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False History Of Benin Ancestry Of Anioma, Ikwere, Onicha – Historical Facts

Obi of Onitsha Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe and Oba of Benin Ewuare II

Historically, it is uncalled for a Bini Chief or custodian of any sort to have a male child and give a non-Bini name to such child. So, it is unplausible to a Bini Chief to give his own male child an Igbo name. It was very clear from the onset of history that there is no way Eze Chima would be of Bini ancestry but pure blooded Igbo Chief with a Bini migration history behind him.

Eze Chima was a powerful native doctor and spiritual Igbo man, who left Benin Kingdom to return to Igbo land where he came from after a bitter fight between him and Oba of Benin and Oba’s brother Gbunwala and the rest was history as he was forced to leave Benin Kingdom and return to where he came from, Igboland.

“Chima: The Aro Native Doctor


Eze Chima was an Aro native doctor. In pursuance of the role of the Aros in the Atlantic Slave Trade quoted…from Michael Crowder’s story of Nigeria, Chima left Arochukwu to Benin to set up as an agent of the Aro Long Juju, for the usual purpose of collecting slaves from Benin.

Whenever, in the olden days, a native doctor travelled to a place, he by custom would, on arrival, report himself to the local chief or to the head of the society of native doctors of the land. He is either the guest of the head chief of the clan or puts up with head of the local society of native doctors. Accordingly, when Chima arrived Benin he reported himself to the Oba of Benin who accepted him as his guest. In time Chima settled down and set up practice as a native doctor and agent of Aro Oracle. He impressed the Oba of Benin so much with his magical art that he became very influential over the Oba. In consequence, the Oba installed Chima a chief in the palace of Benin. Thus the plain blunt and ordinary native doctor who left Arochukwu to establish an agency of the Long Juju, earned a chieftaincy title and became Chief Chima or Eze Chima.

Having found his feet firm in Benin, Eze Chima sent for his brother Ekensu and other relatives from Arochukwu, and also set up an Aro settlement in Benin similar to those Aros folks had set up within the description of Michael Crowder, in other areas throughout former Eastern Nigeria.
With the march of time, Chima’s practice in Benin expanded down to Niger Delta. Among the Urhobos and Itshekiris also the fame of the Aro Oracle spread and clients from those areas trooped to him to consult the Oracle. The greatest index of Chima’s influence on culture in Benin Kingdom is found in the fact that Benin people adopted the Igbo days of the week – Eke, Orie, Afo and Nkwo – on which Chima made one sacrifice or the other or observed his abstinences and spiritual disciplines, as names also of Benin week days. And till today the Binis have, as the Igbo, Eke, Orie, Afo, Nkwo – as names of their week days.

According to Mr Wellington Igunbor a Benin historian, who on the mother side, belongs to one of Benin’s traditional Chieftaincy families (Chief Gaius Obaseki’s family – Gaius Obaseki who was the Iyase or Prime Minister of Benin in 1947) – the settlement of Eze Chima in Old Benin was established in the area through which Siliku Street runs in the present-day Benin city. As Eze Chima’s influence increased so did population of his settlement expand. So influential was Eze Chima and so completely absorbed in the society was he and his clan that there was hardly a thing he and his people could not do on the basis of equality with Benin indigenes.

How And Why Eze Chima Left Benin:

At the time Eze Chima lived in Benin, the mother of Oba of Benin was Asije. The Oba’s brother who also was the Oba’s War Lord was called Gbunwala. One day, Asije the mother of both the Oba and Gbunwala, the Benin War Lord went into a farm belonging to Eze Chima’s people and collected firewood. Eze Chima’s people then caught Asije the Oba’s mother, and beat her thoroughly for taking wood from their farm without permission. Back home, Asije reported to her children – the Oba of Benin and Gbunwala, the Benin War Lord, her bitter experience with Eze Chima’s people. Red with anger, Gbunwala, the Oba’s brother and War Lord, took some of his soldiers, went to Chima’s settlement, set upon Chima’s people – beat them thoroughly and killed some of them.

From that day, Gbunwala began to harass Eze Chima and his people. In the circumstance, Eze Chima decided to quit Benin with his people and return to the East where he came to rejoin his Igbo kith and kin – or, in the alternative to find new settlements for himself and his people in places far and safe beyond the reach of Oba of Benin.

This history was told in Igbo Primer popularly known as “Azu Ndu”, approved by Government Education Department for infant classes of primary schools in the Igbo Provinces of then Eastern Nigeria, now Biafra, since the beginning of the 20th century.

On their way out of Benin, some of the Eze Chima’s people settled at Agbo (Agbor), 44 miles away from Benin City which they considered far, and out of reach, molestations and influence of the Oba of Benin and his brother, Gbunwala. Others went beyond this distance and settled at Isele-Uku, Onicha-Olona, Onicha-Ugbo and Obio. When they reached the West bank of the Niger, some took a canoe and paddled down the River to Abo and settled. Led by Oreze, the eldest son of Eze Chima, the rest of Eze Chima clan crossed the River Niger to the eastern bank and settled among Oze people – the original inhabitants of what is today the big and prosperous commercial and education centre in Biafra – Onicha (Onitsha). On page 73 of his story of Nigeria, Mr Michael Crowder believed that the return migration of Onicha (Onitsha) people – this is of Umu Eze Chima clans – from Benin took place in the 17th century.

Benin-Igbo Exchange of Culture:

Having lived for some years in Benin as one of the Chiefs of the palace of the Oba of Benin, Eze Chima, the Aro agent of the Aro Oracle in Benin and his people had learnt Benin Chieftaincy institutions and titles and so adapted the Benin system to the administrative structures and customs of the place where they settled among other West Niger Igbo and in Onicha (Onitsha) on the east bank. But as Eze Chima took away from Benin a copy of their chieftaincy institutions, so did he deposit in Benin, and the Binis adopted it, Igbo weekdays – Eke, Orie, Afo, Nkwo – which are vital in the determination of appropriate days for abstinences, spiritual religious cultures of the Igbo and Bini too. In other words, the West Niger Igbo borrowed from Benin in chieftaincy, certian aspect of some traditions, just as the Binis borrowed from the Igbo in some religious traditions—through the agency of Eze Chima.”
End of quote!

(Reference is: Pgs 171-174 of THE IGBO AND THEIR NEIGHBOURS by Professor Adiele Eberechukwu Afigbo. Published in 1987).

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Buhari To Ndigbo: You’re Not Marginalised; I Appoint Heads Of Security Agencies On Merit

•Promises infrastructure development

 

Aloysius Attah, Onitsha

 

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday said that the appointment of the heads of security organisations under his government has been based purely on competence and merit.

 The president stated this while addressing the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe,  Zik’s son, Ambassador Emeka Ayo Azikiwe, traditional and religious rulers while on a courtesy call at the Obi’s palace on the sidelines of his campaign visit to Anambra State.

 Responding to issues raised by the traditional rulers about marginalisation of the South East states particularly, in the security sector, President Buhari commended the courage of the leaders in speaking their minds.

 He, however, explained that he had remained fair to all regions of the country since his assumption of duty as president on May 29, 2015.

 He said: “I am pleased that you have the courage to present issues about your constituency but I expect you to be more patriotic in your presentation.

 “In the South East, there are five states, in the North, I think there are 18 states. In the South East, out of the five states,  I think five members of the Federal Executive Council, are from this region, trade and investment, foreign affairs, labour, science and technology ministers. And seven of the northern states have only minister of state,” he noted.

President Buhari stressed that he had appointed most people into the country’s security architecture without knowing them personally except their professional records.

 According to him, “I think I tried to be fair. And you can ask these ministers. I never asked them how they are running their parastatals, their boards. I appointed them and I trusted them. I allow them to work.”

 He said the same complaints from the South East have been coming from other parts of Nigeria but that did not reflect the truth.

 “I don’t have to tell you what noise the other states are making especially when compared to the votes I got in 2015. So, I think I try to be fair.

 “The question about the police. Those of you who were in the military even in the Biafran Army, know that the entry point is the same and you go for basic training until you go to your formations or institutions whether it is Army, Navy, Air Force or the police. The most competent or senior person is the one that gets there.

 “If there are half a million soldiers, only one man can be the Chief of Army Staff at a time. This is so for the rest of the troop. In recruitment, we make sure that by states, people are recruited. At least, this is what I do; people are recruited from each state. For those who manage to get recruited, it’s up to them to get to the top if they are professional and work for it.

 “The present Chief of Army Staff, the Chief Air Staff, the Chief of Naval Staff even the previous Inspector General of Police that just left, I didn’t know them personally before I appointed them. I follow records,” the president said.

 President Buhari explained further that the current acting Inspector General of Police Abubakar Adamu, was also appointed based on merit.

 “The same thing with the IG, that one was appointed last week. I don’t think I have ever seen him; I follow records. So, appointments in the armed forces and other law-enforcement agencies depend on individual performance after recruitment not where you think you come. At least between me and God, this is what I do,” he noted.

The president emphasised that his government had done a lot in the provision of infrastructure for the entire South East region including Anambra State.

 “On the issue of infrastructure, a lot of you that are here know that the last time the Enugu -Onitsha road was done was during the PTF days and it was also done again from Enugu to Port Harcourt.

He urged traditional rulers in the state to support the government in improving the security situation in the country at the grassroots.

 President Buhari who promised that he was committed to the development of the region pleaded for the Igbos to vote him in the February 16 election.

 Speaking on the fight against corruption, the president said going forward, he would jail those who have over the years, run down the fortunes of the nation saying that such individuals should not be allowed to go scot free.

 He attributed his slow-pace in prosecuting alleged treasury looters in the country to the need to follow due process of the law but assured Nigerians of his commitment to restoring the dignity of Nigeria while he serves as president.

 Governor Willie Obiono while welcoming the president thanked him for putting down a total of N30billion for the completion of the second Niger Bridge.

He also commended the president for the government’s intervention on the Enugu-Onitsha road and the on-going work on the second Niger bridge. He further told the president to also work on the Onitsha-Nsukka road.

 Present at the brief event were the Lagos State governor Akinwunmi Ambode; Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige and the Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Babatunde Fashola among others.  (The Sun)

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Election Must Hold In Anambra, Obi Of Onitsha Tells IPOB |The Republican News

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From: Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha

The Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe, on Wednesday, warned that the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has no right to stop the election in Anambra state and insisted that the November 18 gubernatorial election must hold as scheduled by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the state.

He said that election will hold in the state and urged the people of the state to come out en masse to cast their votes for their choice candidates with out any fear of intimidation and harassment.

Igwe Achebe who stated this when the State leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo led by Chief Damian Okeke-Ogene visited him in his palace said that the traditional institution in the state has endorsed the rotational of governorship slot to every zone just like the town Union and Ohanaeze Ndigbo have done, saying that the North should be allowed to complete the remaining fours before power will move to another zone.

According to him, “The election is for us not for the entire country. You cannot have a referendum in one part of the country without carrying other parts of the country along and the government must support and sponsor it before it will be organised and not carve out some part of the country for the referendum. The election must hold and nobody or group of persons will stop it. Nobody should come to the state to cause unnecessary tension”.

Igwe Achebe who is also the Chairman of Anambra State Traditional Ruler’s Council called on the Ndigbo in other parts of the state and country to invest at home in order to make Igbo land an economic hub in the country.

“Our people should come home to invest in industry, factory, build schools and hospitals that will be beneficial to our people. We need a non-partisan strong institution to create a good environment for development. I commend the new Ohanaeze Ndigbo leadership both at the national and state level for their efforts within six months to unite Ndigbo” Achebe stated.

In his remarks, the State Ohanaeze Chairman, Chief Okeke-Ogene said they visited the traditional ruler to show respect and to carry the traditional institution along in whatever they do as custodian of culture in Igbo land.

“There is nothing will do without you. If there is any case that is beyond us, we will consult you for advice and possible resolution. Obi of Onitsha is a bridge between the people and the government and his throne is a falling point for Ndigbo, Onitsha culture is a complete and standard that other Igbo parts emulate”.

He said that the group had already condemned the call by IPOB leader to boycott governorship election in the state, saying that election must hold “Nobody who fought the war will like to fight again. So we should be fighting the war of sense and not a physical war to being Ndigbo into the main stream in the country”.  (The Sun)

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