Wednesday, 24 February 2016

1017th Igu Aro Ndi Igbo 2016 AD: Eze Nri Calls for Cultural Rebirth

Eze Nri

By Okechukwu Onuegbu

The Traditional Ruler of Nri, Anaocha Local Government Area of Anambra State, His Majesty Eze Obidiegwu Onyeso (Nrienwelana 11) has urged the Igbos to be proud of their culture and tradition which according to him, is oldest in Nigeria and Africa’s third largest.

 Onyeso, who disclosed this at his palace during 1017th Igu Aro Ndi Igbo 2016 AD and his Majesty’s 28th year on the throne, advised the Igbos to rightly celebrate their unique thing for the world to note. 

He further lamented that his people were often ashamed of speaking their language both in the private and public places and functions, a situation he claimed to have negatively affected all aspect of their lives; economics, education, tradition, and culture.
Hence, the monarch called for Igbo sociological rebirth, stressing that the renaissance commence with culture reawakening in Iguaro Ndi Igbo, which according to him, is the proclamation of Igbo Lunar calendar that ushers in the beginning of  their planting season.

His words: “We can only sustain our culture and tradition when we learn to communicate effectively in our language. We must build trust on ourselves, shun pride and ego. Our language shall help us to maintain peace and orderliness in our society. Speaking our language will help us to combat crimes and other vices.

“Yam seedlings I will distribute today, the first day of the New Lunar year, if planted, will be ready for harvesting within eight month September, Eke as I pray for your peaceful co-habitation, good luck, prosperity and bumper harvest. The proclamation of Igbo culture and tradition, on this unique occasion of the 1017th Iguaro Ndigbo 2016 AD is an annual ritual. The igbo lunar calendar is based on 13 lunar months, each made up of four days (Eke, Oye, Afo, and Nkwo). 

“The four market days are deities and have their originating shrines in Nri. It was introduced into Igbo land by Eze Nri, hence Nri priests (agents) travelled all over IGBO land consecrating the Shrine of these deities. The proclamation of Igbo lunar calendar from year to year is the prerogative of Eze Nri, being the custodian of Igbo culture, tradition and the keeper of ancestral (ofo) Ndigbo. Nri/Igbo New Year starts in February, same as the China and other cultures in Asia, far East, Israel etc., who use the moon to determine their seasons and time.

“Eze Nri use this period to proclaims and ushers in the beginning of Igbo planting season. Anthropologists, both colonial and nascent ones reminds us in their published works that Eze Nri introduced Yam, Cocoyam and other crops as food in Igbo land. In keeping with the custom and tradition of total obedience to Chukwu (God), Eze Nri in his capacity as the High Priest of Sun god (Sky King), sacrificed his first son; yam sprouted from his grave and matured. Eze Nri was then directed to feed Ndi Igbo with it. This act was ritualised as Ifejioku (god of Yam). This is referred to as, “Nri Myth of Origin”, he submitted.

On the current agitation for Biafra rocking all part of the country, Onyeso charged Igbos to be calm and shun any act capable of degenerating to war, because according to him, no reasonable Nigeria government would divide the country.

“Biafra is of the minds and heart. Think of it, talk of it but it will never be realised again because no reasonable Nigeria government will ever think of dividing Nigeria. You should remain law abiding citizens of Nigeria because you are Nigerian come what may. The current marginalisation of Igbo nation started by Europeans, who earlier imposed Direct Rule on us and Indirect rule to the Northerners, while classifying us as barbarians and cannibals...”



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