Posted by John Okiyi Kalu | 20 May 2017 | 3,387 times
Yesterday a group of women with pro-Biafra paraphernalia arrived the Ancient Kingdom of Abiriba in Ohafia LGA of Abia State with buses and proceeded to the stadium to sing and pray.
At some point security men at the town also known as small London arrived to inquire on their mission and asked them to disband from the location. The women marched first to the palace of the King of the Ancient Kingdom, His Royal Majesty Eze Kalu Kalu Ogbu IV, Enachioken of Abiriba to register their protest at being asked to leave the location of their peaceful gathering.
On meeting the absence of the Enachioken at his traditional palace and court they marched to his private home where he came out to meet the women and listen to them. They informed him that security agents stripped them naked and ordered them to leave the town.
The Enachioken immediately invited the security agents led by the Divisional Police Officer, who incidentally is from Enugu State, alongside the commanding officer of the soldiers at Abiriba. The duo denied stripping the women naked and also denied shooting into the air at any point as, according to the DPO, “the women are our sisters and mothers and we cannot strip them naked or shoot at them”.
Thereafter, the security agents acceded to the request of the women to return to the stadium and continue their prayers. Security agents escorted them back to the stadium and after their prayers the women left with their vehicles.
Key points to note:
1. The women were in Abiriba because the current holder of Ofo Ndigbo, Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe, is from Abiriba. Every Igbo man understands the significance of ofo in Igbo mythology.
2. Abiriba Kingdom is a warrior clan in Igbo land and it is a taboo to strip any Abiriba woman naked in public. If she even voluntarily strips naked in public to protest it is the duty of every male Abiriba person to immediately return home and buy clothes to cover and pacify her with gifts. In simple terms, whatever she wants must be given to her or else our ancestors will not be happy.
3. The women seen on that video are certainly not from Abiriba. We do not address our King as “Igwe”. That title is unknown to Abiriba Kingdom but used by some Igbo clans. The language of the women make them certainly Igbo women and according to Abiriba tradition we are obliged to offer protection to all visitors to the Kingdom and make sure that the visitor return home safely.
4. All the women are safely back to their base. None was hurt or deprived as the community protectors and enforcers called “uke ji agbala” ensured that and have reported back to the Enachioken in Council.
5. Peaceful agitation is not new to Abiriba and protests by Abiriba women are well documented. In fact we continue to celebrate one of such protests that led to the return of peace to Abiriba. In that instance, the women marched on foot from Abiriba to Umuahia and all able bodied Abiriba men had to rush immediately to Umuahia to return our women and clothe fete them.
•John Okiyi Kalu, an indigene of Abiriba, is Special Adviser to Governor Ikpeazu on ICT and Social Media Strategy.
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