Since the throne of Eze Awkuzu is now vacant due to natural causes, I wish to make my objections known to the APU on its Rotational Policy for selecting the Eze Awkuzu which, by hook or crook, brought Chief John Nebolisa to the throne of Eze Awkuzu.
I was very much aware when the APU was founded in 1940 and how Ufoaro of Iruayika, a very poor teenage orphan-boy was found, cleaned, dressed up in big fancy regal clothes, with jewelries of ivory and coral beads, and enthroned the Eze Awkuzu. Among his titles were: Eze and Igwe. The alias was Nnamenyi. He was presented at every function by the APU and respected everywhere with the fanfare of Okwa Opi ma obu Ogbu Ochi to herald his coming with his entourage. The Igba Eze followed him for pomp and pagentry. He was always seated on a throne next to the high table, the twilling large beach-umbrella sported there to give him shade and to lend grandeur. There were also young boys in his entourage carrying his paraphernalia of office. The highest recognition and honour were always accorded him. The APU financed all that until the outbreak of the Nigeria versus Biafra War in 1967.
I was also aware that, after the War in 1971, Anegboka Odife of Igbu Awkuzu declared himself the “Odu” of Awkuzu. He feasted Awkuzu and announced that he wanted to take the office and the title of Eze Awkuzu. He was accepted by the APU and was installed as the “Igwe” or "Eze" Awkuzu with the alias of Nnamenyi. When I enquired from some Awkuzu citizens who were promoting him, about the reason for allowing him to usurp the throne and office of Eze Awkuzu, I was told that the rationale was that Ufoaro was the Eze Ana Awkuzu; and that Anegboka would be the Chief who would be presented to the Government. I wondered why the separation of powers now in Awkuzu and vested in two different persons, which was not so before? I also wondered why Anegboka would be the one to be presented to the Government over and above the reigning Monarch? I also wondered what Anegboka has got over Ufoaro in order to be the one to be presented to the Government as he was just as stark illiterate as Eze Ufoaro?
I did not address the APU then as I was again restrained by some well-meaning Awkuzu citizens. But I used to speak out on these points among Awkuzu citizens, and emphasizing that the actions were ultra vires and an abomination for the reasons that:
i) the rightful and enthroned Eze Awkuzu was still alive.
That Eze Awkuzu:
ii) has a foundation and original home, even though it might be the smallest village of Awkuzu;
iii) was confirmed to be hereditary when the APU fished out Ufoaro and enthroned him;
iv) has rights and privileges, which should not be assumed or usurped by anyone;
v) has original home, which should never be transferred or transformed;
vi) is not for everybody, no matter how intelligent, ambitious or wealthy.
These were some of the points of objection on which my brother, Barrister David Chukwuemeka Akwuba, organized the “Otu Eziokwu” - the Society For the Truth, in which I supported him to the hilt. He carried forward the protest until his death in 1998.
When Anegboka died rather mysteriously, the APU, I was made to understand, decided that the Eze Awkuzu throne would be rotated to Ezi; Ifite; Ikenga. I remarked again that that Rotational Policy was also ultra vires, because the Throne of Awkuzu is Hereditary and not Rotational. Even the posts of Warrant Chiefs appointed by the British Colonial Administration were not hereditary. Quite unlike me, I was again restrained from speaking out openly by some Awkuzu citizens. The Eze Awkuzu Throne, on account of the Rotational Policy, went to Chief Joseph C. Ogamba (Rock of Ages). Somehow, the recognition and the Throne passed over from him to John Nebolisa. Undeniably, the APU must have known why and how it happened, because they accepted, installed and had him recognized by the Government. Now, here we are!!!
I wish to say it now, in a voice loud and clear, that the policy of rotating the office and throne of Eze Awkuzu is ultra vires the facts of history. I also warn that no one else should assume the Throne of Eze Awkuzu on account of this Rotational Policy. If Awkuzu still wants to maintain the Throne and Eze Awkuzu, they should:
i) go back to Square One and pick up from the way the APU started it in 1940 and on and on up to the outbreak of the Nigeria versus Biafra War in 1967.
ii) pick up the Eze Ufoaro Family again and send them to School and groom them to take their rightful, hereditary place in the scheme of things in Awkuzu.
iii) the titles of Eze and Igwe belong to the enthroned person only. But the title of Obi should be for persons appointed by their Arms of Awkuzu to be the next in authority to advise the Eze, but not in the line of succession to the Eze or Igwe. One Obi should be appointed by each of the Three Arms of Awkuzu.
iv) if the next in line is too young to ascend the throne, a Regent should be appointed by the APU to shepherd him until he is of age - the age of 21 years - to take on the responsibility of kingship.
v) thereafter, the Regent must step down and hand the throne and the office completely over to the heir.
vi) the APU must guard against any kind of kingship tussle for the Throne of Eze Awkuzu, either in the family of the Eze or with any outsider.
Oyibo Ekwulo Odinamadu (Mrs) Nee Akwuba
Awkuzu, Nekwa-ni Ofo Nwada N'ana.