The Insignificance of Balkanization And the Sacrosanct Tradition of OWERE

The Insignificance of Balkanization And the Sacrosanct Tradition of OWERE

By CHINEDU Max Egere mnge…

Facts that go with hereditary royal stools in Igbo communities inevitably shut their doors against political interferences.

A deep study of heredity on the ancient royal stool of Owere Nshi Ise in Imo State would interestingly reel out the traditional necessities surrounding their ‘Ezeship’ which have become overwhelmingly sacrosanct such that no amount of intrigues or skirmishes from external quarters could possibly constitute impediment to the flow of their tradition.

Recent trends have made it clearer that no instrument of government has produced any factor distorting the workability of customs, traditions and culture of Owere Nshi Ise and which further reflect how infinitesimal the position of balkanization would be in such a quasi-federated system. Who would dare front a splinter to such a united family under the aeges of Owere Nshi ise?

Systematically, each of the five villages of Owere (Owere Nshi Ise) has her traditional role to play towards their ‘oneness’ and a hiccup in the system could evoke a violation of national justice.

In Owere Nshi Ise, each village has her ‘head’ and amazingly the headship is anchored on tradition. In this regard, there is a
particular family in that village through which the ‘head’ shall
always come from. While the Oparaugo family is traditionally the ‘Opara Owere’ (First born), the head of Amawom village is domiciled in Dike family. While the head of Umuoyima village is traditionally traced to the family of Ukaegbu, that of Umuodu village comes from Emeto family even as the head of Umuonyeche village traditionally rests in the Mere family.

The traditional roles of each village through their heads naturally synchronize with the steadiness of ties of consanguinity and therefore a play of mischief would hit the rocks and there is reason to believe that the true sons of Owere Nshi Ise would not prefer to stray out to the lonely path of sabotage or perch on a staggering pinnacle of degree of blameworthiness, all in an attempt to abuse the traditional identity of the great people of Owere.

Umuororonjo being the first son of Owere has the ‘ofo’ which is that a
certain family in Umuoronjo as the tradition demands, would always be the one to hold the ofo as the ‘onye ishi oha’.

Umuodu was the last son of Owere and the village, still in line with the tradition holds the ‘Onye Ishi Ala’ authority which in effect, pins the village down to naturally producing the ‘chief priest of Owere’.

Balkanization as the former governor of Imo Owelle Rochas Okorocha would term it does not have any place in such a traditional setting in Owere Nshi Ise and one notes the traditional languages such as Ishioha, Ozuruigbo, Ekeonunwa, Ekeukwu Owere, Ibari Njemanze, Eke no Orie, Ikenegbu, Azuzi, then you should know that is purely a traditional city.

Following the harmless bequeathing of the Ezeship to Amawom, traceable to the popular family of

Njemanze, the royal stool has been kept there permanently and peacefully.

The legacies informed by the history of Owere could be observed traditionally reflecting on the streets of Owerri such as Douglas Road, Ekeonunwa, Okorie, Iheanacho, Njemanze, Ikenegbu etal.

The history of Owere is straight and clear pointing at their ‘unity’and as such, any if one should borrow from the language of the late General Abacha,…. ‘any attempted attempt’ to cause an aberration or denigration of such tradition and custom of Owere would create an avenue for rumblings not only in the Owerri Municipal but in the entire Imo. Both the people of Owere and their traditions and customs will go to any length to resist undue interferences and this will perpetually keep the balkanization story in abeyance now and forever.

No wonder that, time became ripe and the people swung into action jealously keying into the process of their tradition to replace their late ‘Eze’, who held the Ozuruigbo V”. Step by step as their tradition demands, a crown prince was selected and meeting with the traditional ethos, the Hon. Justice Ezeohiri Fred Njemanze (Rtd) would before long, in respect for laws and guidelines be presented through the local government for recognition by the state government. He is the Ozuruigbo Vi and the paramount ruler of Owere Nshi Ise which consists of the five villages namely, Umuoronjo, Amawom, Umuonyeche,
Umuodu, Umuoyima.

It has been believed that the attempt to balkanize Owere was
erroneously informed by a glaring and open abuse of power where the use of government office for either vendetta leaned on greed and avarice for land acquisition played an ugly role.

If the present administration wants to apparently look the other way for whatever reason may be considered a privilege of government to redress perpetuate an obvious irregularity.

A senior citizen in Imo and a revered prince in Njemanze Dynasty, Prince Bob Njemanze was quoted as saying that there should be no blame for the government of Senator Uzodinma since it is one of the ills he inherited from his predecessor.

Prince Bob Njemanze believes that what is rather expected of him since he is at the helm of affairs of the
seat of government, is to intervene in the interest of peace. To the Prince, it behooves governor Uzodinma for peace and stability to look into the issue.

In an article entitled ‘Njemanze Ezeship: How I emerged as Eze Amawom‘ by Ezechikere Peter Njemanze, he had claimed thus:… “I am only Eze of Amawom Autonomous community’’. This symbolizes that his claimed position in Owere is not within the ambit of the tradition of Owere and more so, his remark that he has been recognized by government, a gazette made by government and receiving his ‘allowances as at when due’ appears indifferent to Owere Nshi Ise and far below the status and image of a paramount ruler of Owere.

CHINEDU Max Egere wrote from Owerri.

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