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Monday, January 11, 2016

Ojukwu led us to clear Nnewi evil forest - Igwe Orizu

The many colours of the Ofalla festival

Chief Nwafor Orizu (middle)
The foremost educationist and a former president of Nigeria, Chief Nwafor Orizu, of blessed memory, was an Nnewi man. At a time many of the communities across the country can not boast of a single motor car, the town already had a multi millionaire in the person of Chief Ohukwu whose luxury car was used to convey the visiting Queen of England round the country when she visited Nigeria many decades ago.

Nnewi is made up of four quarters, Otolo, Uruagu, Umudim and Nnewichi, with each of the independent but interrelated communities in the town having its own Obi. Otolo-Nnewi, however, produces the paramount traditional ruler of the town in the Orizu royal family. The succession system is hereditary which automatically removes the tension and acrimony associated with installation of a new king in Igboland in particular and Nigeria in general. It has insulated the kingship from opening it up for the highest bidder.

When destiny beckoned on Igwe Dr Kenneth Orizu 111 to mount the throne of his fathers 52 years ago, it was obvious that the man with the Midas touch would turn things around in the then sleepy community. Igwe Nnewi was instrumental to the establishment of the Nnewi main market after the idea was mooted by Dim Chukwemeka Ojukwu(Ikemba Nnewi) of blessed memory. The paramount traditional ruler also played a pivotal role in the industrialization of the town as he single-handedly carried the gospel of transiting from buying and selling to the setting up of industries to the affluent ones in his town. He assisted many industrialists to get land for the smooth take off their outfits.

The royal father, while talking about his staying power, said: " It was God that helped me but then I worked very hard because I knew that if I must break the poverty circle, I must work very hard. I was ready to do just anything with my hands even if it was laboring to make money for myself. My salary was less than nine pounds when I joined Outlook Newspapers but it rose to 52 pounds before I left in 1962." Orizu was instrumental to the bringing of electricity, post office and an educational institution to Nnewi which today has assumed the status of a city.

Orizu, while commenting on his experience as a royal father, stated.

" I can not say it has been rosy. Moments after I became Igwe, I got so bored. I would sit down here from morning till night. I could not move round freely which was quite different with my kind of person who could not stay in a particular place for long. My movement became too restricted for my liking. As early as 7 am, people would start bringing cases to be resolved. I had great responsibilities as Igwe Nnewi because I was in charge of 25 towns; that was before the mass recognition of traditional rulers in the second republic. I would have rather preferred to be a laborer or anything that would fetch me money and allow me to move round freely. It was not fun sitting down here all day. The other challenge, apart from sitting here, is that of the people that wanted four kings for Nnewi but our progenitors knew why they said it would be one and hereditary."

The Igwe, while speaking on his achievements since he became the traditional ruler of Nnewi, said: "Nnewi was formerly governed by town unions. We had the Nnewi Patriotic Association (NPA). They were developing the town at their own pace. Later, the youths came in. We then had the Nnewi Youth League. I was working with everybody for the development of the town. People did not want to hear about levies but I made them change their mind after persuasion. The first work I did was the clearing of Agboedo forest. There were five deities controlling the town when we were pagans. I was controlling them and the three Obis were my foot soldiers. It was like that until the late Chukwuemeka Ojukwu wrote me that we should clear the evil forest and make it the center of Nnewi.

The belief then was that if you entered the Agboedo forest, Edo would kill you. In fact, when the call to clear the forest was made, everybody ran away in fear of what would happen but we got it done most especially because people started returning home because of the crises in the North. After clearing the forest, Ojukwu said Agbo would only have meaning if a market was developed around the place. We negotiated with the land owners and the market became a reality. When the market was growing, I found out that the water works at Amuoko was no longer enough to provide water especially because of the population explosion that happened after the civil war.

I was always at the Water Board at Enugu where they demanded N30,000 to sink a borehole at Umuenem. I also addressed the issue of mortuary because our people were depositing the remains of their loved ones in Onitsha, Igboukwu and Ozubulu. The youths actually gave me the money for the borehole and they said they would personally handle the mortuary. I played major roles to ensure that industries were established in Nnewi. Prior to that time, our people specialized in buying and selling but I told them that what would move the town forward was companies and industries. One of them is Chikason. I was instrumental to the setting up of a Teacher Training College, which was later upgraded to a teaching hospital, NITEL, and even electricity with the cooperation of my people."

A former governor of Anambra State, Dame Virgy Etiaba, described the monarch as one who has positively impacted on Nnewi.
The 2015 Ofala started as early as 6.00am on the first day with canon shots heralding the festival. There was also a memorial service for those who died in the gas factory accident in the town.
The preparation for the Ofala, held in December, was as robust as any of the previous celebrations. Committees and sub committees were set up and manned by competent personalities.

Not even the death of one of the royal father's daughters days to the Ofala could stop the cultural event, which was to be used to celebrate the Igwe's 90th birthday and his 52 years on the throne, thus making him the longest reigning traditional ruler in Africa.
The Minister of Science and Technology, Chief Ogbonaya Onu, was represented at the occasion by Ichie Mike Ejezie and his wife. Anambra State governor, Chief Willie Obiano, took out time to grace the occasion in company of Dr Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah, the publisher of The Authority Newspapers.

The Nnewi royal father used the occasion to stress the need to do something about the decayed infrastructures in the industrial town. The Igwe also called attention to some roads in Nnewi which equally need urgent attention.
Meanwhile, the traditional prime minister of Nnewi, Chief Ofili Nwosu, has described the 2015 Ofala as a huge success, pointing out that it was one of best he has ever witnessed.

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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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