Nri community in Aniocha Local Government Area
of Anambra has threatened to sue Mazi Nnamdi
Kanu, the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra
(IPOB), for alleged taboo in Nri culture.
Chief Ifeanyi Onyesoh, the Personal Assistant to
Eze Obidiegwu Onyesoh, the traditional ruler of
Nri community, announced the plan to journalists
in Awka on Thursday.
He said the people were angry over Kanu’s
Onyesoh said Kanu with his wife, Uchechi, and
supporters visited the palace of Eze Nri on July
19 and a shrine against the tradition of the
He noted 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
Onyesoh said on July 18, a day before Kanu’s
visit, 12 young people came to the palace of Eze
Nri requesting for an appointment with the
traditional ruler for Kanu.
“I was the person that received them and so I
told them to go and come back with a written
letter so that they will get official reply from
the palace since the delegation looked unusual, in
that there was no 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
entered 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 was this unruly conduct that made the
traditional ruler to telephone the security agents
who responded promptly and dispersed Kanu and
Onyesoh said the people regarded Kanu’s action
as an affront on their values and so resolved not
to sweep the matter under the carpet.
“It is a taboo in Nri and equally against the
Anambra State Traditional Rulers’ Council Law for
a high profile visitor to visit a community without
first paying homage to the traditional ruler.
“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.
Reminded that Kanu visited Nri to receive `Offo
Nri title’ like the late Dim Chukwuemeka
Odumegwu Ojukwu and MASSOB leader Chief Ralph
Uwazuruike both Biafra agitators, Onyesoh said
“if Kanu wants a title, Eze Nri is not aware of
“If Kanu indeed met with anybody and claimed
he was given `Offo Nri’, it means he is seeking
the title through the back door and for the title
he claimed was given to him by
`Adama’ (Mbanefo ), a servant to Eze Nri, is a
“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.
“Nri is the ancestral home of all Igbo people
and for him to visit Nri in the manner he did
means he has no knowledge of Igbo tradition and
“So, he must first study Igbo tradition and
culture and properly be advised before he misleads