Immoral contraption of Charles Okonkwo’s Akulue uno chieftaincy title & uncustomary incursion into the arena of odogwu of Ibusa
By Nwankwo Tony Nwaezeigwe
The Ibusa Background to Honour-in-Hard-Work
I am not much concerned about the fallacy of the so-called vacant Odogwu of Ibusa title as I am morally disturbed by the fictitious chieftaincy title of Akulue Uno conferred on Mr. Charles Okonkwo, a known member of an international internet criminal gang called 419. It does appear to me that Obi Prof Louis Chelunor Nwoboshi does not understand the full meaning and significance of the term “AKULUE UNO” in both cultural and moral terms.
As a historical musicologist, one of the Igbo musicians I so much love to listen to quite often especially during my meditative intellectual constructions is the Owerri-based most talented Bongo Band. Among their many classic tracks of meditative philosophy, the one that often attracts my attention is the track that tells the story of a man named Obi who came to Onitsha with the intent to defraud people but ended up being redirected to the Great town of Ibusa where two superior criminal-minded young men ripped him off his remaining financial resources. This is the irony of Igbuzo Isu Mba Ogu! Isu fu Ogu Ju Nni, still the irony of a purported traditional leadership called Obuzor of Ibusa that was constructed on the sickening foundations of fraud and illegality.
It is often stated that a society where footballers are adored will often produce multiple successful footballers, as in the case of Brazil. In the same vein, a society where military prowess is adored will have most of their promising youth drifting towards the military profession. This was equally the case of Ibusa before Nigeria’s independence that saw such astute military officers as Colonels Nduka Okwechime, S B Nwajei, Henry Igboba, and Major Albert Okonkwo gracing the field of Nigeria’s officer corps on Nigeria’s independence. Similarly, a society where kidnappers are venerated has the consequence of producing kidnappers as the model of progress. And above all, a society where not just known international fraudsters are adored but has a traditional political leadership founded on fraudulent manipulation of the people’s opinion will always present fraudsters as their models, as in the case of Ibusa under Obi Prof Louis Chelunor Nwoboshi.
I could still recollect what transpired between me, Chief Emma Onwuachi under whose auspices I was privileged to be there, Mr. Frank Atuche, and another notable guest I could not recollect the name, during the wedding reception of the famous actor Mofe Damijo and his wife who was then a senior management staff of the Marketing Department of Bank PHB held at Victoria Island Lagos. As the reception was going on every group seated respectively in selected spaces was engaged in unrestricted discussions. As our group entered the arena of Ibusa local politics and I inadvertently mentioned Chief Fred Ajudua as one of the notable political leaders in Ibusa, there was as an abrupt and total hush from my listeners and, that was the end of the topic at that moment.
Most often it is the personal carriage and activities of an individual that defines his title which by extension acts as the model springboard for his people. Thus the man conferred with the title of kpakpando (Star) or Onwa (Moonlight) of his community automatically assumes the symbol of light, progress, and pride to his people. Indeed it does not often matter to such people if the said “Star” or “Moon” is covered with some clouds that tend to obstruct it social values to the people. What matters to them is that so long as it is a “Star” or “Moon” there must always be light. Yet it does not further matter to them if such light from the said “Star” or “Moon” is one that dims their vision instead of increasing it. scorches their crops or causes severe heat. All they wanted is light, the source, the moral basis of its existence, and its cumulative effects notwithstanding.
Historically, Ibusa was not known for criminal instincts, rather they were noted for their warrior instincts and honourable industry as famous farmers and heavy food eaters. As a young man during my Primary and Secondary School days I passed through the interesting thoroughfares of thorough training to be self-contented and industrious. I was made to wake up at the second crow of the cock to proceed to Atakpo stream in the company of my Grandmother and occasionally with my peers and other relations in what was called “Igba Uzo Iyi.” I was never trained to bath with warm water I was often pushed into the stream by my Grandmother even during the height of cold Hamattan. It was only after I moved to the North with my parents that hot became compulsory for not just bathing but washing of plates as well. I went to pick firewood after school with my peers.
I was trained to fish with several fishing instruments such as Ukpoo (hook and lining), Ikele (fish trapping basket), Otutu (Standing fish trapping basket), Mgbo (Damming) Net, and Chemical application with either the native Iwele herb or modern Gamalin. I was trained locally to swim as well and so I have never been afraid of water, especially having been conceived through water. When I was being conveyed through the dreaded Bakkasi Peninsula with an outboard engine boat loaded with nine and a half drums of diesel during my escape to Republic of Cameroon, my conveyors were surprised to note that I was in no way afraid of water.
I equally excelled to the point where my peers were afraid to reach by learning to climb palm trees with Agbu (Climbing rope) to harvest bunches of palm fruits and cut palm fronds. During farm weeding sessions I outwitted my cousins in what is referred to as Ipu-egbo. I have been initiated into the Ohene (Priestly) Cult of Oboshi and Iyi Oji River Deities and this explains why I am forbidden to engage in any diabolical scheme or be subject to any form of witchcraft. Local assassins had been sent after me several times both at Ibusa and Nsukka and those involved knew that I knew them. So I am not strange to anything Ibusa in the context of whatever dimension one decides to see. The Obuzor of Ibusa works with devious Native Doctors while I work with progressive potent Ancestors and Deities of Ibusa. So it is very difficult for both of us to work together especially at transcendental level.
I could also recollect one time I was going back to Nsukka and I met a heavy gridlock at the Niger Bridge. After waiting fruitlessly for the traffic to ease, I simply found a way to get back to Asaba, packed my car, and boarded the next available outboard engine boat at Cable Point at Asaba. Clad in suit, as soon as I boarded the boat I pulled off my shoes. At the middle of River Niger, possibly in the bid to test my courage I watched as the boat driver discreetly put off the engine and we saw ourselves dancing in a calabash-style in the storm. I immediately took hold of my shoes, and when the boar driver noticed that he said “Oga why you dey hold yah shoes for hand” and I quickly responded to him, “so that I could find my way in case you decide to sink the boat”, and all the passengers burst out in a frenzy of laughter, which in a way eased the already tensed atmosphere. I told them they should forget my suit because it was not a matter of if I would be able to find myself on the Onitsha Bank of the river but the fear of damaging my hand-set.
I could still remember when as an undergraduate of University of Nigeria, Nsukka, my mother greatly funded my education with proceeds from cassava paste (Akpu) which she often loaded in pick-up vans from my town to Woliwo Market, Onitsha. I still remember how such popular transporters as Mr. Charles Nwabudike a. k. a World Bank and the Oguta-born Samankwe struggled most of the nights to help my mother load bags of water-dripping cassava paste into their pick-up vans at a number of Ibusa streams. Although Samankwe I was informed is dead now, but Mr. Charles Nwabudike whose wife is a distant cousin to my mother is still alive as a living testimony to this account. Oftentimes, when visiting home from Nsukka I would branch off to Woliwo Market to search for my mother and sit with her for a while before proceeding home.
I have had the occasion equally to experience the Ibusa spirit of magnanimity in hard-work as a young boy. During the New Yam Festival particular on the day penultimate the main celebration called “Ji Nkwo Aja” less privileged relatives and friends were supplied with Ukpa Ji (Rectangular Basket full of tubers of yam). By Ibusa tradition also farmers did not often exhaust their yam and cassava harvests in their farm lands which were often left at the convenience of the less privileged citizens to harvest after two years. The practice of kinsmen supplying their working kith kin in urban cities and towns food stuff was once a dominant feature of a kind-hearted and industrious Ibusa society.
Communally, there was absolute love and solidarity among the people especially when disaster called. I have witnessed occasions when a whole village had to put off all their personal responsibilities in order to urgently erect a kinsman’s building struck down by storm, in which which again takes a bit longer to mature, the only payment was a mound of fufu mixed with pounded yam swallowed with a bowl of dried fish and bush meat-infested thick Egusi soup. Indeed the traditional food of Ibusa people is pounded yam which continues to be diluted progressively with cassava fufu as the quantity of yam regresses.
The title of Diji is often associated with any man with uncountable varieties of yam tubers such as Ji-Oku (Yellow Yam), and varieties of white yam of which the highest in status is Ji-Asukwulu, Ji-Alafolo, Ji-Ekpe, and Ji Abana (Water yam). Ji-Oku is regarded as the King of yams and is often the longest in period of maturation and is associated with Ndi-Eze title holders (Ndi Nze). On the other hand, Ji-Asukwulu is associated with Mkpa-Alo title holders, hence an Mkpa-Alo title initiate is saluted Ogbu-Asukwulu. For some of us who were trained traditionally to pound yam fufu, Ji-Asukwulu variety presents the most difficult to pound because of its high starch content which makes smoothing often difficult. The next variety of white yam is the tasty and the least with starch content called Ji-Alafolo which is, although easy to pound but requires extra effort to coagulate the little starch content by constant pounding. However, by far the most popular of all the yam varieties is Ji-Ekpe, which has the shortest period of maturation and is thus the official yam for New Yam (Iwa-Ji) Feast.
It is equally instructive to note that even in that stream of magnanimity people were still encouraged to work hard in order to earn respect among their peer groups and the people in general, particularly when one knows that frequent dependent on a fellow man for feeding might earn him the derogatory nickname of Eche Nni (Someone who often calculated when his neighbour had finished cooking and visited uninvited for the purpose of being invited to eat).
One does not need to go into the detailed aspect of the enormous natural resources of Ibusa since that would constitute a separate topic altogether, but the fact cannot be denied that Ibusa has the largest arteries of freshwater rivers, streams, and lakes with enormous aquatic resources than any West Niger Igbo. In this respect she shares boundaries with Oko Anala, Oko Ogbele, and Abala. This further explains why Ibusa was able to construct military alliance with the powerful riverain kingdom of Aboh during the pre-colonial era.
On the Moral Questions Arising from Charles Okonkwo’s Akulue Uno Chieftaincy Title
I want to emphatically state that Obi Prof Chelunor Louis Nwoboshi is my mother’s cousin and by extension my Uncle. But the matter before us goes beyond kinship relationship. It is a matter that has to do with the general progress of Ibusa town which, as I have often stated, should not be sacrificed on the dastard altars selfishness and insane kinship sentiment. His mother’s immediate younger brother Nwolise was once married to my Grandmother Adaozele.
Indeed I was and still remained close to his nephew and son of his younger brother Mike Ojei with whom I used to jump up and down in his then semi-completed one-storey building. Mike’s father Munonyedi was also very close to my mother. His mother knew me personally since my mother often sent me on errands to her. Thus he remains my Uncle, however not in the face of his clandestine obstruction of the general progress of Ibusa town, irrational desecration of time-honoured Ibusa customs and tradition, and unrepentant arrogance founded on a profound display of untraditional royalty.
Please Obi Professor my dear Uncle, if you as a Professor of the prestigious University of Ibadan defines such a man of questionable source of wealth without a single morally and profitable tangible or intangible investment in Ibusa as Mr. Charles Okonkwo as Akulue Uno of Ibusa, where then do you class such a noble son of Ibusa as Peter Okocha of the Chrismatel Group of Companies who has contributed quite enormously in tangible and intangible development of Ibusa in human and material resources. To my knowledge, Mr. Peter Okocha sited a Pharmaceutical Company in Ibusa he had also tarred the street of his Ogboli Quarters, provided them pipe-borne water, bought a brand new car for Diokpa of Ibusa and above all, employed hundreds of Ibusa indigenes in his companies.
Our Obi Professor in the garb of Obuzor, you can as well use your professional Forestry mathematics to calculate the number of Ibusa citizens that were lifted out of poverty by Mr. Frank Atuche of the Bank PHB fame through massive employments and contract awards, the location of the now Keystone Bank in the town, the massive reconstruction of two old Primary Schools—Anioshe and Umejei with state of the art infrastructure, the single-handedly construction of the new Saint Augustine’s Roman Catholic Church to state just the known few?
Dear Our Obi Professor Obuzor, what do you again say in the same direction considering the landmark impact by the former Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Dele Ezeoba (rtd) through the establishment of Admiralty University in Ibusa? Could such a man instead be conferred with the chieftaincy title of “Akulue Osha” since the University is located in the bush? The big question here my Dear Uncle is, so if Ibusa is called upon today to present her symbol of Akulue Uno which in Igbo stands for symbol of wealth with positive impact at home, the like of Mr. Charles Okonkwo will jump out? I fear ooh!
There is no doubt that short of his contest for the traditionally exalted title of Odogwu of Ibusa which I hold today with sublime dignity and unshakable confidence, the conferment of the chieftaincy title of “Akulue Uno” on a known criminal is a direct affront on the historical dignity of Ibusa town. Perhaps the only known impact Charles Okonkwo might have made on Ibusa with his criminally acquired but already evaporating wealth are his living home along Ibusa-Olodu road and, his Mercedes Benz Flat-Boot Coupe that earned him the honorific title of “Charlie Coupe”, the only chieftaincy title he most qualified to hold in Ibusa.
This is a man who found it very difficult to explain the mysterious death of his mother, younger sister during the hey-days of his 419 escapades, and recently his mother’s immediate younger brother Mr. Chukwuma Nwokocha during his mischievous initiation into Ogbuu Warrior Cult. But then the question is what do we expect from a man—a purported King of a non-existent Ibusa Kingdom who defines himself as the Obuzor of Ibusa and by extension an academic, although definitely not a scholar? Real scholars are wise, calculatingly humble, and diplomatically tactful and aggressively principled. All these indices of a scholar are evidently lacking in Obi Prof Louis Chelunor Nwoboshi, thus hazarding the theory that This is because the mere holding of the title of a Professor does not automatically make one a scholar.
It was the famous Church Scientologist Leisa Goodman who said that: “A person who wears the label of ‘Professor’ assumes certain responsibilities. Foremost is that his work will be thorough, fair and honest, and free from preconceptions offered as conclusions.” Whether Obi Prof Louis Chelunor Nwoboshi has lived up the expectations of his title as a Professor remains a subject of moral judgment passable by the people of Ibusa.
We have over the time witnessed a wholesome abuse and desecration of Ibusa customary laws and traditions through insane construction of customarily unfit and traditionally unacceptable political and social frameworks within the Obuzor traditional political system. This is a man who has criminally obstructed the selection of a new Omu of Ibusa because he uses his wife as an alternative Omu of Ibusa to collect market revenues meant for the Omu and using the likes of the Uso Nwanneka Oraegbu’s wife as the instrument of extortion for those performing Ikpu-Nnu Second Burial Ceremony of Women, which is customarily the traditional role of the Omu of Ibusa. This was indeed the source of his quarrel with late Omu of Ibusa Her Highness Major Nnando (rtd) which led to the false accusation that the Omu was convicted of child theft.
We have over the years witnessed the honourable desertion of Obi Prof Nwoboshi by reasonable noble sons of Ibusa. The list is legion: the now late Obi Senator Nosike Ikpo, Chief Celestine Okobi, late Professor Nolue Emenanjo, Late E. C. Halim, Late Justice V. J. O. Chigbue, Late Obi Hon Vincent N. Obieke, late Uwolo of Ibusa Chief Willy U Ikolodo, Martin Ikediashi, A. W. O. Inugonum, Peter Okocha, late Umunna who was the first Secretary to Obuzor-in-Council, Late Dr. John Anaza, late Professor Michael Angulu Onwuejeogwu, late Chief L N Ashikodi, late Chief P C Okolie, Diokpa Paul Mordi, Obi Vincent Okonkwo and the very man that was instrumental to his creation as Obuzor by clandestinely using his office as Delta State Commissioner to swindle Ibusa people of their conscience Chief Austin Izagbo, who incidentally is the current President General of Ibusa Community Development Union (ICDU). If then all these noble sons of Ibusa could escape from the traditional political nightmare miscalled Obuzor of Ibusa, why should I find myself there?
Most people would not understand the height of Obi Prof Louis Chelunor Nwoboshi’s hoodoo impact on Ibusa until they prod deeper into the reason why such noble sons of Ibusa who had contributed immensely towards the development of the town could distant themselves from the same institution they helped to create. Let me just give one perfect example of what I mean when I say that Obi Prof Louis Chelunor Nwoboshi is an embodiment of back-luck in Ibusa. Ibusa has only one High Court Judge presently who incidentally is a woman married to Urhoboland.
When Obuzor learnt about her recommendation he quickly organized a petition from his palace against her for the major reason that her Village was not his support base. Unfortunately, he was scorned with the greatest indignity when the State Judicial Commission courtly informed him that the said now His Lordship was not recommended on Ibusa quota but on Urhobo quota and so only Urhobo people could question her recommendation.
A man of extreme negative spiritual vibration who divests any man of superior progress around him of his progress as his spiritual mechanism of self-preservation, it is on record that any progressive Ibusa man who associates himself with the Obuzor institution under Obi Prof Louis Chelunor Nwoboshi sooner than later found himself in trouble. Name them: Frank Atuche, Sebastian Adigwe, the so-called Kpakpando Gbanashi, and the Rear Admiral Dele Ezeoba. Is that the type of leadership I would be proud to associate myself with?
I am not late Obi Prof Patrick Chike Onwuachi. I am Dr. Nwankwo Tony Okoboshi Nwaezeigwe—the Odogwu of Ibusa. It does not matter to me if an insignificant illegitimate section of Ibusa think I am not so. I see that as a figment of their stupid imagination. At the end of the day we will know who will mess up the other more. After the false claim of bastard which was founded on insane ignorance, I don’t think my opponents have anything else to about my personality in negative terms both in my place of work and Ibusa. I am not a thief and I have never been engaged in any form of fraud. I state this with utmost pride because none of those who became inversely popularly can rightly convince their victims better than I can do if criminality were to be my destiny in life.
Chief Austin Izagbo who is the current President General of Ibusa Community Development Union (ICDU) should better inform the Obuzor that some of us are fully aware that he is sitting on a hurriedly constructed clay-footed political edifice which could be broken any moment. Chief Austin Izagbo is fully aware that the Government White Paper that gave birth to the present Obuzor institution was a fake construction and did not represent in any manner the original views of Ibusa people which are made up of more than five hundred pages, of which I was a contributor.
The present Government White Paper was the verbatim submission of ICDU Lagos Branch opinion, which was even sponsored by the later Obuzor-demonized Owelle of Ibusa Dr. John Anaza. I have the original copy as well as the compendium of submissions of all Ibusa citizens. And let me state it point and clear here that if I decide to take up this case both Chief Austin Izagbo and Obi Prof Louis Chelunor Nwoboshi will go to Prison for forgery and deceiving the State Government with the intent of creating a non-existent traditional title and imposing same on the people without their consent. I have abundant proof to stand my assertion that the current Obuzor institution was not created with the consent of the majority of Ibusa people as alleged by the Government White Paper. And let me make it clear right here in exile that I have the capability of instituting a legal process even from the Moon to drive my case to its logical conclusion.
The only change effected on the clandestine ICDU Lagos Branch document before submission to the State Government as the collective opinion of Ibusa people was the deletion of the section which provided that the first Obuzor should be thrown open to every son of Ibusa from all the ten Quarters. Indeed this special provision was particularly inserted by Chief Austin Izagbo in order to enable late Obi Prof Patrick Chike Onwuachi from Otu Iyase to contest as his preferred candidate.
However the drum-beat changed tone when Chief Austin Izagbo and Obi Prof Chike Onwuachi quarreled over the Communaversity Project which Obi Professor Onwuachi contracted Chief Izagbo to oversee. Chief Izagbo had accused Obi Prof Onwuachi of refusing to pay him the accurate amount agreed and for that reason decided to undo him by unilaterally using his privileged position as Delta State Commissioner of Youth and Sports and special confidant of the Military Administrator Group Captain Ibrahim Kefas to delete that special provision, which consequently rendered Obi Prof Chike Onwuachi ineligible to contest. Indeed before Izuani Ibusa decided to endorse the Obuzor institution it took Chief Izagbo the tactic of deceiving Obi Hon Vincent Obieke, the then most influential Eze title holder in Ibusa to believe that he was the most qualified to hold the Obuzor title being the only enlightened Eze title holder in Otu Odogwu then.
Ordinarily, Obi Prof Louis Cheluno Nwoboshi was the least qualified to hold the position of Obuzor of Ibusa had the contest been thrown open to all the three sub-clans of Ibusa. First, he was a known opponent of the Obuzor institution which was then driven by Otu-Mkpalo against Otu-Umu Ndi Eze to which he belonged. Secondly, had Ezukwu Quarters approved the only contestant for the Obuzor throne who was my Uncle Chief Awele Nwaezeigwe, Obi Prof Cheluno Nwoboshi should not have found his legs there.
This is without prejudice to the Izagbo fabricated Umueze seniority to Ezukwu, because between the two Quarters of Otu-Odogwu there is no contest over Ezukwu’s seniority. The possible candidate Ezukwu wanted to present for the position was Mr. Johnbull Odume of Achalla Ibusa but he was reluctant to let go his service in Government. It was at that point that a delegation from Umueze came to remind Ezukwu Quarters at the Palace of the then Diokpa of Otu-Odogwu Onowu Nwalie Nwajei of Achalla that both Villages are so close that they don’t contest titles, and for that reason Ezukwu should allow Umueze to present a candidate for the Obuzor title since Ezukwu already has the Ikwelle and Odogwu titles. When Ezukwu enquired to know the candidate they had in mind, they quickly informed them that the man in question is their son—the son of their daughter and a Professor. That was how Obi Prof Louis Cheluno Nwoboshi eventually emerged as the Obuzor.
I was a full participant in his coronation as the Secretary of Ibusa Community Development Union (ICDU). The Ibusa link with the Isu Nnewi homeland which attracted the delegation that came to Ibusa to announce the death of their Obi recently was the result of my historical project. Indeed similar delegation was in hand on the day of Obuzor coronation at the instance of my invitation and a traditional staff of office was presented to Obi Prof Chelunor Nwoboshi.
So when I speak about the Obuzor I speak not only as a professional historian with instinctive traditional research drive, but equally as a participant. This is why I don’t lose a bit of my sleep when I read Obi Prof Louis Chelunor Nwoboshi stating that the Odogwu of Ibusa chieftaincy position I currently occupy is vacant and even went further to set up devious 419 Internet Fraudsters against me. I will state the reasons why I don’t in any way lose a bit of my sleep by lecturing Obi Prof Louis Chelunor Nwoboshi on the subject of his ignorance to the limits of his powers as Obuzor of Ibusa. But if he does not respect his office I will help him to disrespect it the more. By Ibusa customs and tradition my allegiance goes to only two persons in Ibusa—the Diokpa of Anyalaobum and the Diokpa of Ibusa and not to him.
Why the Obuzor of Ibusa Obi Prof Louis Chelunor Nwoboshi Lacks the Powers to Decide the Holder of Odogwu of Ibusa
Traditionally the Ikwelle, Odogwu, Uwolo, Iyase and Omu are superior traditional institutions to the Obuzor of Ibusa. It is simply a matter of status and delegated authority. This is because these chieftaincy titles are institutional prescribed customary authorities, while the Obuzor of Ibusa was created as an institutional representative of the Diokpa of Ibusa. This explains while the Obuzor of Ibusa cannot be a member of the Delta State Traditional Rulers Council, whereas such monarchs as the Obi of Akwukwu Igbo and Atuma are qualified to be members. So it is wrong for the Obuzor to place himself on the pedestal of a monarch. Ibusa has no monarchy and no Government document stated so.
Again if Obi Prof Chelunor Nwoboshi does not know that he has no authority to confer any of the above five traditional titles, I am now informing him; otherwise the embarrassment will be more than what he is currently receiving. The section of the Delta State Gazette that defines his functions to include “conferring of chieftaincy titles in which the Senior Diokpa does the chalking” does not include the above five exalted titles. Indeed as far as I am concerned Ibusa is yet to have an Uwolo of Ibusa as required by Ibusa customary law and tradition and further supported by Delta State Traditional Rulers, Council and Chiefs Edict, 1998.
This is because the Obuzor of Ibusa has no customary authority whether institutional or delegated to confer the Uwolo of Ibusa title on anybody. Indeed that was the ground on which Chief Ikolodo defeated Chief Nwokocha in the High Court, because the latter had depended on the Senior Diokpa of Ibusa as the conferring authority. Thus as far as the customary laws guiding the conferment of Uwolo title is concerned, Amaechi Nwaenie is at best a cosmetic Uwolo of Ibusa; and under such a circumstance anybody from Otu-Uwolo who comes up tomorrow as Uwolo of Ibusa and passes through the rightful processes of conferment will receive not only my full blessing but unalloyed support. I will be willing to provide maximum support to such a person to any judicial level to claim his title. I had thought that his pariah Iyase Chief Okonicha Iwugo should have advised him properly.
It is therefore instructive to point out that the Odogwu of Ibusa Chieftaincy title together with the Ikwelle, Uwolo, Iyase, and Omu Chieftaincy titles are recognized as the only official traditional chieftaincy titles of Ibusa Clan under the Traditional Rulers and Chiefs Edict, 1979, No. 16 of Bendel State of Nigeria, page A173 Section 39 (2) of the Second Schedule, which is still applicable to Delta State under the Delta State Traditional Rulers, Council and Chiefs Edict, 1998.
In line with the subsisting provisions of the Delta State Traditional Rulers, Council and Chiefs Edict, 1998, the appointment and conferment of Odogwu Ibusa Chieftaincy title are subject to Sections 22 (1, 2, & 3) and 23 (1, 2, 3, & 4), which apply mutatis mutandis to the other four Traditional Chieftaincy titles, particularly Section (2). In other words the appointment and conferment of the traditional chieftaincy titles of Ikwelle, Odogwu, Uwolo, Iyase and Omu are not subject to the authority of the Prescribed Authority— defined as King or in the context of Ibusa customs and tradition as either the Diokpa of Ibusa or Obuzor, whichever might subsist to apply. The only duty of the Prescribed Authority under such a circumstance is to communicate the finished business to the State Government.
It is important to note that for the Odogwu chieftaincy title in particular there is a registered “Government Declaration Regulating the Selection, Appointment and Conferment of the Traditional Chieftaincy Title”, titled:” “FORM OF RULING HOUSE DECLARATION: Declaration Under Section 4(2) of the Chiefs Law, 1959 of Western Region of Nigeria of the Customary Law Regulating the Selection of the Odogwu of Ibusa”, which still applies to the Delta State Traditional Rulers, Council and Chiefs Edict, 1998 as supported by Sections 3, 12 and 23(2). These Sections by the structure of Ibusa Customs and Tradition also apply to the selection, appointment and conferment of the traditional titles of Uwolo and Iyase of Ibusa.
Furthermore, Section 22(4) explicitly states:
“The Prescribed authority shall not withhold approval of the conferment of a traditional chieftaincy title on a person if such conferment is made in accordance with the customary law regulating the conferment of the chieftaincy title.”
Again, Section 25(1) goes further to state:
“The Prescribed authority or the Secretary to the Committee shall forward the name and other particulars of a chief (whether traditional or honorary) on whom a title has been conferred under this part to the appropriate Government Department for registration.”
Indeed it is in attempt to forestall any apparent act of disregard to this Sub-section that the Edict goes further in Sub-section (2) to state: “The conferment of a chieftaincy title shall be valid from the date of conferment.”
So by law I do not have to be registered first or be recognized by whoever defines himself as the prescribed authority of Ibusa before I commence to perform my roles as the Odogwu of Ibusa.
Indeed this is the Sub-section that empowers the legality of my current status as the Odogwu of Ibusa as confirmed by Ibusa Customs and Tradition. It does not therefore matter to me if the Obuzor forwards my name to the appropriate Government Department or not; that is his business with those who said he “shall not withhold….” At the appropriate time we shall decide who is actually on the right path.
It is therefore important to let the Obuzor Obi Prof Louis Chelunor Nwoboshi to know that:
He has no customary authority over the conferment of Odogwu of Ibusa Chieftaincy title according to extant Customary and Delta State Laws.
The conferment of Odogwu of Ibusa Chieftaincy title is guided by a Government Declaration which does not empower whoever presents himself as the Prescribed authority to do so.
I want to further inform him that Section 2 (Para. 9) of the Delta State Traditional Rulers, Councils and Chiefs Edict, 1998 clearly interprets “Declaration” to mean: “a written statement approved by the Government registrable or registered by the appropriate Government Department as embodying the customary method of selecting a person to be the holder of a traditional ruler title or of a chieftaincy title as the case may be.”
Obi Prof Louis Chelunor Nwoboshi should therefore check appropriately if the said Declaration empowers him as the Obuzor of Ibusa to confer Odogwu title on anybody, otherwise he might be attracting further revulsion to his already questionable dignity of office.
If he checks and finds out that he has no powers to confer the Odogwu of Ibusa title on anybody and then goes ahead to do so, then he is acting criminally and should be treat like one.
He should equally ask if the practice of selling forms for Odogwu of Ibusa title when he is not empowered by law to confer the title is not a case of 419—Advanced Fee Fraud? Indeed he should tell Ibusa people when the selling of forms for chieftaincy titles has become Ibusa way of life?
As a Professor who is believed to have intellectually trained and mentored men and women of dignity he should post some moral questions to himself over the essence and meaning in the conferment of Akulue Uno title on a well-known internet fraudster in Ibusa.
He should for once look around himself and compare those traditional carpet-baggers around him with the stream of noble men of value that deserted him and then judge whether the dignity of his traditional office is worth the historical dignity of Ibusa.
Finally, he is free to continue with his illegality and desecration of our timeless customs and tradition as long as I am absent from home. He should even go ahead and appoint another Odogwu of Ibusa if he feels it is within his customary authority to do so.