The Igbo ancestral home at Nri community in Anaocha Local Government Area of Anambra State has threatened to sue the Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, for allegedly desecrating the culture and tradition of the land.
Chief Ifeanyi Onyeso, the Personal Assistant (PA) to Eze Obidiegwu Onyeso, addressed reporters yesterday at Nri on Kanu’s alleged offence.
He said the Ofo Nri (staff of authority) could not have been handed over to Kanu by anybody, including the traditional ruler, adding that it defiled the culture and tradition of Ndigbo.
Last week, Kanu reportedly visited Nri community without seeing the revered traditional ruler.
He was said to have visited another person, who was laying claim to the stool.
Onyeso said the people were angry about Kanu’s alleged misconduct, especially his visit to Nri in company of his wife, Uchechi, and an army of his supporters to the palace of Eze Nri on July 18.
The monarch’s aide noted that the community was historical and believed to be the ancestral home of Ndigbo.
He said their culture and tradition were revered among various Igbo communities.
According to him states that believe in Nri customs and traditions include Abia, Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo and Anambra as well as Igbo communities in Delta and Rivers states.
Onyeso said: “On July 18, a day before Kanu visited Nri, 12 youths came to the palace of Eze Nri requesting for an appointment with the traditional ruler for Kanu.
“I received them. So, I told them to come back with a written letter so that they would get official reply from the palace, since the delegation looked unusual in that there was no titled person among the delegation.
“At this point, they left. What we saw the next day was Kanu visiting Nri community with a huge crowd of his supporters. He went straight to the house of Shadrack Mbanefo, a subject to the traditional ruler of Nri.
“The feelers we later got was that Mbanefo claimed he handed over the Offo Nri (symbol of royalty) to Kanu and even allowed Kanu to visit the historic ‘Ohianwehi Forest’ revered as ‘forest of life’ by Igbo tradition.”
The forest, according to him, is believed to be the place the first burnt offering was offered by the Jewish Igbo ancestors when they migrated from Israel over 2,000 years ago.
Onyeso said the Nri perceived Kanu’s conduct as a taboo because, according to him, no high profile visitor entered the community without first visiting the traditional ruler, let alone a sacred place without the knowledge of the monarch.
The monarch’s aide regretted that Kanu and his supporters later returned to the palace entrance gate of Eze Onyeso and allegedly banged it to force it open.
He said: “It was this unruly conduct that made the traditional ruler to telephone security agents who responded promptly and dispersed Kanu and his supporters.
“It is a taboo in Nri and equally against the Anambra State Traditional Rulers’ Council Law for a high profiled visitor to visit a community without first paying homage to the traditional ruler.
“The people of Nri and its traditional ruler are not against Kanu and his agitation/aspiration, but what we cannot take is for Kanu to come and mess up the Nri culture and tradition under whatever motive.
“The community will sue him at the Customary Court to make sure nobody else gives such insult to the community and its preserved heritage.”