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Friday, May 20, 2016

How Igweship tussle is ravaging Igbo communities


  • How Igweship tussle is ravaging Igbo communities
  • Olubadan's intervention fails to resolve Igbo leadership crisis


How Igweship tussle is ravaging Igbo communities
Written by Chidi Nkwopara, Nwabueze Okonkwo, Chimaobi Nwaiwu, Peter Okutu, Chinenyeh Ozor and Ugochukwu Alaribe
~Vanguard, Nigeria. Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Most communities in the five south east states of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo are currently experiencing crises over selection or election of their traditional rulers known severally as Eze, Obi, Onyishi or Igwe, investigations by the South East Voice have revealed.

It was learned that although the roles of traditional rulers were not properly defined in most of the over 1000 communities in the zone, the selection of monarchs had become so contentious that it was the number one divisive problem in the five Igbo states.

Like the popular Oluwale Market in Lagos State, where all types of fake certificates are printed and sold to would be buyers, traditional ruler-ship in Igbo land has been so bastardized that known criminals now bear the certificates.

The various governments treat traditional rulers or Igwes like civil servants. Most of them are made to stay on the roads for hours with school children, waiting for visiting government functionaries under the sun. The traditional stool is not given on merit but the party you belong to or the people you know in government, hence the acrimony in most of the communities in the South East over the issue. In all, over 40 percent of the cases in various courts in the five states are related to chieftaincy disputes.


Apart from warrant chiefs appointed by the British colonialists mainly for the defunct Eastern House of Chiefs, only very few communities had traditional rulers in Igbo land before the late seventies as the people had various ways of governing themselves. Among such communities included Onitsha, Aro-Chukwu, Nri, Igbo Ukwu, Awka, Awka Etiti and Aguleri.

In Enugu Ezike which has a distinctive tradition in Igbo land, the oldest man in the area was the Onyishi or traditional ruler as the people practiced gerontocracy. It is only in Enugu Ezike that people do not kill themselves to become the Onyishi as people in the same age are aware of each other’s ages. In cases where ages of men were disputed, they had traditional ways of settling same instead of resorting to the courts or self-help. The eldest woman in any community also becomes the Ede Umuada.


However, in the late seventies when the then Federal Military Government introduced the revenue sharing formula which made provisions for the traditional institution, most elites in the zone reasoned that the only way the east could benefit from such largesse was to appoint Igwes or Ezes for the various communities, hence the contrived balkanisation of most towns into autonomous communities for appointment of traditional rulers.

The appointment of several panels including that of Justice Agbakoba to recommend deserving communities and their traditional rulers in the zone opened the floodgates for such cases.South East Voice gathered that the struggle for appointment of monarchs and creation of chiefdoms had become so contentious since the seventies that several prominent persons were killed in questionable circumstances while very many others died mysteriously over their alleged involvement in chieftaincy disputes. A lot of these disputes took the form of brothers quarrelling among themselves and fathers and sons belonging to various factions ass result of agitations over Igweship.

ANAMBRA: It was revealed that several important personalities had been brutally killed in the old Anambra State, the sensational assassinations of late Chief Godwin Chikeluba, popularly known as GMO and Justice Lawrence Anoliefo, both of Awka Etiti as well as the traditional ruler of Obosi in Idemili Local Government Area, Anambra State, Dr Walter Nnamdi Amobi marked the beginning of killings over Igweship or Ezeship stools.

Igwe Amobi IV of Ogidi was murdered in his Enugu home in 1998, while late Sir Lawrence Anoliefo; then Judge of the High Court of Nigeria, was murdered on December 23, 1986. The report is presented according to states:There are 177 communities in the new Anambra State and each of them is expected to have a traditional ruler known as Igwe Obi or Eze, overseeing their respective traditions and cultures, as enshrined in the constitution that Ndi Igwe or Ndi Eze were the custodians of their tradition and culture.

The first missionary workers, led by Mrs. Mary Bennett made their appearance in Awka-Etiti in 1904. The first C.M.S mission church was built in Iruowelle village. In 1913 the Roman Catholic mission was also introduced to the town, which built a church and a school. These two churches rapidly led to a conversion of the majority of Awka-Etiti natives to Christianity.

In 1944, the Awka-Etiti Improvement Union, A.I.U, was formed, as the governing body of the area, taking over the mantle of leadership from the traditional Council of Elders meeting (Okwu Azu-Oji). The name of the town was officially changed to Awka-Etiti by the A.I.U in 1946. In 1957 the AIU decided to elect the first Obi (King) of Awka-Etiti. The desire to have a king was based on the creation of the Eastern house of Chiefs by the then colonial Eastern Regional Government in 1956 and the intention of Awka-Etiti to secure a seat on the legislative body.

Awka-Etiti from ancient days did not traditionally have a king, although two warrant chiefs had been appointed by the British after 1900. The first was Chief Ezenwosu on whose death Chief Oyiatuigbo was appointed in 1915 until his death in 1954. The elections for the Igwe's stool were held on July 29, 1957 with His Royal Highness, Igwe Silas Ezenwa emerging as the first Obi of Awka-Etiti. Business men and women from the town had successfully specialised in the importation of bicycles and bicycle parts by the early 1940s.

However, after the Nigerian- Biafran Civil War in 1970, Awka-Etiti entrepreneurs established a number of renowned manufacturing industries notably the G.M.O Group of Companies and the Roadmaster Industries Ltd. More recently established industries are the IKB cosmetics product line and the Interbau Construction Company Ltd.

Thousands of job opportunities in Nigeria and beyond were provided directly and indirectly by these and other industries and business ventures rooted in Awka-Etiti. All the roads in the area were tarred, mainly by private individuals. Beyond that, several important link roads were tarred by the single handed efforts of philanthropic natives.

Awka-Etiti is representative of the situation in the neighbouring towns and Igbo land, where little or no government induced infrastructural development had been felt. The Iruowelle Youths Association and the Umunocha Development Association have been most prominent in tarring the roads in their villages. But, the struggle for the Igwe ship stool in Awka-Etiti (formerly Awka Dielo), noted as one of the driving forces behind the development of industrialisation in Igbo land led to serious disputes and the untimely death of some prominent natives.

However, while certain communities in the state including Atani in Ogbaru Local Government Area, Alor in Idemili South Local Government Area, Uga in Aguata Local Government Area and most recently Oraukwu in Idemili North Local Government Area have just settled down with their new traditional rulers in the persons of Igwe Augustine Ngoddy (Atani), Igwe MacAnthony Okonkwo (Alor), Igwe Chidi Ezenwugo (Uga) and Igwe Emeka Onuora (Oraukwu), though with protests from some quarters, some other communities like Adazi-Nnukwu in Anaocha Local Government Area and Uke in Idemili North Local Government Area are still engrossed in tussles arising from the method of the selection of their own.

In the case of Adazi-Nnukwu, the community has never known peace since the alleged disqualification of Chief Emmanuel Chukwuma, one of the three Igweship candidates selected by Nnukwu clan alongside Prof. Augustine Obiekezie, a deputy vice-chancellor at University of Calabar, UNICAL and Dr. Chike Ezeude, a hotel proprietor based in Abuja and presented to the entire community for election among the three.

The President-General of the town union, Chief Benedict Enemuo had in a general meeting of Adazi-Nnukwu Town Development Union, ATDU, announced the disqualification of Chukwuma, saying that he was not academically or educationally qualified to be their Igwe because he did not possess a minimum of a Diploma certificate.

This development, obviously, split the community into two with the majority insisting that once the Nnukwu clan whose turn it was to select and present candidates to the general assembly for election had included him among the three most qualified candidates and presented him for election, it was improper to have disqualified him, more so, when Chukwuma himself presented a diploma certificate he claimed to have obtained in Cote Di'voire where is he is currently based.

Chukwuma's supporters insisted that the ATDU should have also, sent an investigative team to Cote D'ivoire to verify if actually Chukwuma read and obtained the certificate there or not, before disqualifying him.The supporters also claimed that he was disqualified because they knew he would defeat the other candidates if allowed to contest as a result of his popularity occasioned by his philanthropic activities which involved annual scholarship awards and empowerment programmes.

At the moment, the suit filed by Chukwuma against Enemuo and ATDU is still pending before an Awka High court presided over by the state Chief Judge, Justice Peter Umeadi.

Chukwuma is praying the court to include him as one of the three candidates that would contest the Igweship election, as well as an order injunction barring Governor Willie Obiano from giving Obiekezie or any other person staff of office, pending the determination of the suit.

Brothers at war for same stool

In the case of Uke community, the Igweship tussle is currently going on between two brothers of same biological parentage as the elder one, Dr Boniface Bartholomew Chukwudi Agbala (plaintiff), a medical practitioner, has already dragged his younger sibling, Charles Chukwuma Agbala, a Quantity Surveyor who is contesting the Igweship with him and six others (defendants) to an Idemili High court sitting in Ogidi, over the matter.

The plaintiff is seeking among other reliefs, a declaration that under the Uke Development Union, UDU Constitution of 2007, two candidates can not emerge from the same ward (Uruezeani/Uruabor) to contest for the throne of the community, not to talk of two brothers from same parentage.

He therefore prayed the court to declare also that going by the UDU constitution of 2007 that his younger brother was not qualified to contest the throne with him when he (elder) had already declared interest to contest and was duly nominated by the ward winning the selection exercise.

Agbala also pleaded that the selection committee acted in breach of the UDU constitution 2007 by submitting the name of his younger brother to the Uruezeani/Uruabor Patriotic Union and Central Executive Committee of UDU when he (plaintiff) was already in the race before him.

He also asked for N20 million damages against all the defendants as well as for an order of perpetual injunction restraining his younger brother, agents, privies, servants and all the defendants or successors from parading him or other defendants or any other person other than himself as the Igwe-elect of Uke.

Blame govt -Ex-commissioner

A former Commissioner for Youth Development in Abia State, Mr Ekele Nwaohanmuo, who bemoaned the divisive tendencies in the Igbo land as a result of Ezeship crises placed the problems at the doorsteps of the various state governments.

Nwaohanmuo told South East Voice in Aba, that the traditional stool was now used to settle political loyalists and sympathizers, leading to crises with opposing parties. According to him, granting of certificate of recognition to traditional rulers has become a money spinner as well as toll for political loyalty for those in power.

To become a traditional ruler, it is now a matter of who you know? Which political party? This should not be so, because the traditional stool is meant to be apolitical. Today, you see many traditional rulers campaigning for their choice candidates during elections. It is as bad as that. This is the major cause of crisis."

According to him, in Abia state, the issue of Ezeship disputes became more pronounced since the return of democracy in 1999. What caused it? It is the attempt to impose traditional rulers on the people. A traditional ruler must be a fit and proper person to preside over the people. He must be somebody who can command respect from his people. But today, all kinds of shady characters have been made traditional rulers in many communities.

So, with such a situation why won't there be crisis? I remind you that people in this part of the world are inclined to stand against injustices such as imposition."As a lawyer, I have a party I am representing in court. The community lost their Eze. After the mourning period, a wealthy man living overseas just appeared on the scene and declared interest on the vacant stool.

But the people already had their choice, but the man with the support of a cabal in the community started using security agents to harass those opposing him, leading to crisis. Some of them were arrested and remanded in prisons. This caused serious crisis, and as I am talking with you; over five persons have died as a result of the crisis," he said.He then asked the state governments to refrain from imposing traditional rulers and let the people choose their kings themselves.

EBONYI: There have been pockets of disputes and intrigues surrounding chieftaincy matters in some local government areas like Ivo, Ishielu, Ohaozara which sharply divided the natives of the affected communities.

In the state, chieftaincy matters are not only divisive but rancorous, hence the current administration of Governor Dave Umahi has set up the Ebonyi State Traditional Rulers Council to settle such disputes. Umahi had in September 2015, resolved the contentious issue of who was the authentic traditional ruler of Ishiagu autonomous community, in Ivo Local Government Area of the state. On the occasion which took place at the International Conference Centre, Abakaliki, the traditional ruler, Agu III of Ishiagu kingdom, His Royal Majesty, Eze Moses Okafor Ngele was issued a Certificate of Recognition and Staff of Office by Umahi.

The kingship tussle that rocked Ishiagu community lasted over seven years following the demise of the Agu II of Ishiagu kingdom, HRM Basil Onu died in 2008. Also, the emergence and coronation of Eze Laz Nweze Umahi as the king of Uburu Autonomous Community in Ohaozara Local Government Area after 10 years of dispute, was reflective of Governor Umahi's agenda for peace to reign in the state.

ENUGU: During the military administration of Col. Robert Akonobi in the old Anambra State, some communities including Enugu Ezike were split into various autonomous communities. Enugu Ezike which used to be one large autonomous community was split into four before they were further increased to over 36 following agitations for more.

Today, there are more autonomous communities than secondary schools in the area following the balkanisation of the state by the former administration of Dr Chimaroke Nnamani and his successor, Sullivan Chime. The Imufu Community, is currently in court with the government appointed traditional ruler, Remigius Attah as the people claimed that Attah forged the constitution with which he used in getting recognition over nine years ago.

However, it is remarkable that although, there are currently two parallel levels of traditional governance in Enugu Ezike – the Onyishis are still more respected and superior to the government appointed Igwes. Igwes are usually summoned to attend meetings at the Onyishi's palace whenever needed. It is an abomination for the oldest man to attend village meetings in a younger person's house, hence there are parallel lines of authorities. The Onyishi is the de facto leader while the Igwe is de jure leader in each of the new communities in the area.

In Nkanu area, several communities are experiencing serious disputes arising from selection of their traditional rulers. There was heightened tension in Mgbanaoha Nkerefi and Umuode communities following the brutal murder of the traditional rulers of the communities, Igwe P.A. Onuoha and Moses Ugwu respectively, by yet to be identified gunmen.It was gathered that the hoodlums killed the traditional ruler of Nkerefi alongside Ejike Udeme Uzor, Evelyn Udeme Uzor, and Daniel Ogbu.

Meanwhile, despite a pending court case in Ihe / Owerre autonomous community in Nsukka Local Government Area, over the occupation of the vacant traditional stool of the community, following the death of Igwe John Attama, the community has declared and installed Ozioko George Asadu as the traditional ruler of the community. Three candidates including Chief Mike Omeje, Ozioko George Asadu and Chief Sylanus Ezea applied for the position before Sylvanus withdrew from the race.

Asadu was reportedly foisted on the people by the former Commissioner for Chieftaincy Matters in the state, Pastor Emeka Abugu. The battle for the throne had been raging since 2011.

IMO: Like other parts of Igbo land, there is unbridled quest for autonomous communities which had been generating friction and indeed, bloodletting over the years. Virtually, every hamlet in the state wants to be granted autonomous status. Successive governments have not helped in this situation, as they kept on dethroning, appointing and recognizing new monarchs, even against the communities' preferred candidates.

Events have shown that some individuals exploit their wealth, connections to officials of a sitting government and sometimes, use brute force, to acquire traditional stools.In one of the communities in Ngor Okpala Local Council Area of the state, the struggle became so intense that one of the contenders, whose family was believed to be a settler in the land, was eventually recognised by the government.

One of the stories weaved around this particular incident was that government, at the promptings of a powerful and well-positioned official of the administration, silenced the legitimate choice of the people and went ahead to appoint and recognize a fellow, based on other considerations alien to the community's customs and traditions.

South East Voice was told that with this government action, the development took the back seat in the Ngor Okpala Community, as the people's resentment grew in leaps and bounds. While government kept dealing with the man of their choice, the people remained resolute in their supplication to God for intervention.

South East Voice also gathered that some governments, past and present, balkanized existing autonomous communities, in a bid to allegedly get even with a perceived royal foe. In one such instance in Owerri Senatorial Zone, four new autonomous communities were carved out of an existing autonomous community that dated back to pre-colonial times.

Currently, the royal father of Obinugwu Community, Eze Cletus Ilomuanya is in court to reclaim his stool from Stanley Nwangwu who was foisted on the community by Governor Rochas Okorocha in 2014.Justice P. C. Ikpeama, while dismissing the preliminary objections filed by Okorocha and Nwangwu in opposition to the N10 billion suit, HOW/609/2014, brought against them, and directed the defendants to file their defence.

During the military era, Izombe Community in Oguta Local Government Area of the state, was torn apart over the bitter struggle for the royal stool. Houses were burnt. Young girls and mothers were raped. Life and property were also destroyed with ease, as vicious cult groups emerged in the town, with each of the groups trying to out-class the other. The situation was so bad at the time that people fled from the town and took refuge in adjoining communities. The security agencies were eventually drafted to the area.

An indigene of the community who spoke on grounds of anonymity, told South East Voice that "Those reading your piece now, may not fully appreciate what the community passed through. The community was in turmoil. Nobody was safe in the place and we had to scamper into Owerri and other communities, to escape from the onslaught of the rampaging cult groups."

The octogenarian traditional ruler of Ofeahia Eziudo in Aboh Mbaise Local Government Area of the state, Eze Desmond Oguguo, once lamented that the traditional institution in Igbo land was gradually but steadily being bastardized.

"At the rate new autonomous communities are being created, every hamlet and family may end up getting a traditional ruler. What is more disturbing is that anybody and everybody is now being made a royal father," Eze Oguguo once said.

Olubadan's intervention fails to resolve Igbo leadership crisis
Written by OLUSEYE OJo, Ibadan
~The SUN, Nigeria. Thursday, May 19, 2016.

.A tale of one community, 2 leaders

THE last may not be heard in the leadership crisis rocking the Igbo community in Ibadan, Oyo State, in the last 19 years. The community is now sharply divided into one faction led by Dr. Alex Anozie, an optician, and the other led by Chief Alloy Obi, a businessman.

The Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji, Aje Ogungunniso I, took the bull by the horn when he waded into the crisis when he installed Obi as the leader of Igbo community in Ibadan on Friday April 22, 2016. The brief ceremony took place at his Popoyemoja Palace.
The monarch explained his roles: "The two warring factions were invited to the palace. The palace resolved that Obi should be the leader of Ndigbo in Ibadanland"
This, however, did not go down well with the Anozie camp. Anozie and his followers said the court had declared him the authentic leader of the Igbo in Ibadan and Oyo State.

It was a welcome development to the Igbo General Assembly (IGA). President General of the association in the state, Nze Emeka Enweronye: "The Igbo in Oyo State were polarised over who is the authentic Igbo leader leader for the past 19 years. His Royal Majesty, having gone through the resolution of the South East Council of Traditional Rulers in 2008 that Eze Ndigbo in the Diaspora have been abolished and other documents, invited the principal actors, Obi and Anozie, and directed that Eze Ndigbo in Ibadan has ceased to exist.
"On Friday, April 22, 2016, Oba Adetunji, formally confirmed Obi as the authentic 'Onyendu Ndigbo (Igbo leader) in Ibadan and Oyo State. The Ndigbo will remain loyal to Oba Adetunji and the traditions of Ibadanland. We assure the Olubadan and his council of our unalloyed cooperation."

But another group, the Igbo Community Development Association (ICDA), was not pleased with the development. Its president, Chief Emmanuel Nzeako, Anozie at separate fora said the Igbo leadership crisis in Ibadan has been resolved by the High Court judgment, which granted the prayers of Anozie as the only recognised Igbo community leader in Ibadan and Oyo State: "As a people of this country, we believe, nobody, no matter how highly placed in the society is above the constitution of Nigeria and on the Constitution we stand."

Anozie recalled that a judgment delivered by the Oyo State High Court on February 18, 2014, was quite explicit on the matter as it proclaimed him the only Igbo leader in Ibadan and Oyo State: "I am also aware that the particular judgment has not been vacated by any superior court even though there has not been a stay of execution against the judgement. The matter is still left in the Appeal Court."
On the endorsement of Obi as leader of Ndigbo: "I was only invited by the Olubadan-In-Council where I met Obi and the Baale of Ekotedo (Elder Taiye Ayorinde). I was surprised to see someone like Obi whom the court ordered to stop parading himself as Igbo leader in Ibadanland.

"The only message passed on to us was that they do not want the use of the Eze title in Ibadanland as the South East Traditional rulers wrote to stop the use of the title outside Igboland."
The turn of event also caught the attention of the traditional ruler of Igbo-Ukwu community in Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State, Igwe Martin Ezeh, Idu II. He expressed displeasure over the installation of Obi as leader of the Igbo community in Ibadan:
"Anozie is my subject and very close brother. I know him very well as a lover of peace and always has the fear of God. I am very much aware that Ndigbo in Ibadan and environs in Oyo State chose him democratically to be their head, leader, and gave him the Igbo title of their choice since 1997.

"An official letter to that effect was communicated to Igbo-Ukwu Development Union then and I am aware of that. I am also aware that a high court of competent jurisdiction has ruled in his favour to be in that position.
Ayorinde took serious exceptions to that: "The statement is capable of causing upheaval, as Ibadans don't joke with issues capable of dragging the good name of Oba Adetunji in the mud. A traditional ruler should always refrain from statement and issues capable of causing disaffection, between the two tribes who have been living together peacefully for centuries because of inordinate ambition of somebody."

He said former Olubadan of Ibadanaland, Oba Emmanuel Adeyemo, "had in July 1997 banned Anozie from being a chief in Ibadan via letter EAA3/Vol.1/97. Whereas, Obi became Balogun of Igbo to Olubadan in 1996. This is a development which Oba Adetunji only revisited through the coronation of Obi to douse the 20-year leadership tussle among the Igbo in the city."

Obi told Daily Sun that history has been made with his endorsement as leader of Ndigbo in Ibadan by the Olubadan: "In October 1996, I was made Balogun Ndigbo of Ibadaland. Olubadan has confirmed that I am the true leader of Igbo in Ibadan.
"Olubadan has anointed me as the leader of Igbo in Ibadan. It is a great day for the entire Igbo. That is the end of the crisis of the entire Igbo in Ibadan. God has made it possible. I thank Olubadan, the high chiefs, including Igbo General Assembly and our women. They are fantastic people."

But on May 4, 2016, news went viral on the social media that Oba Adetunji denied installing any new leader for the Igbo community in Ibadan. A statement credited to the Director of Media and Public Affairs to the Olubadan, Mr. Adeola Oloko, on the social media reads in part:
"There was never a time he (Olubadan) conferred the chieftaincy title of Eze Ndigbo or recognised anybody as the leader of Igbo in Ibadanland. The Olubadan therefore urged all the residents and citizens of Ibadan to remain law-abiding."
Following the statement, Anozie commended Oba Adetunji for applying his God-given wisdom in "clearing the air over the very recent misconceptions and speculation in some quarters on the Igbo leadership tussle in Ibadan. Ndigbo actually received with shock that news, now proved to be false by the Kabiyesi that he installed a new leader for Igbo in Ibadan in person of Aloy Obi.

"Ndigbo in badan felt seriously disenfranchised, marginalised and humiliated in our country, Nigeria over the action. But glory be to God who has given our Kabiyesi the guidance to doing the right thing without much delay.
"The area that impressed us so much is the area where he (Oba Adetunji) said that him, being a responsible monarch and law-abiding citizen of Nigeria, that he stands by the rule of law and therefore abides by the ruling of the court over the Igbo leadership matter.
"What is the court's ruling over the matter? On February 18, 2014, the State High Court of competent jurisdiction has ruled that I, Dr. Alex Anozie, remain the only Igbo head or leader in Ibadan and Oyo State, and ordered Chief Alysus Obi and his group to stop parading in that same capacity.
"Up till now, no higher court has vacated that judgment, and there is no stay of execution standing against the judgment."

But Oloko explained that the monarch only affirmed Obi as Balogun of Ndigbo of Ibadanland. He wondered what would be the gains of the main actors in the Igbo leadership crisis in Ibadan and why they have not allowed the tussle to be resolved.
Earlier before the endorsement of Obi as leader of Igbo community, the Olubadan and his council had said Ibadan would not recognise the use of Eze Ndigbo title in Ibadan.
The monarch also banned the use of 'his royal highness and his royal majesty'. The palace also directed that the leaders of various town unions and associations must be under the authorities of the recognised community heads (Baale) of their respective domains. The heads of the associations and clubs must get to the palace through their Baales.
Following the directives, an announcement was made by the Ohanaeze Ndigbo that as a mark of honour to the Ibadan monarch and in the interest of peace and harmony in Ibadan, the use of Eze Ndigbo title had been dropped.

President and Secretary of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chiefs Emma Nzeako and Nwanze Okechukwu, stated that the issue of Igbo leadership in Ibadan and Oyo State had long been settled in favour of Anozie since 1997. They noted that Anozie was democratically elected by all the Igbo communities, town unions, and traders associations residing in the state.
The Ohanaeze body in the state said it did not understand why Anozie would have to report to Olubadan through the Baale of Ekotedo, adding that Anozie was not chosen by only the Igbo resident in Ekotedo but that of the entire Ibadanland and the state."
In the same vein, Enweronye, said Obi was democratically elected as the traditional leader of Igbo community in Ibadanland during an election organised by IGA.

At present, Obi and Anozie still see themselves as leaders of Ndigbo. But the question is, when will the leadership tussle be resolved.

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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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