The position of “Igwe Nnewi throne” has never been hereditary ~ By Godson O. Moneke
Last week, I compared and contrasted the throne titles of OBI and IGWE to educate and explain salient issues to unsuspecting minds especially in Nnewi who hitherto thought the two throne titles were the same and could be used interchangeably. I did not blame majority of the people for holding that the two thrones were the same as the current holder, the Obi Otolo has been on the throne for close to sixty years (since 1963) and hence has been the only one that some people know in their lifetime but that doesn’t change the law, practice and convention.
For instance, most people think that the Head of State of England must be a Queen because they have only known the Queen all their lives. Even the national anthem of the United Kingdom has GOD BLESS THE QUEEN as a line. Little do they know that majority of previous Heads of State of Great Britain had been Kings. Instinctively, the present Queen will be succeeded by a King whether CHARLES OR WILLIAMS. Secondly, their monarchy is hereditary unlike the IGWE THRONE IN ANAMBRA STATE.
It is a long established fact that Nnewi is made up of four traditionally autonomous communities and this has been so from time immemorial. The communities are namely; Otolo, Uruagu, Umudim and Nnewi-Ichi in that order. They exclusively make up the Nnewi we have today. It follows that after the turn of Otolo as the Igwe Nnewi, it is the turn of Uruagu to hold the Office of Igwe Nnewi with all the recognitions, perquisites and paraphernalia and after Uruagu , Umudim takes its turn then Nnewi-Ichi in accordance with the established order of protocol among the four indigenous but interdependent communities of Nnewi.
Since Obi Otolo took the turn of Otolo, Obi Uruagu should take the turn of Uruagu then Obi Umudim for Umudim turn and Obi Nnewi-Ichi for Nnewi-Ichi. Otolo can not have another shot at the throne of Igwe Nnewi until Nnewi-Ichi has had its turn. The Obis appropriate the chances of their respective communities to the Igwe Nnewi throne because they enjoy the RIGHT OF FIRST REFUSAL. But if they fail to take their turn, then any capable person from the favored community can contest for the the throne. You don’t need to be a blue blood to contest for the Igwe throne and your father does not need to be a Royal Father for you to be eligible.
Since I wrote that piece, I have received many commentaries some of which have been mostly attacks on my person rather than attempts to rebut my thesis. It owes so much to pervasive ignorance among our people that they could not see something that was as clear as light. Added to this, is the dishonesty among some ruling elites who have chosen to take the people for granted. I am aware that intellectual laziness is rife among our people but I never knew that the malaise was this deep. Even people who claim to be educated and those whose parents gave the privilege of sound education abroad talk like illiterates on a matter as important as this.
People will always be angry when the truth you speak contradicts the lie they live.The overriding desire to be politically correct at all times cause people to shun the truth in moments of decisiveness in favor of duplicitous behaviors. If your education can not guide your community on the path of truth and justice, then your education is useless to the entire community, humanity and God. Education comes with inquisitive minds and an inquisitive mind is the one that asks questions with a view to contributing to knowledge. It is very easy to attack the messenger rather than the message because it does not require any intellectual thought and rigor to do so.
As a matter of fact, any fool can do so and that is the way I rate most of the commentaries that flood my space on this score. It was with so much pain that I replied and tried to explain to those commentators who chose to haul invectives on my person rather than address the issues on ground because ignoring them would be misconstrued as arrogance on my own part which has never been my motivation.
Nnewi recognizes that it is made up of four communities anchored on the AgbaN’ano covenant and these practices have been passed on from generation to generation.
This is evident to any visitor whether casual or not. It is practiced in the leadership of town unions and all the things that are shared together as ‘ ndi Nnewi’. Leadership positions in Nnewi Improvement Union, Nnewi Youth League, Nnewi State Assembly Representative, Nnewi local government elections and everything that is Nnewi to boot are rotated among the constituent communities. Why would any right-thinking person believe that the position of IGWE NNEWI throne would be different when we all know that the position of IGWE in Anambra State is not hereditary. Check the whole state and see things for yourselves. We cannot afford to play the ostrich because that would be disruptive of the law, practice and convention.
For so long, three communities of Nnewi have been crying blue murder over their relegation in the scheme of things in the State and those at the mantle of leadership in Nnewi felt comfortable and unconcerned about their plight thus adding in salt to the injury. There is no other way to display more callousness to somebody you call your brother.
The current IGWE NNEWI is the first person to hold that title and is therefore serving out OTOLO’S quota in the NNEWI QUARTET. His father, grandfather and great grandfathers never went by that title because it was nonexistent in their time. They all went by the title Obi Otolo. In Nnewi anthropology, the recognized order of protocol among the four communities is that Otolo enjoys the right of first choice, Uruagu enjoys the right of second choice, Umudim enjoys the right of third choice and Nnewi-Ichi enjoys the right of fourth choice. The current Igwe Nnewi is the first to enjoy that title and the second to enjoy the title should be the Obi Uruagu because he is traditionally the second after the Obi Otolo. It will amount to unparalleled injustice, greed and avarice if the CROWN PRINCE OF OBI OTOLO should dream of USURPING THE RIGHTFUL TURN OF URUAGU after his illustrious father has rightly taken and utilized OTOLO’S turn. The law will not condone such brazenness because NOBODY IS ABOVE THE LAW.
Somebody has been prancing about calling himself the CROWN PRINCE OF NNEWI which I have in a previous treatise described as laughable and fake as there is no such thing in Nnewi. One can be crown prince of his community but not the crown prince of Nnewi because Nnewi is not a homogeneous society and the State government recognized this fact by calling its traditional ruler IGWE rather than OBI. The throne will rotate to the next community in Nnewi after the tenure of the incumbent and the next Obi Otolo-Nnewi will take his rightful place as one of the Obis of UNRECOGNIZED COMMUNITIES IN ANAMBRA STATE. It is important to let NDI NNEWI know that the state government never recognized Otolo-Nnewi and its Obi as representing any of the autonomous communities in the state. The government only recognized the Igwe Nnewi.
Government only recognized the Igwe Nnewi which is not the name of a person and when the throne shifts to the next community as it definitely will, the present cover and shield will be removed from Otolo-Nnewi and transferred to Uruagu-Nnewi. In retrospect, this was what the two committees headed by PrinceDr AA Nwafor-Orizu and Bishop Uzodike probably saw when they variously recommended government recognition for all the Obis of Nnewi. Regrettably, those who never reckoned with the night of long knife frustrated those key recommendations. No condition is permanent in this world and we must watch what we do especially to others when we think we are in a privileged position because it might come back to haunt us. This is called KARMA and the concept of RETRIBUTIVE JUSTICE. POETIC JUSTICE IS ALSO RETRIBUTIVE JUSTICE. The chicken will one day come home to roost.
Somebody said that I do not have the gravitas to effect any change in Nnewi no matter how noble and I agree with him that I do not have while noting the arrogant mien in that statement. I am only trying to say things the way they are and awaken our collective consciousness and awareness. This is the way egalitarian societies are built. I am not inventing anything new or turning things upside down or doing improbable things.
No sane mind should have problems with I am doing except a criminal who seeks to take what does not belong to him. If what I stated was considered a problem I equally suggested a solution. My suggested solution is THE STATE GOVERNMENT RECOGNITION OF THE FOUR COMMUNITIES OF NNEWI AS AUTONOMOUS COMMUNITIES IN THE STATE AND ABOLITION OF THE THRONE OF IGWE NNEWI BECAUSE IT WILL NO LONGER BE NECESSARY ONCE THE FOUR COMMUNITIES ARE RECOGNIZED BY THE STATE GOVERNMENT. All right-thinking Nnewi sons and daughters should see this as a TASK which must be pursued and solved without let.
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