By Gabriel Omonhinmin
His Royal Majesty Ezeigwe, Professor Chibe Uzzimba of Uziiland in Idiato North and South Local Government Areas of Imo State, in Eastern Nigeria, is educated, urban and very knowledgeable in modern and ancient history and cultural practices of the world. What is however, baffling about him, is his unpretentious and fastidious belief in the traditional and ancient customs and practices of the Igbo people in the 21st century.
For sometimes now, in his public lectures, both at home and abroad, Ezeigwe, Prof Uzziimba, has continually propagate the needs for the revival of the ancient Igbo people’s ways of life. He is of the strong beliefs, that the Igbo people as a race descended directly from heaven, from the great Okwara-Chukwu, EzeNwaa Nwi, who planted and created the cultural arena now known as Idiato in modern day Igbo land. Thus stressing, that the entire Igbo race are the direct descendants from God, which is known as Chukwu in Igbo language. He continued, “people who claim or believe that the Ndigbo race originated from Israel are either ignorant or illiterate about the Igbo culture, practice and tradition.
He added, “People pushing this line of argument are doing so, principally, to find a convenient reason or fertile ground to practice their religion of Judaism, which is strange to Igbo culture and beliefs. “In view of the above reasons, I have long resolved no matter what my position might be, as a traditional ruler, I will continue to do
all within my powers to help educate our people especially the youths in Igbo land, so that they would invariably be free from the long and undeserving bondage their parents have been put into for centuries now. “If you must know, the Igbo race did not migrate from anywhere. Nobody alive today or died, knows where and when the Igbo race
started. Even our ancestors and forefathers didn’t know how the Igbo race began. The origin of the Igbo people is only known to Chukwuokike, who created the heavens and the earth.
The origin of Igbo people instead of been view from the academic angle should be seen more from it spiritual perspective. Because we are the most unique sets of human beings created out of Nigeria and West Africa as a
whole. Firstly, it was the Igbo people, who created the largest empire then known in Africa as the “Empire of Okedulani land” which the white invaders later changed to Alkebulaan land. Palace Watch who found this line of argument amusing and very difficult to believe, pointedly asked the Ezeigwe whether he was truly in touch with the modern day Igbo history and beliefs? His Royal Majesty Ezeigwe Professor Chibe Uzzimba of Uziiland in response to this particular question smiled and said “you are at liberty to either agree or disagree with my line of argument.
The truth will always remain the truth, and I will continue to push them, no matter what people say or believe. The problem with modern day Igbo people and history, is that the Igbo people like to copy and adopt the cultural values of other people and domestic them as their own. To be factual, this is not good for our people, especially when it is being done, at the expense of our own traditional cultural, values and practices. “The fact that must never be denied, is that, when the white missionaries came to Igbo land they came peddling a whole lot of lies and in the process, they succeeded in brain washing the minds of our people into believing all their lies hook line and sinker. And in the process they all jettison our aged long cultural beliefs and practices.
“These missionaries were known to have told our people all manners of tales, that the Igbo traditional ways of life, cultural beliefs and practices were devilish and satanic in nature, which is not correct. Any surprise therefore, that most traditional rulers in Igbo land today and majority of the Igbo people are now, more catholic than the pope himself in their ways, manners and behavior? The white missionaries almost made the Igbo people to lose their identities completely.
“For example, before the incursion of the white missionaries into Igbo hinder land, our people had a way of selecting and enthroning their traditional rulers then. This was part of the reason(s) why traditional rulers of old, did not partake in any evil and they were never known to misbehave no matter the pressure they were passing
through then. They were loyal to our people, our ancestors and our gods. Have you ever bother to ask around, how many traditional rulers in the true sense of the word, in Igbo land today assumed office, with an “offo”? Offo is the major and only recognized symbol of chieftaincy titles in Igbo land. Not government staff office, which is
nothing to an average Igbo man or woman.
Most people who claimed to be traditional rulers in Igbo land today, if the fact must be told, are nothing but glorified traditional rulers, who created such empires for themselves. These empires are what is today known all over Igbo land as autonomous communities which the politicians and government in power help them to create after the use of plenty money. Such traditional rulers are not schooled in Igbo culture, traditional practices and beliefs. Moreover, majority of them, are glorified slaves of the missionaries who founded the schools and other institutions they attended before being made Obi, Eze or Igwe. “As a matter facts, the very few authentic Igbo traditional rulers still remaining, can never be pushed around or messed up. And if you must know, these set of traditional rulers although very few in number, are still strong adherence to the Igbo cultural practices and beliefs.
Whatever, they do, just like me, is done in accordance with the Igbo traditional practices. “The mental slavery the white missionaries inflicted on the Igbo people, institutions, and culture over 400 years ago cannot easily be upturned overnight, this you must know. That is why we are where we are now as a people today. People like me, will never give up. I will keep pushing alongside others like me, until such a time, the Igbo race will begin to retrace its steps. It is a gradual process, and we will one day get there as a people, if not in my life time, it will be achieved after I would have been long gone to join my ancestors.
“As we speak, Christianity has reached its peak, in Igbo land, Nigeria and all over the world. And it has begun to crumble, as it’s always the case with religion like this. Christianity is now beginning to experience massive decline in Europe where it all began. As we all know, there must first be a decline before a fall.
“The youths in most European countries do not go to church on Sundays as we do in Nigeria and Africa. Go to most churches in England on Sundays you will hardly find young men and women there. Although scanty, the churches are filled with old men and ladies. If you ever find young people in such churches, they must be Africans and other
immigrants, who still hold Christianity in high esteem. Most churches and cathedrals in major European countries are now being converted to beer parlours, restaurants, hotels, club houses and Museums.
“In another 50 years from now, there will be a major decline in the activities of churches all over the world. Within this period, most African countries will revert to their traditional African spirituality.
“Just like the European missionaries did, when they first invaded our homes 400 years ago, when they corrupted our cultural values and tradition. We are now working very hard to educate the youths in Igbo land about Igbo cultural values and traditional practices. We are doing this however, not undermining the fact, that the majority of the
Igbo elites, especially among the young traditional rulers are nothing but irredeemable-servants to the white missionaries, whose beliefs they hold very highly.
These classes of Igbo elites have imbibed the culture of the missionaries so much that, to an extent, Christianity
is now in their respective DNA. Nothing people like me, can do, to change their beliefs. “As it is the ways of our ancestors, who will never allow these affronts to go unpunished, some of these elites in Igbo land are today
plagued with all manner of diseases, such as diabetes, Liver and Kidney diseases, High blood pressure, and all manner of cancerous diseases and they are dying in drove daily. Even the people among them, who are still alive, are at best being described as the living dead, because of their unwholesome life.
Palace Watch then asked him, “Are you trying to say, that during the time of our ancestors these diseases were not prevalent or common? Is it not because science has not yet developed to the stage, where these illnesses could easily be detected and treated as it is the case today, that is why you are now, thinking these illnesses were not
Ezeigwe Professor Chibe Uzzimba of Uziiland: “You may be right Mr. Omonhinmin. But one thing is certain, most people lived up to the ripe ages of 90, 100 and 100 plus then unlike today. You know what? The older generation’s hands were clean and free of evil deeds. Unlike the present crop of leaders some traditional rulers inclusive.
“What happens today is sad and very depressing. People today, rich or poor are known, never to tell the truth and stand for what is good for the society. This poor behaviour and upbringing was mostly induced by both Christian and Islamic teachings and other religious practices. These two religions just to mention a few, have not helped our youths, the family set up or the society at large. We are all suffering daily from the side effects of these bad behaviors and poor upbringing of our youths.
“Before this present generation, it was mandatory for children to take good and proper care of their parents. The ancient traditional belief makes this mandatory. Sadly, investing heavily on children these days is not even a guarantee, that the children will not abandon such parents at their old age. Look all around your vicinity; you will see so many parents, who worked very hard to bring up their children who have been abandoned. Very painful, they have been abandoned. What is more intriguing is that children now openly abuse and beat up their parents. Some openly, call their parents bastards, not realising that there is heavy consequences that goes with this type of abominable behavior or acts.
“If I may ask you, where is the positive Christian and Islamic religions teaching or impacts in all this? None whatsoever. Instead our modern day’s children or youths have become more pervasive and reckless in all that they do daily. Ladies in their modes of dressing these days almost go naked while most of our present days boys are heavily in the use of hard substances known as hard drugs. With this poor upbringing and poor behaviour by our ladies who no longer have respect for their bodies and drug addiction by majority of our boys, where lies the future of this generation? Do we need any soothsayer to tell us, that Christianity, Islam and Jewish religious practice have failed our youths? The only solution is going back to our ancient customs and traditional practices.
“In the olden days when our traditional religion and African traditional practices were in force, no child dare call his parents animal! Talking of raising up hands to beat them, Such a child or children will be cursed for the rest of his lives. In the olden days, any child or children, who dare sow winds; will reap bountifully wild
winds in return. That was the impact of our African culture and tradition as it has always been.
Our educational system on the other hand, has not helped matter at all. I must point it out. I am therefore seizing this opportunity to appeal to the Federal Government of Nigeria, to reintroduce history into our primary and secondary schools curriculums. History we all know is about our culture and civilizations. Once this subject is re-introduced, our children will begin to learn about our culture and tradition. Sadly, present day children know more about the European, Japanese and Indian cultural heritage and practices than their own traditional ways of life. Our children need to know more, about the history of Eze Nwiodok of Abakaliki, Eze Nwizu of Ihitte of Owere and Eze Anoruo of my own dynasty in Idiato.