Chieftaincy title conferred on Liberia’s Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf desecrates Igbo culture – Eze Cletus Ilomuanya

Peoples Digest Online-  The embattled traditional ruler of Obinugwu in Orlu Local Government area of Imo State, HRH Eze Cletus Ilomuanya, has condemned what he called “the continuous desecration of Igbo culture, customs and values by the state government.” Contending that the rate of “desecration” was alarming, Ilomuanya urged royal fathers in Igboland and Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo to completely condemn such.

“The continuous abomination and debasement of Igbo culture with impunity in Imo State is becoming very alarming,” Ilomuanya said, in reaction to the recent conferment of Adadioranma of Imo State title on the Liberian President, Mrs. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, by the state’s traditional rulers. In particular, he condemned the time the title was conferred, saying, “It is an aberration in Igbo culture to confer chieftaincy title at about 11 at night. It is never done. Only initiations into clandestine or cult groups are done at that time of the night.”

He expressed regrets that, “In recent times, Imo State has constantly made a mockery of Igbo culture and traditional institution;” pointing out that unless those knowledgeable in Igbo culture and the consequences of their desecration speak out, the trend might continue. “A few weeks back, it was Jacob Zuma and recently, it’s the Liberian woman. Who even chose the bogus titles of Ochi Agha of Imo State and Adadioranma of Imo State (Zuma and Johnson-Sirleaf respectively) to be conferred on them? “What have they done to deserve the titles when Igbo and Nigerians are dying everyday in South Africa and Liberia?” he queried.

Ilomuanya further argued that the visit of the presidents to Imo State only created the impression that Nigeria was now running a con-federal system of government, with Imo being portrayed as an independent state within the confederation. “As far as I am concerned, these visits are for personal gains and have no socio-cultural or economic benefit or relevance for Imo people. “Instead, our culture has become a footmat for foreigners to march on and trivialize. “Imo has obviously become an independent component state within Nigeria. The whole thing is exasperating,” the monarch lamented.

Ilomuanya, who is also the chancellor of Federal University, Birnin Kebbi, called on Ohanaeze Ndigbo, traditional rulers and well meaning Igbo leaders to intervene in the situation to curb the portrayal of Igbo culture as “worthless.” “Culture is a symbol of our identity. If it is debased, desecrated and killed, it all means that we have also lost our identity and relevance as a people,” he warned.

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