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Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Otu Odu of Onicha Ado N’Idu Historical Fact

 Shared by Nwafor Obinna Stanley

In Onitsha tradition and custom, there are four cardinal institutions; The Obi, Ndichie, Agbalanze and Otu Odu.

These four institutions work in their individual capacity to ensure progress, peace and development of Onitsha people with relevant supports from other subordinate groups. Otu Odu however is an exclusive prestigious society for Onitsha women who as either indigenes, direct relations (Nwadiani) or by marriage, have distinguished themselves in their respective capabilities in life and have been found worthy in character.

Odu literally means Elephant Tusk and in Onitsha tradition, Igbu Odu in clear terms mean wearing of Tusk, it is a rite of honouring a woman after creditable service in life. It used to be conferred as a form of appreciation on a mother by her children at a certain age, on a dutiful wife by her husband.

It is observed as a ceremonious adorning of a woman with Elephant Tusk which is won on both hands and legs. In other cases nevertheless, the ceremony is performed to be worn either on the hands or the legs respectively as a mark of status in the society.

Elephant Tusk significantly because it is rare in quality and possession, ornate and expensive. This calls for the historic importance attached to it in the whole of Africa, making it one of the most sought after ornaments even by the whites who visited Africa earlier in the days.

Till date Elephant Tusk is still precious, a symbol of wealth, regal and beauty. In most African cultures it is used to depict class and authority, especially in Onitsha.

However, at inception, it was recorded that it was very few women that took Odu in Onitsha as a mark of honour. Some that did at that earlier stage had it either as a result of conferment by their wealthy son, or took it as a mark of their outstanding wealth creation after distinguishing themselves in commerce.

Odu was then more of a private or individual affair of famous Onitsha women of character and affluence as rightly described. It used to be revered therefore because of the caliber of women involved.It developed into the only distinguished status symbol for women as very few could afford to be so initiated then and the dream of every woman unlike today that it has become an all comers affair.

Moreover, the tradition of taking Odu title did not originally start as a society that it is today; scanty therefore were the records of women who took Odu title in the past in the earlier Onitsha traditional society until Odua Ngo, J.U. Etukokwu (MFR), organized it into the prestigious institution that it has metamophorsised today.

Precisely, on March 15, 1959 all the individual Ndi Odu in Onitsha were invited together by Chief Etukowku where they were received and entertained as a group so the society was inaugurated.

However, like earlier stated there are different stages or types of Odu depending on an individual’s financial capability. The complete procedure is called Odu Ukwu N’aka while it could be undertaken for either the hands alone called Odu Aka or the legs alone known as Odu Ukwu. Meanwhile there is no age barrier for initiation into Odu; the only distinction is that children below 18 years are allowed Odu aka alone.

Continuing, the elegant white uniform of Ndi Odu today was not always as it used to be, there was no particular uniform for them earlier in the days. Except for the Elephant Tusk won gracefully, an Odu title woman wears whatever she likes; white uniform was later introduced as a result of Etukokwu’s innovation to represent purity as Odu is seen to typify.

The initiation procedure starts with a formal declaration of intent by an initiate. This step enables the executives of Ndi Otu Odu to set up a fact finding process to ascertain the eligibility of the would-be Onye Odu (Initiate). It involves enquiries into the character, personality and the integrity of the person.

When this is satisfactorily done, an intermediary who is a member of Odu Society, who knows the initiate so well to introduce her to the society, is appointed as a mediator and the process continues.

At the inception of the society there were male co-ordinators who helped managed their affairs as it was customary in the past that men should be seen to be involved in the administration of basic societal activities as heads, the first to occupy such responsibility was Odua Ngo J.U. Etukowku, later was Chief Nkpuluma.

A run-down of the past and present presidents of Otu Odu Onitsha Ado N’idu;

Enyi Omenyi Oteka, 1959 – 1969

Enyi Nwabunie Etukowu 1970 – 1973

Enyi Okunwa Nwabuenyi Oranye 1973 – 1976

Enyi Uduezue Azuka Anatogu 1986 – 1988

Enyi Chinyelugo Flo Emodi 1988 – 1993

Enyi Azumdialo Joan Analo 1994 – 1998

Enyi Nwabuenyi Mary Onwualo 1998 – 2006

Enyi Nwamunamma Helen Agusiobo 2006 – 2009

Enyi Nwamunamma Joyce Egbuniwe 2009 – 2012

Enyi Onyechiboleze Carol Okosi 2012 – 2015

Enyi Ugobeze Florence Osoka 2015

Constitutionally, Otu Odu must be presided by an Onitsha indigene married in Onitsha.

,#ikengandigbo          @ Ikenga Ndi Igbo

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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