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Thursday, December 8, 2016

Secrets of Ozo title

Written by Aloysius Attah, Onitsha
~The SUN Nigeria. Wednesday, December 7, 2016.

- Why Enugwu-Agidi Ozo titleholder must live in affluence, keep money for burial

Across the length and breadth of Igboland, Ozo title is a major symbol of prominence. The title-taking event is typically organized with an abundance of yam, meat, wine and other staple foods, all of which symbolize prosperity in the Igbo culture.

A close observation of the Ozo title-taking ceremony across the states of the South-East geo-political zone gives one an opportunity to see the slight variations in the ways the several communities organize and manage the auspicious event.

Igbo culture is not a straitjacket one that is made up of meaningless rituals.

The Igbo believe in customizing and personalizing their culture. That explains the variations seen in the ways the several communities handle their Ozo title-taking event.

Typically, for an Igbo man to become an Ozo titleholder, he must be wealthy. This gave rise to the Igbo saying that "Ichi ozo bu maka ndi ogadagidi," meaning that taking the Ozo title is an affair for the high and mighty.

Daily Sun was at Enugwu-Agidi community in Njikoka Local Government Area of Anambra State recently to witness the Ozo title taking ceremony of four brothers.

Though the Ozo title taking is such a money-consuming ceremony, the Nwakwo brothers: Olisaemeka Nwankwo, Ugochukwu Nwankwo, Tochukwu Nwankwo and Chukwuma Nwankwo, did not only host the entire community, but Chukwuma upped the ante when he also initiated his three little sons into the clique, bringing the number to seven.

It was a day the people of Enugwu-Agidi community will not forget in a hurry even as the newly initiated Ozo title holders said they have no regrets doing that since "they have arrived and also did what their late father once did."

At the compound of the Nwankwos, festivities were at a high pitch with dancers, musicians and other entertainers thrilling the audience even as the Ozo titleholders were busy enjoying their entitlements.

As the ceremony got underway, Ozo Fred Onubogu in a chat gave an insight on steps an aspirant for the Ozo title has to take before joining the exclusive league:

"I am an Nze na Ozo title holder too, and what we are doing here is spectacular because it is not easy for one family to produce seven Ozo title holders in one day. The bill is more than N8 million. Before they are initiated, each one of them must deposit N1 million in the bank, into the Ozo title holder's account. This is for security reasons in case of any eventuality because if an Ozo man happens to die, you don't have to go and start borrowing money. We don't suffer to give the last respect for a departed Ozo member in Enugwu – Agidi because the budget has been taken care of while the person was alive. Planning it in this form saves a lot of high blood pressure for the family members of the departed Ozo man.

"Before you step out to be an Ozo man in our place; you have to be prepared financially and otherwise. In our town, an Ozo man doesn't enter bike or tricycle because you must be in affluence. For those who want to belong, the first step is to host the group we call asaa mbu (the first seven), the person will host this group, fete them with abundant eating and drinking, including slaughtering of animals. Then the person will host the asaa nabo (the second seven) with their requirements too. After this, the asaa nabo will then inform the minor Ozo group of the aspirant's intention and they will be hosted again by the aspirant. After this, the aspirant will meet the table officers and settle them one by one, then the floor members also till the final day of the coronation.

"On the day, different groups will be invited, including the Uhie dance. All the Ozo title holders go home with a tuber of yam and a fowl at the expense of the new entrant while cows will be slaughtered among other heavy feasting and merriment."

Ozo Dr Chukwuma Nwankwo who took the title names of Ozo Ezeanawalimo, Ozo Omechaluofumbosi, Ozo Ochiagha, Ozo Ituludegwu, Ozo Akalaka, said that he took the title because his late father toed the same path and he has looked at it critically and discovered that there is no evil in it.

He said that Ozo title holders are community builders working for the progress of the community.

He said that any rich person who musters courage to take the Ozo title has taken the leap of greatness since it would open the doors and take the person to a higher level of financial status:

"This is simply a manifestation that we are rich people. No poor man joins the Ozo titleholders. The community had earlier recognized us as philanthropists, who assist the downtrodden, pay their school fees and others. I only pray that God will continue to keep us alive to keep helping others."

The head of the Ozo titleholders in Enugwu-Agidi, Chief Chidi Okekenta, said the Ozo title taking in the community was a cultural practice that should be promoted.

He said that Jesus Christ during His life on earth for 33 years was a man of culture too, who dressed like the Jews, spoke the Hebrew Language like them and not English.

He pointed out also that Jesus was circumcised like his kith and kin, saying that in the same manner; every man should be part of his birthplace culture.

He noted that the Ozo title being a sacred affair in Igboland is regulated by several traditional rules and customs.

For instance, a man will never be titled an Ozo, no matter how many million times his wealth can feed the community, if his father is still alive and has not taken the title himself:

"Another instance is when a man is a convicted murderer or thief, the Ozo title is denied him. It is forbidden that strangers hold the Ozo title irrespective of their contributions to the development of the community they find themselves in Igboland. More so, the obsequies trailing the death of an Ozo title holder is performed in an especially sacred way.

"An Ozo title holder is easily identified by the beads around his ankle and the ankles of his first wife, and also the eagle feather fixated on his red cap."

One of the wellwishers who graced the ceremony, Sir Peter Okala, former governorship candidate of National Conscience Party (NCP) in Anambra State while congratulating the Nwankwo family for their new status urged Ndigbo to promote their cultural heritage and foster more brotherly love and togetherness.

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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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