Some members of the Mbaka family have come out to condemn the position of Madam Ikodiya Uche Ottah, who alleged that the Reverend Father Ejike Mbaka had some sinister motives against his younger brother, Mr Edozie Mbaka, over his marriage plans.
Ottah had alleged in an interview that the reverend father was desperately trying to stop the marriage for his own personal reasons.
But in an interview with journalists in Enugu, Mr Shadrack Obumneme Mbaka, elder brother to Edozie, and a younger brother of the reverend father confirmed that although the Mbaka family had rejected Edozie’s choice of woman for marriage, the reasons alleged by Ottah were far from the truth.
He explained that their father, late Ogbuefi Mbaka had given instructions, warning them against taking wives from certain communities.
His words; “Reverend Fr Mbaka is my elder brother, of the same father, but not the same mother. He treats us like we are of the same mother. He is the one that trained us and brought us up. He sees us as his children, and we see him as our father and our big brother.
“When our younger brother got to a marriageable age, he began to search for a wife, and by God’s grace, he found a good woman. But sometimes, the father of the house may say what he desires to happen in his home, and it would run contrary to what his offspring end up with. When such a situation arises, especially when the father of the house is no more, the right thing to do is for the family to respect the wishes of the dead and ensure that what they requested for is granted.
When Edozie told us that he has found a woman and is going for marriage introduction, as tradition demanded, we realized that the place we was going to was among places our father barred us from marrying. It was my mother who revealed this. My brother said he didn’t know, and at a point, he began to doubt, saying it’s not true.
He called me to a corner one day and said he doesn’t believe it, and said that we should appeal to her to allow us to go for the ‘iku aka'(marriage introduction) ceremony, and when we return, we will sit down and discuss for solution.
We then went for the ceremony and when we came back, we called mama, and started discussing with her. She was emphatic that the instruction came from our father, and reminded us that she said in December 2019, before January when we went for the iku aka(marriage introduction), and we laughed over it. She said that as an elder, she has seen that something may go wrong.
He also argued that, despite the fact that Edozie had started the process of marriage, it may not be too late to backtrack, to avoid losing their father’s blessings due to disobedience.
Hear him; “Edozie had come earlier to say he wants to go and perform the iku aka ceremony, and because it’s not full marriage, we agreed and went with him. As a matter of fact, there are cases where people can go as far as igba nkwu, and even complete the whole marriage process, and yet will discontinue the marriage. It was after the iku aka that our mother called him and explained that he should be aware that Ogbuefi was against our marrying from that place. According to her, my father said that none of us must marry from that community where the lady comes from. My father was wizened and aged before he died. Such a man cannot make a careless statement about what he knew will be good or bad for his children.”
He also argued that the Reverend Father had nothing to do with the disagreements, since he was only echoing his father’s wishes, being their elder brother, and serves as their father “When we all gathered as a family, Reverend Mbaka was there and asked, ‘is this instruction really from my father?’ He said that since our father did not tell us himself, but actually gave that instruction, we would all sit and decide on what to do. It was understood that its not everything that a man may tell his children, but there are things he would tell his wife and not tell his children.
“For about two months, we debated this matter, and even called the lady’s family and informed them. We pleaded with them that based on the fact that our father was against any of us marrying from their place, that the union be jettisoned.
“In no distant time, the family of the lady returned, and said they didn’t buy into our argument. That we must marry their daughter. Based on all these things, we called for a general gathering. On the day of the gathering, two of our community’s traditional rulers were even available. Be aware that no one told him that he won’t marry the girl anymore. What he was told was that he should be patient, so that we will see if there is a solution that will make the whole thing smooth and safe. But there were people at the sidelines who kept urging him on, and pushing him to go ahead and hurry the marriage, without consideration for the possible consequences. They fixed the igba nkwu(traditional marriage and wine ceremony), and for that reason, they kept urging him. It has got so bad that he does not listen to us anymore.
Obumneme also explained that enquiries had been made to know if there is a solution, but has so far yielded nothing, as elders of Ituku says that the words of the dead must be respected;
“We enquired from the community elders and leaders if there is anything we needed to do to change what our father wished for before his death. This was to prevent a possible calamity in the future. But they all said there is no solution, that we must do the bidding of our father.
“In a short while again, they (wife’s family) began to mandate Chiedozie to come for the rest of the marriage ceremonies. He even told us that he won’t go again, since our father must have a valid reason for his mandate.
“So it was somewhat of a shock when we heard one day that he has left and gone to the in law’s house for the ceremony. He didn’t tell our siblings, the reverend father, or our mother. So on that occasion, he alone went for a ceremony that our family kindred was supposed to go for.
Also speaking on ways that the issue can be settled, Obumneme stated that a matter like this is not a free for all, as the family members are the only people who have the right to discuss marriage. He therefore dismissed the presence of Princess Ottah, who, he said has no business in their family affair.
His words “If he will agree to come back to us as his family, we will sit together and discuss the matter like a family. This matter isn’t supposed to be a free for all. There are many people who have involved themselves in the matter who have no business doing that. This is akin to the kind of issues that some families are faced with, but once they go inside, they discuss.
That lady from Abia State, you have seen that she is not from our state, and we are not related in any way. But I won’t want to go into too many talks about her, because the matter of marriage is a family matter, and none of her business. If our brother comes to us, we will sit together as family, and talk.
Advising Edozie, Obumneme stated “No matter what happens, he should realize that he is our brother. He is from the Mbaka family. You don’t rub off brotherhood or family. Any day he is ready to return, we will receive him with open arms. Me, our mother, Reverend Father, and our sisters, we are all here for him. Let him come so that we can discuss like a family, and not allow enemies to put their mouth into our affairs and destroy the peace of our dear family.
Even if you get wedded, that does not mean that you are married. There is nothing like having your family behind you in a matter like a marriage. In our culture, one man does not go and get married.