By Obi Nwakanma
First, I wish personally to apologize to readers of the “Orbit” for comments I made on this column backing IPOB’s disinformation that accused the Federal government of “disappearing” and possibly killing its leader, Nnamdi Kanu in Afara-Ukwu, Umuahia, during the military operation called “Python Dance” last year.
I confess that I bought IPOB’s disinformation, and thought the worse of the government under the present administration, in spite of their constant rebuttal of IPOB’s statements, that the Nigerian military may have killed Nnamdi Kanu and his parents.
As a conscientious citizen, I do not wish to be told lies. Lies that particularly color or influence my political participation and actions. If a political organization begins to tell lies, and distort reality to the public in the name of “propaganda,” it cannot be trusted. Its credibility becomes an issue, and it is credibility that organizations that purport to stand for people’s right, and lead the argument for the enforcement of those rights, depend on, and indeed stake their reputations upon.
The reappearance of Mr. Nnamdi Kanu in a picture praying in Jerusalem – his own adopted “holy land” – as a Jew puts a spinner to IPOB’s credibility. It reduces its truth-value. There were those, in my younger years, we used to call the street term, “Jew guys.”
Well, rather than us, Kanu and his IPOB have apparently become truly, the real “Jew guys.” The Igbo and some of those non-Igbo who have supported it do not deserve, and cannot be lied to, or scammed by an unconscionable, poorly organized, ill-defined, strategically inept, ideologically dangerous organization. That is what IPOB has now proven itself to be.
Clearly, from emerging evidence, Kanu and his sponsors must now come clean about their real mission. It is certainly not Igbo liberation. They have not only told Igbo people lies, they now predicate themselves on the ideology of “Igbo Zionism.”
It is a dangerous and fascist idea. They have also demonstrated poor intellectual capacities. Word on the streets now indicate that IPOB is the product of “deep state” activities, backed by and allied to dangerous international interests, for whom the interest of the Igbo are of little consequence.
Kanu himself made hints of this when he “addressed” the Igbo from his so-called hideout. I rely entirely on the transcript of his alleged statement to come to this conclusion. And let those who still identify as true Igbo, be wary of some of these dangerous developments that threaten the Igbo.
Truth must be told. Onye-Igbo who converts to Christianity, or Judaism, or to Islam is strictly speaking no longer Igbo. He is now a Christian, a Jew, or a Moslem. Their loyalties are no longer to Ala Nso Ndi Igbo. But they become servants to alien interests and adversarial divinities.
The true Igbo is an adherent to the ancient rites of Odinala, which makes the Igbo, “Onye Igbo”! God as conceived by adherents of Odinala-Igbo, is unlike the God of the Christians, or the Jew or the Muslims. Chukwu (the God of the Igbo) is not a jealous and angry God. Chukwu is the union of a duality – “Chi,” the masculine force and “Eke,” the feminine principle, which unites in all of us as “Chi na eke.” It also manifests as “Chukwu ulo” (the God that dwells within) and “Chukwuezi” (the God that dwells outside of us). Chukwu is a kind, benevolent and amused God who does not require of the Igbo to hate themselves or their bodies, or debase themselves in his worship by covering themselves, hiding their faces before him, and bowing their heads in fear and kneeling in utter humility and self-mortification to make supplications to him.
The Igbo practitioners of Odinala rise in the morning to worship, stand in their full humanity, face the heavens and make oblations to their God, without fear, but in pure adoration unlike the worshippers of Jehovah or Allah.
Based on their covenant with their God, each man inhabits the divine essence, or as my grandmother used to declaim, “Chi mere Igbo nile Eze o!”-meaning, the God of the Igbo made all Igbo divine. It was a profound statement, whose implications I never quite understood until much later, particularly as I came to understand the Igbo belief system which taught that the humans are “gods on an earthly transition.” (“Mmadu wu Mmo loro uwa”). That the origin of the Igbo was the result of the union between gods and humans.
The Igbo therefore believe themselves to be “nfunala” the first human autochthons. It is also remarkable that the traditional burial of an Igbo man or woman was the ritual burial of a god! The Igbo therefore made no kings (Igbo enwegh Eze) because Igbo thought and ritual system could not conceive of a single “monarch” – the idea that a single individual, divinely elect is the only embodiment of divinity, and the rest are his ordinary slaves.
To the Igbo, the idea of the King or “monarch” is anathema. As Achebe has noted, Igbo frequently gave their children the name, “Ezebuiro” – the King is an enemy. Because well-bred Igbo do not bow or hide their faces before God, they would therefore rather choose death, than bow before another human irrespective of status (which they consider transitory), because to true Igbo to bow to another is abomination (“nso”) and those who do are called “Ohu.” It means to submit your “chi” to another, and it symbolizes the death of that indwelling force that makes the individual connected to the universal spirit of their great God, Chukwu. It is an insult to oneself and lineage.
It is capital sin. Just as the Igbo does not want to bow to another man, he does not want another man to bow to him either. They therefore salute with their right hands, symbol of their industry and autonomy. You would frequently hear an Igbo old man tell a child, “Kwe m n’aka!” (Shake my hand). Odinala means, “the natural or divine laws on which the earth was founded or consecrated.” This ancient code with its subset of principles: “Iwu Chukwu/Iwu Orisha/ “Iwu Eke,” Iwu Anyanwu, “Iwu Amadi,” “Iwu Ala,” “Iwu Agwu,” Iwu Imo,” “Iwu Nze,” etc. form the basis of Igbo religious as well as secular doctrines.
The Igbo made the peace rite, and consecrated their religion on the idea of “Udo” (peace). Igbo folklore tell of a time in “Uwa Mbu na Mbu” – an ancient first world – long before living memory, possibly in the bronze age, before Egypt and Mesopotamia, when the Igbo were universal rulers of the world until they destroyed the known ancient world by a tragic accident, the result of the tyranny and heresy of Kamalu N’Ozuzu, who made himself a king, took the impudent title, “Amadioha,” and sought imperial and universal power through war.
In his search for a “silver bullet” with which to defeat his adversaries, Amadioha experimented with “ike” (energy) by fusing “Orisha akalam” (nuclear fission), to be conveyed with his “Egbe Elu Igwe” (rockets) which led to a massive explosion that blew apart the world, and caused the Atlantic shifts and the first human environmental catastrophe.
The Igbo stories still say, “Uwa wara awa” (“the world was splintered.”). As a result the Igbo sealed further use and experiment with energy, often saying during moments of conflict, “Anyi maara d’owe ike” ( “we know the laws of energy, but we deliberately sealed its secrets and rested it from use”), or in moments of witty introspection, they will say, “Ike Mebiri Uwa” (“energy destroyed the world).
They passed its knowledge down through symbolic public rituals, and through the ritual ceremonies of their ancient secret societies, particularly those who were inducted into the ancient and sacred rites of the Nzere (the true “Nze na Ozo” not the current heresies), who also kept all the ancient texts of divination by memory.
These secrets are encoded in the operations of the Igbo numbers system, which the “Dibia Afa” ritualized. The true Igbo are never buried outside of Igbo land. Their bodies are brought, even in death to lie with the gods and the immortal ancestors of Ala-Igbo, in order for them to ascend true immortality and achieve eternal life as “mmo” or “Ndi-Iche.” The Igbo called their ancestral land, “Ala-Nso” (European cartographers marked it “Ala-Nsaw” – the holy land. The holy land to the true Igbo is thus neither Rome, nor Jerusalem, nor Mecca.
Two events in the last four hundred years however have violated this land and its sanctity: the slave trade and the civil war. The Igbo have not buried their angry and restless dead, and as a result, they are wandering in the “evil forest” of timeless, confused exile and perplexity. A generation of Igbo heretics and converts have with their own hands destroyed the temples of their gods and uprooted the shrines of their own fathers! It is called “self-destruction.”
Three prophets however have arisen among the Igbo in the last three hundred years: Olaudah Equiano in the 18th century, Edward Blyden in the 19th century, and Nnamdi Azikiwe in the 20th century proclaiming Igbo ideas of restoration and renaissance.
The hard-hearted Igbo have either forgotten or refused to listen. And among this men cannot be counted, Nnamdi Kanu: he wears the mark of “Amadioha.” In one crucial slip of the tongue in his alleged broadcast last week, he declared that he will return, and bring with him, “hell” to Igbo land. Enough already! Nnamdi Kanu’s reappearance signals the end of IPOB.
Kanu and the IPOB frequently say, “I declare,” “I decree,” “I proclaim,” “I order…” and he subscribes to the illusion of himself as a monarch. And he is of course a Jew. Igbo are not Jews. And nobody orders “Onye-Igbo” to do anything. Igbo have not mandated IPOB to declare Biafra.
The audacity to proclaim, without authority or mandate, that elections will not hold in Igbo land in 2019 is the sign that IPOB has no idea who the Igbo truly are. If IPOB wants to speak for the Igbo, it must organize and test itself at the polls, otherwise, Nnamdi Kanu will turn around like Okonkwo in Things Fall Apart, and hear that question, “but who sent him?” Kabissa.