BY VICTOR NWEGEDE, Abakaliki
Members of Oha Izhi Nnodo on Saturday 10th July, 2021 at Amikeaba Hall in Nkaleke Echara Autonomous Community in Ebonyi Local Government Area of Ebonyi State officially flagged off their sensitization and advocacy visit to the 26 autonomous communities in Izhi land.
Speaking during the event, the President of Oha Izhi Nnodo and Traditional Ruler of Nkaleke Echara Autonomous Community, His Royal Highness Eze Sunday N. Oketa described Oha Izhi as the apex socio-cultural body of Izhi Nnodo Ekumaenyi clan being charged to promoting and sustaining the spirit of oneness, peace and progress of her people at all times.
He noted that his community – Nkaleke Echara was given the privilege to be the first to host the members of Oha Izhi Nnodo, where the official flag off for the sensitization and advocacy visit took place.
Eze Oketa disclosed that Izhi Nnodo clan has a ‘Constitution’ serving as ‘a supreme guiding compass for all Izhi children’ as in his words, ‘its provisions have a binding force and effect on all the people of the clan.’
He commended the efforts of the Izhi stakeholders and all the children of the clan, urging them to shun anything capable of tearing them apart as according to him, there is nothing like divisions in Izhi land, being branded as kindred dictonomy.
The traditional ruler also commended the developmental strides of Governor David Umahi in Ebonyi State especially in Izhi land, hosting the Capital City of the State.
He prayed for Governor Umahi’s political exaltation into the Presidential position of Nigeria in 2023, and maintained that if he emerged the number one citizen of the country, he would end all forms agitations, security challenges and bring in a total transformation across the nation following his leadership ingenuity.
He further stated that ‘the governorship position for Izhi Nnodo clan in 2023 is sacrosant,’ advising his people to be working towards to the ambition by promoting the peaceful co-existence among themselves, their neighabourhoods and all strangers in their land, by shunning any form of crises.
He warned them to avoid cultism, kindred dictonomy, high cost of bride price, female mutilation/cutting, negligence to geuine cultural feasts and all destructive practices in Izhi land, saying that the clan only encourages her people to engage on meaningful ventures that can earn them a great repute and honour in all spheres of human endeavours.
On his part, the General Secretary of Oha Izhi Nnodo, Dr John O. Nkwuda who spoke on their objectives said that the body is determined to promote peace, unity and progress of the clan.
He urged the community people to be a party to every positive developmental movement in Izhi land, thereby preaching oneness, understanding and cooperation among them, with full commitment to support government in power by being law abiding and undertaking projects that would enhance economic well-being of their people.
While talking on Izhi Nnodo culture, the Vice President of Oha Izhi, Chief Boniface O. Ezaegu said, it is constitutional that Anmegu shall serve as the strong traditional structure with overall objective of the custodian of their culture.
He added that the ancestral home of Izhi clan at Anmegu shall remain sacred, not allowing all comers to sojourn in the premises for any socio-cultural event, noting that Anmegu as a cultural and traditional institution of the clan has administrative structure under the leadership of Traditional Prime Minister (Ishi-Uke Izhi) whose members are people of proven integrity and can only use the Izhi cultural centre for their sittings.
He enumerated different cultures practiced in Izhi land which included traditional marriage, burial, new yam festival (ojiji), feast in the memory of the departed souls who left behind meaningful legacies (otutara), naming ceremony, among others.
He asked the people not to underplay Izhi cultures and traditions as they have a great role to play in promoting and fostering peace, unity and progress of the clan.
Contributing, the Publicity Secretary of the body, Apostle Benjamin Obaji who talked on the relationship between the Community Development Union and Traditional Ruler hinted that the tie between the duo while discharging their duties for the benefit of their subjects remained indivisible.
Obaji said that the relationship between the Community Development Union and the Traditional Ruler should be seen as that of the tongue and teeth in the same mouth or head and neck connected with a whole body.
He however, urged all the community leaders to be working together by displaying utmost respect and love for one another for the overall benefit of their subjects without fear or favour.
Also, Chief Mrs Charity Ikebe who talked on electoral violence, advised the people to desist from the act as this has contributed to series of unfortunate challenges being faced by masses these days in the society.
She described electoral violence as a sin-qua-non to an opened grave for the burial of a living being, stressing that it is a great taboo in Izhi land as the act has many deadly implications which have exposed society to persistent pains, sorrow, poverty and underdevelopment.
Her counterpart, Barr Hyacinth Uguru who was the speaker on the exposition of Oha Izhi Nnodo visa-vise land matter equally urged the people to always follow the due process in land acquisition and leasing in the clan and strictly according to the Constitution of Oha Izhi Nnodo.
Other speakers from the host community, the Chairman of Ebonyi Local Government Area, Chief Mrs Chinyere Nwogbaga represented by her Special Assistant – Mr Sunday Nwenyim, the Town Union President of Nkaleke Echara Autonomous Community – Mr Michael Nwebonyi, the Chairman Mgbabor Echara and the leader of the Planning Committee for the event – Chief Chukwuma Okpaga, Chairman Amikeaba Development Union – Chief Augustine Daniel Enigwe, a Stakeholder in the community – Chief Emeka Egbe and numerous others widely appreciated the members of Oha Izhi Nnodo for embarking on the advocacy programme.
They commended the Constitution of the clan, saying it would go a long way to promote and strengthen the peace, unity and progress of their people.
While the community leaders promised to step down the sensitization and advocacy visit to their various villages and homes, they called on the stakeholders and all the people of Izhi Nnodo clan not to allow anyone deceive them from producing the next governor of Ebonyi State come 2023.
They also condemned all security threats in Izhi land and advised everybody to be always at alert by working in collaboration with the local vigilantes and other security operatives to assuage the situation creating fears in their areas.
Meanwhile, the Secretary of the Committee for the Sensitization/Advocacy Visit to the Izhi communities, Mr Andrew Ekpe, the Director of Protocol of Oha Izhi and former Board Members, Ebonyi Broadcasting Corporation (EBBC) – Hon Sunday B. Ekpagu, among others have commended the massive turnout and warmed reception by the people of the Nkaleke Echara community for the event.
Mr Ekpe and other of members of Oha Izhi Nnodo equally urged the community to continue to think and work for the unity and progress of Izhi Nation, and also to stand firmly at all times, for justice and equity in the state.
i-Turning Point Newspaper learnt that Izhi Nnodo clan occupies three local government areas in Ebonyi State including Abakaliki, Ebonyi, Izzi, other parts of the State and her neighabouring Benue and Cross River States.