Category Archives: Religion and Culture

Anambra Govt Vows To Arrest, Prosecute Naked Miracle Bathing Prophet Onyeze For Alleged Fraud

Anambra State Government is poised to prosecute a fake miracle peddler, ‘Onyeze Jesus‘ of Nkpor, for suspected fraud.

Information Commissioner, C. Don Adinuba, said there are complaints that the pastor uses magic and fake miracles to swindle followers. Government according to him, is investigating the alleged victims’ claims and will prosecute the Nkpor pastor if these are verified, he said.

In viral videos streaming online, the pastor gathers followers in a stream where they are made to take a naked bath in the river. He moves round them spraying the river with various currency notes while he video records the ritual.

The recordings are thereafter gleefully shared online to recruit more gullible followers.
Adinuba said government is “appalled” at his conduct which,”has brought Anambra State into global ridicule.”

“We received reports from former disciples that Onyeze Jesus swindled them of their hard earned resources. All the promises and assurances of turning them into overnight millionaires have proved to be fraudulent. The state Government is looking into the claims. If we find merit in the claims, he will be prosecuted in accordance with the law,” Adinuba said.

Here is the full statement, released today, 25 January 2021, by the Commissioner:

“The Anambra State Government is in possession of some videos produced by one person who goes by the name of Onyeze Jesus based in Nkpor, Idemili North Local Government Area of the state, where he not only claims to change the economic status of his adherents by magical means but also throws a lot of Nigeria’s currency notes into the river and compels his adult followers, both male and female, to bath naked in the river and records them on video which he distributes gleefully to all manner of people through the Internet and other means.

“The State Government is appalled at the conduct of this man. Anambra people are famous throughout the world for their industry, knowledge, ingenuity, perseverance, a high savings rate and an infectious business drive, all combined to enable them to achieve tremendous success in various fields. Their success is not overnight nor through magic.

“Onyeze Jesus promotes superstition and strife in society. By telling his gullible and brainwashed followers that their misfortune is caused by family members, relatives, friends and business associates through magical powers, he is fomenting serious troubles and instigating eternal enmity in various places and businesses. Some of these troubles can lead to physical fights, bodily injuries and even deaths.

“By throwing plenty of naira notes into the river regularly as part of sacrifice to the river goddess and filming it and distributing the film to the whole world, he has brought Anambra State into global ridicule and, worse, gregariously committed a criminal offence. Burning or destroying the naira through any means is an offence criminalized by the Central Bank of Nigeria Act of 2007, and the offender is liable to imprisonment.

“By forcing his disciples to have a bath naked in a river, then film the naked adults and distribute the videos across the globe, Onyeze Jesus is guilty of denying his followers the right to self-dignity and of promoting indecent exposure, which is a crime under the Nigerian law.

“We have received reports from former disciples that Onyeze Jesus has swindled them of their hard earned resources, that is, all the promises and assurances of turning them into overnight millionaires have proved to be fraudulent. The state Government is looking into the claims. If we find merit in the claims, he will be prosecuted in accordance with the law.

“The people and Government of Anambra State are irrevocably committed to fundamental rights of freedom of worship and freedom of association as well as freedom of conscience. However, observing these freedoms should not lead to a situation where heinous crimes will be carried out with impunity, whether in the name of religion or not.

“Anambra State is a modern society governed by the rule of law, civilized values and proper conduct. The government will not stand akimbo watching while an individual or a handful of individuals flagrantly abuse its values and flout its laws.

“We wish to thank numerous individuals and organizations alarmed at the conduct and claims of Onyeze Jesus and his cohorts and complained accordingly to the appropriate authorities. We assure them and millions of our people that an appropriate action is being taken.”

Gov Ikpeazu congratulates new Ohanaeze Ndigbo leadership

The Governor of Abia State, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu has sent a message of congratulations to the newly elected President General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Professor George Obiozor on his victory at today’s election in Owerri, the Imo State capital.

Governor Ikpeazu described Professor Obiozor’s election as a “watershed” in Igboland judging from the overwhelming support he enjoyed at the election.

According to the Governor, “Professor Obiozor’s election comes at a time when the Igbos are in desperate search for consistent strong leadership which will galvanize us into a solid voice in national affairs. Professor Obiozor’s pedigree is unquestionable and his records, unassailable. His reach is wide and his integrity, solid. I am confident that with his long years of experience in public service, especially his expertise in managing the challenges inherent in complex diplomatic relations, Professor Obiozor is well suited for the challenges that face the Igbos in a united Nigeria.

Governor Ikpeazu also warmly congratulates the rest of the members of newly elected Executive Committee of Ohaneze Ndigbo, especially the two sons of Abia State, Ambassador Okey Emuchay who emerged the new Secretary General and Dr. Kingsley Dozie Lawrence who emerged the Vice President General of the organization.
Governor Ikpeazu urged them to be be good ambassadors of the State at the organization.

The Governor assured the new leadership of Ohaneze Ndigbo of the continued support of the people and Government of Abia State in their assignment and thanked the outgone President General, Chief John Nnia Nwodo for his services to the Igbo nation.

Edo ppl to Lagos leaders-call Aworis to order, it’s ignorance to threaten Binis to leave Lagos

Frontline Edo group, Edo Progressive Indigenes Association (EPIA) has called on Yoruba leaders, traditional rulers and statesmen to caution the leaders of the Aworis over a threat against Bini Indigenes in Lagos State.

Recall that Awori group under the leadership of Egbe Omo Yoruba in Lagos last week issued an ultimatum of 14 days to Bini people living in Lagos.

The group had described Bini people as ingrates whom the Yoruba accommodated in Lagos for centuries, and has no meaningful contribution to the development of Lagos other than prostitution, cultism, and robbery.

EPIA leader, Chief (Dr) Bishop J.O Enoyiogiere Edokpolo while speaking to journalists in a telephone conference from Canada said its unfortunate that such an ultimatum was given, despite the contributions of the Binis in the founding and development of Lagos.

“We hereby call on all the Yoruba leaders in Lagos to quickly intervene in this act by the Awori people.

“The should be cautioned because what they are about to embark on is dangers. Edo and Yoruba people historically, have always referred to one another as brothers.

“Some people who do not have an idea of history should not jeopardize that relationship that we have enjoyed for decades.

Yoruba leaders in Lagos including traditional rulers, statemen, and politicians, should stand up and condemn the call as its capable of stirring the embers of hate and violence among our peoples.

He also argued that historically, Edos played a very pivotal role in the establishment of Lagos.
The Edo Indigenous Leader,
Edokpolo stated “it is unfortunate that the Aworis would allow such an ignorant statement to see the light of day. Does it mean that no single person among them is conversant with history? How can the Awori secretary, Chief Ajisefini Adeola sign his name to this document? I don’t want to believe that they all do not know the origin of Lagos, unless they are being mischievous. This is why History is important as a subject to be tight in our schools because it would have saved us a lot of embarrassments.”

On the reference that Bini people were into crime, Edokpolo stated that the issue of crime is a universal phenomenon, and it’s a dangerous trend to refer to as a tribal issue “You cannot pick out a single people in Lagos and make such a statement that they are into crime, unless you are tribalistic, with a vendetta in mind. Is there any one tribe you know who engage in armed robbery, Yahoo business, prostitution, cult criminality in Lagos? Why pick on Bini people? Picking out just one group, who also happen to be the founders of this business capital of Nigeria is like an agenda with an ethnic undertone. The Aworis must desist from this and any other such moves which is capable of dividing this country.

“Before the 20th century, the Akpe, Akure, Awori, Egba, Ekiti, Ijebu, Ilesha, Ijesha, Ijebu, Ilaje, Ondo, Owo, Oyo etc., never referred to themselves Yoruba. Michael Crowder in his book, ‘Story of Nigeria’, stated that before the nineteenth century there was no one common term for the peoples now referred to as Yorubas. According to him, the word ‘Yoruba’ is a corruption of ‘Yaboo’, the Oyo people’s dialect. The Europeans of Christian Missionaries Society, the vanguard of the British Colonialist, in Abeokuta used this word to describe the other ethnic groups in the area of their sphere of influence. The Ẹdo people referred to the Oyo people as Olukumi, the Ondo people, as Emwan N’Udo and Akure and Ẹkiti peoples as Ekhuẹ. Since the 15th-century Owo, Akure and Ekiti have been vassals of Benin Empire.

“Until 1917 there were many Benin merchants and settlers (Ẹdo N’ Ẹkhue), including Benin palace officials, Baale, in many Yoruba communities such as Atigiere, Ado Ekiti, Akure etc. Omo N’Ọba Ọrhogbua founded a military garrison, Eko on an island now known as Lagos and Badagry in the 16th century. The cities remained Benin colonies until the mid 19th century. Ashipa the first Eleko of Eko, (king of Lagos), was a son of Orhogbua. The first Alani (king) of Idoani and Awujale (king) of Ijebu Ode, according to Edo narratives, were sons of Omo N’Oba Ozolua. Ondo was established by Osemwenughe, the Iyase of Udo, in the 16th century after he lost the last Benin/Udo war.

“The word, Ondo, is from the Edo word ‘Emwan N’Udo or fugitives from Udo. Also, the title of the Ondo king, Osemawe, is an altered form of Osemwenughe. Ikale (Eko Alile) and Akotogbo(Ago Otobo) were military camps established respectively by Alile and Odobo, two Benin war Chieftains, during the Benin/Udo war. Iken, a Benin war Chieftain and the overlord of Uselu, conquered the city-state of Owo in the 15th century. Owo remained a vassal of Benin until the late 1880s. Many communities in present-day Ondo/Akure states such as Itaogbolu, Ikere-Ekiti, Atigiere to mention a few, were founded by immigrants from Benin City during the reigns of the 15th and 16th century Benin warrior kings. Indeed the ruler of Itaogbolu is referred to as ‘Odionwere’ and their communal diety is known as ‘Edugie’.

“During Omo N’Oba Ehengbuda’s reign, the Owa (king) of Ilesha, Atakunmarha sought refuge in Benin City after his subjects dethroned him. His son was a renowned leopard hunter for the Benin king. He later became the first king of Akure to be addressed as Deji, a word from the Edo phrase Udezi or leopard killer. During, this period Osogboye, the crown prince of Owo, was an Omuada, royal sword-bearer, in the Benin king’s palace. The Ekiti saying ‘Oba Ado ngbogun lodo ile, Ogbomudu ngbe li orun, (The Oba of Benin makes wars on earth while Ogbomudu (thunder) makes war in the heavens testify to the overwhelming influence and supremacy of the Benin kings.

“Those who claim and argue that the word Oba is a Yoruba word should make references to history books about Nigeria, and Nigerian Federal and regional governments gazettes before the 1950s. The British Colonial Authorities up till the 1920s referred to the king of Lagos as Eleko of Eko and not as the Oba of Lagos. Also the sane British Colonial Authorities and even the people of these ethnic groups that refer to themselves today as Yoruba never called these rulers or kings as ‘Oba’ prior to the 1940s. These kings were known and addressed as Oni of Ile-Ife, Olowo of Owo, Awujale of Ijebu, Onikoyi of Ikoyi, Alake of Abekuota Alaketu of Ketu, Alafin of Oyo, Deji of Akure, and Timi of Ede, Olu of Ibadan, Alani of Idoani and Onisabe of Sabe, Osemawe of Ondo to mention a few. The appellation of Oba was unique to the king of Benin.

“The word, Oba, is an abbreviation of the Edo phrase, ‘omo no be uwa’, the child who builds prosperity. It was the praise name of Omonoyan(Oronmiyan) son of Ekaladerhan whom the people of Uhe (Ile-Ife ) referred to as Oduduwa”, Edokpolo quoted in his treatise to the Awori people.

PHOTOS: Fr Mbaka dedicates magnificent church he built in hometown to God

Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, on Tuesday, attended the dedication of a magnificent church built by Rev. Fr. Mbaka for his community, in fulfillment of his childhood dream.

Jungle Journalist Media Limited learnt that Ugwuanyi celebrated the Mass with the Catholic Bishop of Awgu Diocese, Most Rev Dr. John Ifeanyichukwu Okoye, the Spiritual Director, Adoration Ministry Enugu Nigeria (AMEN), Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka and other clerics.

During the dedication of St Anthony’s Parish, Ituku, Awgu Local Government Area, Governor Ugwuanyi commended Rev. Mbaka for the manifestation of his childhood dream.

More photos:

Human rights defender, Patrick Eholor excuses Uniben VC of any wrongdoing at Benin Palace

Chief Patrick Osagie Eholor, President of the One Love Foundation and social crusader, has in an exclusive chat absolved the Vice Chancellor of the University of Benin, Professor Lilian Imuetinya Salami, of any wrongdoing as it concerns her alleged breaking of Benin Palace protocol recently.
Excerpts:

On Professor Salami’s infraction at the Benin Palace

As a matter of fact, it is better to be a friend to the palace than to be an enemy of the palace. For those who are not prepared to be friendly with the palace they have no business there. Professor Lilian Salami is a very reputable woman and her father was a very prominent Benin chief. She is very well read, a professor and a Vice Chancellor of a university which she manages.

The reason that I am reacting to this is because we cannot continue to ridicule one of our own. This is Christmas period. Let us some little kindness.

Some people are very myopic. The only way they can get some brightness is to ridicule others. I will not allow that to happen. As a matter of fact, I have not sat with her one-on-one.

But I congratulated her when she was made the Vice Chancellor of the University of Benin.

We are very cultural people. We are Edolites. Civilisation started here(in Benin). But I am not saying that it will end here. If you understand the meaning of Nubians. We are Nubians. We understand the meaning of culture.

From my own understanding she has not done anything wrong. Let me wish our revered Oba a merry Christmas and also congratulate him for the success of the Igue Festival. I wish him more blessings and happy new year in advance. Our Oba who is very well read, has travelled round the globe and has been an ambassador before he became a king has a better understanding of culture. I advise the chiefs who are trying to divide us to please sheathe their swords.

This is a time of happiness and merriment. I challenge the chiefs who want to build on what does not exist. Our culture is like an encyclopedia. It is like a Bible, from Genesis to Revelation. And I dare you that even the pope who is a spiritual leader cannot define Genesis to Revelation. There is no man who can define all the culture of the people.

I advice them that when we make mistakes we should not be openly admonished, adviced so that we can do better. When we criticise people we hurt their feelings. We are exposing them to more mistakes.

Are you telling me that a Vice Chancellor, a professor, somebody who heads such a high office doesn’t know the meaning of protocol? Of course, she does know what protocol means. I have also spoken with some people who were present at the palace on the said day who said that she followed the rules and regulations of our culture to the very best of her knowledge. I am saying that those who want to divide us should stop it.

I am a prominent Benin chief. I am the Enobore of Utoka. I have children abroad who don’t know the whole of our culture as it is because they were not born here(in Nigeria). I have children in Nigeria who do not greet me with my dialect because of modernisation and churches springing up that have destroyed our culture that I try to correct every day.

If the chiefs want to point at those who do not understand our culture they should be talking to the pastors who have been subverting the will of the people not Professor Salami. Enough is enough. The Oba, N’Ogidigan has come as a modern monarch to make a lot of changes that will favour his people. So, people should be careful how they malign other people’s name.

I dare some of the palace chiefs who are trying to cause this non-existent confusion that most of their children cannot speak Benin. They communicate in a foreign language. Most of them communicate in a foreign language outside the palace. But they go to the palace and behave as if they’re cultural people. That’s not true. Most of them are married to foreigners who cannot communicate in Benin language. I dare them to challenge me if I am wrong.

Professor Salami’s father was a responsible chief and she is also responsible. She can write in Benin, read Benin and she can even teach Benin history if given the opportunity.

The return of Covid-19

In Nigeria we do copy and paste. We don’t lead, we follow. Covid-19 is real. You can’t say that it is not real. I have lived in Canada for more than thirty years so I know that Covid-19 is real. But the symptoms of Covid-19 is synonymous with the symptoms of fever.

If you are in Nigeria and you have survived fever for three years it will not kill you. It is hunger that you will be battling with. I am not saying that there is no Covid-19 in Nigeria. There’s Covid-19 here but it is been brought into the country by foreigners or our brothers in diaspora.

What we should do is to control our borders, to make sure that visitors are tested, not denied entry. To ensure that anyone coming in here who has the symptoms of Covid-19 should be quarantined

Recently, the governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, had symptoms of Covid-19 he survived it. Covid-19 is not a virus that discriminates between the rich or poor. For the poor people in Nigeria we are very lucky not to contract the virus. But the rich people contract it because their immune system is weak.

Mbaka didn’t attack BBC reporters ­­­–Aide

The Adoration Ministry, Enugu, Nigeria, on Friday, warned that people should not take the humility of its Spiritual Director, Reverend Fr. Ejike Mbaka, for weakness.

The church warned that “imbedded in Fr Mbaka’s seeming humility is a den of the ‘roaring lion of the tribe of Judah’ whom his detractors cannot withstand.”

The church gave the warning in reaction to reports in some sections of the media that Mbaka attacked a British Broadcasting Corporation media team he invited to interview him on Wednesday.

The BBC Igbo service had in a statement, on Thursday, accused Mbaka of ordering an attack on its reporters whom he had invited to interview him.

But Adoration Ministry, in a statement by its media chief, Ike Maximus Ugwuoke, titled ‘Fr Mbaka is too busy with the works of God to be distracted’, described the report as a false narrative aimed at tarnishing Mbaka’s image.

The church said, “We make haste to state that the report was a carefully crafted mendacious narrative calculated to tarnish the image of Fr Mbaka, who, in his amiable nature, could not have done or directed any of those alleged acts of assault on the BBC team or anyone as alleged against him.

“An eyewitness account of what happened revealed that one Fr Obiekeze, who estranged himself from the ministry and made a viral video with the BBC recently, abusing Fr Mbaka and his perceived romance with President Muhammadu Buhari, came to join Fr Mbaka at the altar during last Wednesday’s weekly ministry programme.

“The said Fr Obiekezie insisted that Fr Mbaka should grant him an interview at his altar. Fr Mbaka, in his loving, forgiving and welcoming nature, embraced the said priest but declined the priest’s demand to interview him at the altar, wondering when the said priest became a media practitioner and the organisation he was working for.

“Unknown to everyone in the ministry, the said priest came with some persons with unknown identities who were secretly recording the day’s programme until they were accosted by the ministry security, suspecting them to be assassins on a surveillance mission.

“The said ministry security seized the equipment of the strange fellows and sought to know their identities. Later in the evening after Fr Mbaka was through with the programme and retired to the parish house to continue his consultation with worshippers waiting to see him, an altercation between the fellows and the security men at Fr Mbaka’s parish house drew Fr Mbaka’s attention to them and his timely intervention helped to save the situation.

“Fr Mbaka was surprised when the unknown fellows identified themselves as coming from BBC with Fr Obiekezie.

“Surprised by such obvious betrayal and a stage-managed visit from a fellow priest, Fr Mbaka directed that every of their seized equipment be returned to them and made sure no one hurt either the priest or the unknown visitors he surreptitiously came with.”

The church said Mbaka was welcoming of everyone and had no record of assaulting journalists despite some negative media reports.

Bayelsa Gov Diri Receives Cultural Troupe After Victory At NAFEST

Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, on Tuesday, received the state cultural troupe after its victorious outing at the just concluded 31st National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST) 2020.

It would be recalled that the Bayelsa State Council for Arts and Culture emerged overall winners of the festival held in Jos, Plateau State.

While expressing satisfaction with the cultural troupe for their outstanding performance, Governor Diri commended the team for winning the trophy consecutively four times.

His Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, in a statement, said the governor on behalf of the state government, congratulated and acknowledged the troupe for representing and making the state proud at the national level.

His words: “First, we thank God that our team left Bayelsa, went out there, performed, won and returned safely.

“Secondly, we thank our golden cultural troupe. Now their second name is Winners because they have been winning back to back for the fourth time.

“So may I on behalf of the people and government of Bayelsa State acknowledge and appreciate you for representing and giving us a good name and a good image out there in the larger Nigerian state.

“For today, I won’t say much. You know when you go to fish and you make a big catch, you don’t hide it. When there is darkness and you put on light, you put it on the table. So we are going to put you on the table.”

Senator Diri promised to liaise with the Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry as well as the Director General of the Council for Arts and Culture on how to properly appreciate the winning team.

He encouraged them to keep up the good work and practice regularly to sustain the momentum of victories for the state.

Speaking earlier, the Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Dr. Iti Orugbani, while presenting the troupe to the governor, said the team performed excellently well and made history in winning four gold medals and four silver medals out of nine competitive events.

Dr. Orugbani also informed the governor that the children instrumental team has been invited to Paris, France for an international event and that the Plateau State government also invited the team to perform.

Highpoint of the meeting was the presentation of the Presidential Gong to Governor Diri.

Prince of Mburubu storms Nkanu Cultural Fiesta +PHOTOS

The Chairman of Buzuzu Construction Company Limited, Prince Lawrence Ozoemena Ezeh was part of dignitaries who graced the maiden edition of Nkanu Cultural Fiesta.

The event, which held at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Stadium, Enugu yesterday, 30th November, 2020 was put up by Nkanu Youth Assembly.

Ezeh was accompanied by members of the Aka Ekpuchi Onwa Team, and was welcomed by the National President of NYA, Hon. Edeani M. Edeani and other executive members of the organisation.

On its plea to the state Governor to live up his pledge to return power to Nkanu land, which make up the Enugu East Senatorial Zone, NYA through its president, Hon. Edeani M. Edeani, said that Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, who was at the occasion has been very supportive to Enugu youths.

Edeani urged Gov. Ugwuanyi to remain committed to his earlier stance that it is the turn of Enugu East Senatorial zone to produce the next governor of Enugu State in 2023, and wished that the person from Nkanu land will be “a humble, peace-loving and hardworking governor like Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi”.

The National President also appreciated other personalities who have been supporting the association to realize its set objectives and went further to propose that every November 29 should be declared as “Nkanu Cultural Day” in the state.

The maiden annual cultural event, which was organized to promote unity and the beautiful culture of Nkanu, as well as protect the socio-political cum economic interests of the zone, honoured the former President of the Senate, Senator Ken Nnamani as the Grand Patron of the association.

It equally recognized other notable sons of Nkanu land as Patrons such as the member representing Nkanu East Constituency, Rt. Hon. Paul Nnajiofor; Capt. Everest Nnaji (Odengene); Prof. Hillary Edeoga (Former Vice Chancellor, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia State); Engr. Okwudiri Daniel Ohaa (Enugu State Chief Fire Officer) Major Gen. C.O Ugwu. Rtd (Ambassadorial Nominee), among others. Members of the Advisory Board of the group such as the Special Assistant to the Governor, Hon. Ferguson Chimaroke Nnamani Jnr., were also honoured.

In his remarks, Senator Nnamani expressed deep appreciation to Gov. Ugwuanyi for the enduring peace being enjoyed in Enugu State, stating that it is “uncommon” in other states in the country.

The former Senate President stressed that the fact that the governor has ushered in an enduring peace in Enugu State, it is a worthy legacy he will be leaving behind at the end of his tenure in 2023.

He therefore encouraged the governor, who was presented with a Meritorious Award of Excellence by the Nkanu Youth Assembly, as the “Icon of Peace and Youth Development”, in recognition of “your excellent leadership and inclusion of youths in governance”, to continue to provide dividends of democracy to all the three senatorial districts in the state.

Also speaking, the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Edward Ubosi, harped on the need for the various youth associations in the zone to harmonize their objectives and work together to achieve their common goal of realizing the governorship seat of the state in 2023, which he expressed optimism that the governor plays a major role to actualize.

Dignitaries at the colourful event include the member representing Enugu East/Isi-Uzo Federal Constituency, Hon. Prince Cornelius Nnaji; the member representing Enugu South Urban Constituency, Hon. Sam Ngene; the Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari, Hon. Maduka Arum; the former Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Eugene Odoh; former Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Chief Dubem Onyia; the former Secretary to the State Government, Chief Onyemuche Nnamani; Prince Engr. Lawrence Ezeh, and former Chairman of Nkanu East LGA, Hon. Ikechukwu Ubagu.

Others include Prince Obiechina of Ugbawka kingdom, Prince Chijioke Ani of Isi Uzo, Hon Emmanuel Ede, the President-General of Mburubu Town Union, ThankGod Ofoelue, Publisher of Jungle Journalist Media Limited, among others.

PHOTOS:

Mbaka family replies Princess Ikodiya Uche Ottah over Edozie Mbaka’s marriage, says she lied

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.

Mr Obumneme Mbaka, elder brother to Chiedozie Mbaka

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.

Chiedozie Mbaka and his new wife, shortly after court marriage in Abuja recently

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.

Late Ichie Ogbuefi Mbaka, father of the Mbaka family

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.

Princess Ikodiya Uche Ottah

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.