord supper in 1940. The members on the side of the American Missionaries were given land in Ogbe quarters for its own school and Church. The Mission later acquired land at the Ring Road where the Central Baptist Church now stands. The school was first opened at a temporal site along Akpakpava Road and later at Ogba under the Headmastership of Mr. Osadolo Edomwonyi with Miss Walden as the Lady Manager. The faction of Benin Indegens became known as United Benin Baptist Mission with Reverend S. I, Usuanlele as its spiritual leader.
In 1958 the Oba once again exhibited his magnamity in granting land at Ugbowo to one time tailor, Mr. Ezenwan to build a secondary school, irrespective of his tribe as an Igbo person. This school was formerly known as Edo boys’ High School now known as Adolo College after the takeover by the state Government
The Roman Catholic Mission in order to boot the training of females in post- primary school which hitherto has been neglected and regarded by the Binis as undesirable approached the Oba for land which he gave freely for the establishment of Saint Maria Gorretti Girls’ Grammar School It was built and opens in 1959.
Bishop Enoyeogiere Edokpolo in 1961 acquired land from the Oba for the building of a secondary school with commercial bias. The school is now known as Edokpolo Grammar School.
The same year, the Anglican Mission was granted land freely by the Oba for the establishment of the Anglican Girls’ Grammar School
Oba Akenzua II was soft spoke and well comported in conformation with his office of a natural ruler. He exhibited dignity and exerted authority over his People He worked relentlessly for the peace, love unity and progress of his people. Oba Akenzua II was referred to as Iso N’ Orho and Osanobua N’ Agbon. He was a promoter of the Nigerian culture. As a personified God on earth, he was an embodiment of peace, tranquility endurance. He settles disputes with utmost dispatch, Justice fair play and impartiality. He was unruffled even in face of disloyalty of some decedent element in his domain. He was very calm and sober even when he was angered. His words were law to his people and all who revered him. He welcomed administrative reforms and as well identified himself with the policies and aspirations of the government for the unification of the entire nation. He played the role of a father and Elder State man. His fatherly disposition was devoid of politic and he enjoyed the honour and respect of all people of good will. He participated actively in Nigeria constitutional development. His love for all was demonstrated by his efforts to promote unity peace and stability in Nigeria. As an Oba he was cool and collective and never ruffed even when aggrieved he was a real embodiment of dignity and authority, even in times and in face of all odds among all people.
He believed in honest labour, in that less than a year of his ascension he ordered his courtiers not to rely solely on benevolent gifts and homage paid to and through them as courtiers and Oba’s emissaries, but to go about their own honest labour to earn a living for themselves and their dependants, rather than linger around the palace waiting for manna to fall from heaven as the practice was in the past.
When Oba Akenzua II passed away to the great beyond in 1978 the whole world mourn him for he has lift behind foot prints on the sands of time. He left for his Son, Oba Erediauwa an enviable heritage unprecedented in the annals of Benin history. The Edos will ever live to remember him as a father, builder and great ruler.

No comments:


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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