In Ebonyi, it has become a norm in some clans that one must seek blessings of the elders and ancestors of his clan before acquiring political power. UCHENNA INYA reports from Abakaliki
For the people of Izzi, Ikwo and Ezza clans in Ebonyi State, acquiring political power to represent the people at any position must attract the backing of elders of the areas and ancestors.
The practice is as old as the clans and anyone that does otherwise is deemed to have defiled the tradition and will not get support of the people. As the 2019 draws nearer, some prominent politicians eyeing one position or the other have consulted the elders and ancestors of their clans.
In Ikwo, one must visit the ili Noyo(graves of mother of the people of the area). Noyo died long ago but is still consulted by the people. Her grave was specially built at Ekpelu the ancestral home of the people.
A woman does not enter the grave yard of Noyo, only men who have performed certain rite as required by the customs and traditions of the area must enter the grave yard and must not wear foot wear. The same thing is applicable in Izzi. Politicians contesting one position or the other from Izzi clan must visit Amagu, the ancestral home of the clan to receive blessings of the elders who would call on the ancestors to back the politician in order to actualize his ambition.
The elders are custodians of custom and tradition of the Izzi clan.
In this forthcoming general election, some prominent politicians in the state have done this visitations. They include, former Minister of State for Power and Steel Chief Goddy Ogbaga; former Governorship candidate of Labour Party in 2015 governorship election in the state and APC governorship aspirant in next year’s general election, Chief Edward Nkwegu; former Commissioner for Works in the state, Engr. Chukwuma Nwandugo; former UBEB state Chairman, Chief Austin Igwe Edeze; a Cleric Prophet Adol Awam, who is also APC governorship aspirant, a business mogul and former PDP youth leader in the state, Comrade Chinedu Ogah, among others.
Deputy Prime Minister of Isi-Uke, Chief Ali Ugbala Clement was one that invoked the ‘gods’ of the Izzi land on Awam.
He regretted that despite being the capital city and largest clan in the state with three local governments, Izzi has continued to suffer neglect by governments in terms of development.
He urged Awam to remember the clan when he wins the governorship by bringing desired development to the area.
“Anybody who says this prayer will not work, may God stop the person. It is time for us to be remembered. It is time for our jobless youths to get employment, it is time for development to come to our place”, he said.
Responding, Awam said he came to the ancestral home of the clan to get the elders’ blessing to ensure success in the governorship race.
“This is the supreme court of Izzi Land and whatever they decide here is final. You cannot appeal unless to God. I am so much deeply touched on these prayers. Elders like this are the Prophets of our time and whatever they say are very important and useful.
“The significance of this is that is like you want to marry. If you want to marry, you must notify your father. If you don’t do this, it cannot work no matter the way you love the woman.
“In our tradition, it is a must for you to observe this traditional home. They are the elders and custodians of our tradition and custom. The Izzi land started from here. Amagu, which is our ancestral home and now we have visited here, I don’t think there will be any obstacle on our way”, he said .
Ogbaga had visited the Izzi Traditional Prime Minister, Ishiuke Izzi and Elders as part of his consultations to represent Ebonyi North Zone in the Senate. The traditional Prime Minister, Ishiuke and elders blessed and adopted Ogbaga at Amagu when the former minister paid them a visit at the country home of Ishiuke Ogbaedege Nkwuda.
The event, which took place at Amagu the ancestral home of Izzi people saw the traditional Prime Minister praying for Chief Ogbaga, urging all the Izzi sons and daughters to support him in his quest.
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