November 18, 2015

We didn’t outlaw Eze Ndigbo in Diaspora —Ohanaeze

We didn’t outlaw Eze Ndigbo in Diaspora  —Ohanaeze

Igbo Chiefs

•Calls for immediate restructuring, Nnamdi Kanu’s release

By Clifford Ndujihe

UMBRELLA body of Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has denied outlawing Eze Ndigbo in the Diaspora, saying that what it prohibited is any Igbo operating as a traditional ruler outside Igboland.

The move was part of decisions taken at the special meeting of Igbo cultural organizations in Lagos with the President-General of Ohanaeze World- wide, Chief Gary Enwo Igariwey on November 15 and 16.

Igbo Chiefs

Igbo Chiefs

Clarifying the issue yesterday, Chief Guy Ikokwu, Second Republic politician and a member of Imeobi, the  Ohanaeze inner caucus, who was also at the meeting and signed the communique, said ‘’the meeting considered the burning issues of the nomenclature of some Igbo cultural leaders and the current Biafran demonstrations by our youths.

“The meeting resolved that  youths should maintain their current non-violent posture, but should ensure that no miscreants for whatever reason financial or whatever take the laws into their hands pending a resolution of the crisis.”

The governors of the South-East states and other stakeholders and leaders were urged to ensure the immediate release of the youth leader of IPOD, Prince Nnamdi Kanu, who had been granted bail by the Nigerian Court to be free from incarceration.

The governors were also urged to immediately canvass with the Presidency for the immediate restructuring of the country into true federalism as advocated by the 2014 National Confab.

He continued: ‘’On the issue of the Eze Ndigbo, it was agreed that the word ‘Eze’ is a common title in Igbo land which is generally reserved for those who had been initiated culturally. Such people attach the word ‘Eze’ which means ‘leader’ just like the Hausas in the diaspora call their leaders ‘Seriki’.

‘’However, the cultural name ‘Eze’ does not mean the person is a traditional ruler in any of the towns or villages in Igbo land. Only those who have been crowned as traditional rulers can be referred to as  Igwe or Obi or even Eze of a territory. No other person can use such appellations.’’

Therefore, the organisation as stated in the communique has directed that no Eze Ndigbo or Eze Igbo or Eze Udo in the Diaspora like Lagos and other territories outside Igbo land can be referred to as His Royal Highness or His Royal Majestic or otherwise. Any contravention will be visited by severe sanctions including ostracism. They are therefore only cultural leaders not kings.