Africa-Press – Nigeria. Let me state from the onset that I’m a native of Orba in Udenu local government area of Enugu State. This clarification becomes necessary so that readers understand that I express my views as someone who is involved.
Only this last Sunday, I read a story in Sunday Sun credited to Chief Jide Orji who said that he was speaking on behalf of ‘2019 Enugu State Governorship Candidates Forum’ where he condemned the “banishment” of Chief Charlie Mbah (Egbe-igwe) by the Council of Elders of Orba Udulekenyi.
For one, Chief Mbah is a worthy son of Orba Udulekenyi and we, especially the youths of our community are proud of his achievements. He has also been a philantropist for which we are grateful.
But he was not ‘banished’ by Oha Orba (Council of Elders). According to the dictionary, to banish means to “send someone away from a country or place as an official punishment.”
The crux of the matter had to do with the decision of the Elders to cease further communication with Chief Mbah for certain development(s) that happened during the celebrations of his 50th birthday in Orba on December 29, 2021.
Ordinarily, it was a thing of collective joy to our people when our wealthy son turned 50 and our people, including Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi were there to rejoice with Egbe-igwe).
But before that event, every adult Orba indigene knew of the rules, regulations and decisions taken by the Elders on some critical issues concerning our community.
Two other prominent sons of our town who ran foul of the same town’s rules were excommunicated (or if you like, ostracised). The point then is that if our son, Chief Mbah knew of the position of his community on such matters he, he would have done well to respect them. And if he did not, then the onus was on the Council of Elders to do what had been done to his other kinsmen who disobeyed the set rules.
Now, hear Chief Orji: “The Forum, therefore, advise (sic) the Governor (Rt. Hon. Ugwuanyi) to quickly call these men to order to cease any act of intimidation or banishment of any kind”.
The above is as dictatorial as it is disrespectful to the persons, positions and responsibilities of these Elders (Oha Orba).
Now, does Chief Orji expect Governor Ugwuanyi to summon the Elders and dictate to them how to govern our community or decisions to take? Does the Forum, if it exists, expect our revered Elders to treat people differently even if they committed the same offence?
Our community does not discriminate this way. We treat people fairly and justly.
Governor Ugwuanyi has made a name for himself all over Nigeria as a man of peace and a bridge builder. He has enthroned peace and politics of accommodation across Enugu State. I do not work for him and do not speak for him, but I am aware that he is interfacing with concerned persons to bring everybody to the same dining table. We are better when we work as one.
The Elders were right in taking their decision on Chief Mbah based on justice and fairness. What is good for the ox is also good for the gander!
While we expect our notable sons to show remorse and approach our Council of Elders for the resolution of the grey areas, we wish that others should respect the decision of our people. Human beings are ruled by laws or regulations, local or national. When people or natives step out of bound, they are made to take personal responsibilities.
It will do us well as Ndigbo to respect the rules as set by different communities for the governance and well-being of their places. Our people of Orba Udulekenyi are solidly behind our son and Governor of Enugu State, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and we will do whatever is necessary to support and protect his interests.
Nduka Nweze wrote in from Orba, in Udenu Local Government Area of Enugu State.