People of Nri community in Aniocha Local Government Area of Anambra State are threatening to take Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), to court for alleged commission of taboo in Nri culture.
This was revealed to journalists in Awka on Thursday by Chief Ifeanyi Onyesoh, the Personal Assistant to Eze Obidiegwu Onyesoh, the traditional ruler of Nri community.
Onyesoh disclosed that the people were infuriated over what they termed Kanu’s alleged act of misconduct and as an affront on their values.
He further said Kanu and his wife, Uchechi, with other supporters visited the palace of Eze Nri on 19 July and a shrine against the tradition of the people.
Onyesoh stressed that Nri ancient Kingdom is the cradle of Igbo civilisation, whose culture is revered in the five southeast states of Abia, Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo, Anambra as well as Igbo communities in Delta and Rivers.
Adding that on July 18, a day before Kanu’s visit, 12 youths came to Eze Nri's palace requesting for an audience with the traditional ruler on behalf of Kanu.
They were told to first present a written request to the palace as the delegation seemed informal owing to the absence of a titled person among them.
“At this point they all left and what we saw the next day was Kanu visiting Nri community with a huge crowd of his supporters".
He (Kanu) went straight to the house of one Chief Shadrack Mbanefo, a subject to the traditional ruler of Nri.
“The feelers we later got, was that the said 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.
“This forest is believed to be the place the first burnt offering was offered by the Jewish Igbo ancestors when they migrated from Israel more than 2,000 years ago,’’ he said.
Onyesoh said Nri people considered Kanu’s conduct as a taboo because no high profile visitor enters the community without first visiting the traditional ruler let alone a sacred place without the knowledge of the ruler.
He expressed regret that Kanu and his supporters after visiting Mbanefo returned to the entrance gate of the palace and tried to force it open. It took the timely intervention of the traditional ruler who telephoned security operatives to disperse them.
“The people of Nri and her traditional ruler are not against Nnamdi 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 drag him to customary court to ensure that nobody else gives such insult to the community and its heritage,’’ he said.
“My advice to Kanu is for him to first step up actions to amend his ways to synchronise with the values and culture of Igbo people which he is stampeding in the name of agitation.