This year’s Ofala Annual Cultural festival celebrated by the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe appeared to have added more glamour than those of the previous years.The added glamour which included Ofala Music Concert, and a royal banquet in honour of Igwe Achebe, would remain fresh in the annals of history and evergreen in the minds of the participants.
This year’s Ofala was most remarkable as Obi of Onitsha personally extended invitation to a Biafra Leader – Barr Emeka Emekesiri,the Chairman of Movement of Biafrans in Nigeria and Chairman,IPOB Biafra Project. Barr Emeka Emekesiri who resides in UK was represented by the Director- General of the Movement of Biafrans in Nigeria(MOBIN) -Rita Anigbogu and the Administrator of the Customary Government of Biafra-Engr Anthony Aniegbue with many other delegates.
Igwe Alfred was excited to receive the Biafran delegation from Barr Emeka Emekesiri who came with Igbo Cow among other gift in honour of His Royal Majesty.Barr Emeka Emekesiri through a paper presentation ,informed His Majesty that the Biafra project is being handled by professionals and that His Majesty’s call for Regional Government is in line with the Biafra phase 2 project.The full detail of the royal homily reads ;
HIS ROYAL MAJESTY,
IGWE NNAEMEKA ACHEBE CFR, mni, Agbogidi
OBI OF ONITSHA
With utmost humility, unalloyed and unfeigned loyalty, honour and respect to His Royal Majesty, Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe CFR, mni, Obi of Onitsha, Agbogidi, I present this homily in honour of His Royal Majesty and the Throne he occupies in our nation on this special occasion of the 2018 Ofala Festival.
I regard this 2018 Ofala Festival as SPECIAL because I am involved. His Royal Majesty invited me to attend the Ofala just as I am without directing me to hide my identity as to what I represent and the people I represent. I am a Biafran human rights activist and represent the Biafrans. I was humbled with some trepidation when I saw that he sent the invitation directly to me by himself and not by his messengers. Like a child given a portion of meat bigger than what he expected from his father, I deeply appreciate the honour and recognition that His Royal Majesty has accorded me despite my littleness in the society.
We have gathered here today to celebrate and rejoice with a man, not just a man but a King, not just a King but a Treaty King in Africa, Obi of Onitsha, Agbogidi, a man bestowed with the national honour as Commander of the Federal Republic (CFR), who has impacted positively to the lives of millions in the society. We have gathered today at the Ancient Palace of the Obi of Onitsha, not only to celebrate with Agbogidi, but also to learn from him. There are many lessons we can learn from His Royal Majesty but there are two most important lessons I would like to draw our attention to.
The first is the lesson of respect for our Traditional Institutions and restoring the dignity and honour of our Ancient Thrones. In this era when Royal Fathers in this part of the country are prostrating before politicians, speaking contradictions from the two sides of their mouths to win favour from the government, Obi of Onitsha, Agbogidi, made the Igbo Nation proud by upholding the sacredness and dignity of the Ancient Throne he occupies. It was in November 2017 when the Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari visited Anambra State and expected the Obi of Onitsha to leave the Palace and come to the Airport to welcome him! Yet, the President of Nigeria visited the Emir of Kano and other Traditional Rulers in the North and paid homage to them at their Palaces! The Obi of Onitsha remained in his Palace waiting for the visitor to come and pay homage but the visitor left Anambra State disappointed that he could not ridicule the Ancient Throne of Igbo Land. Agbogidi has made us proud. All traditional rulers in the Igbo Nation should learn from him and stop disgracing the Igbo Traditional Institutions.
The second lesson is the call by Obi of Onitsha for the Restructuring of Nigeria into Regional Governments in the exercise of our right to self-determination as published by the Punch Newspaper on 27 August 2018 so that each region would govern itself, thrive independently and develop at its own pace. He said that RESTRUCTURING rather than IGBO PRESIDENCY was his concern. This is where I declare him my comrade in the struggle for self-determination by way of devolution of power. He is saying what we are saying in the Biafra Project by legal methodology and political diplomacy. This is the same message of Restructuring by Devolution of Power being preached by Chief Barr Nnia Nwodo, President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo. We are Biafrans by indigenous identity described in the Suit No FHC/OW/CS/192/2013 between Biafra and Nigeria as INDIGENOUS PEOPLE OF BIAFRA. We have no intention to destroy Nigeria but to be free to govern ourselves and develop at our own pace just like Scotland governs itself within Britain. The four countries- England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, are autonomous nations governing themselves within Britain. Every REGION should be free within Nigeria to govern itself with its own Regional Parliament, control its resources, pay the agreed percentage tax to the Federal Government and develop at its own pace. This is the best solution to the Nigeria-Biafra conundrum. If this political arrangement could work in Britain, why should it not work .
This is the Biafra Project which my teammates and I represent and advocate for in the present dispensation. We have created the structures on the ground for self-determination by legal methodology. We have gathered the remnants of the Biafrans together by the use of Customary Law. We run our Customary Government under our Council of Elders and hold our Town Hall meetings every month in all parts of Biafraland. We participate fully in the Nigerian politics and have our political movement called Movement of Biafrans in Nigeria (MOBIN). We therefore use this SPECIAL occasion of Ofala Festival to invite all lovers of freedom to join our self-determination movement anchored upon the rule of law and political diplomacy. Please visit our websites at www.ipobgovernment.org and www.mobinbiafra.org for more information on how to join us.
I appreciate this Special Invitation by Agbogidi to participate in the Ofala Festival and do hereby present an Igbo Cow (EFI IGBO) with the condiments to His Royal Majesty, the Obi of Onitsha. The Igbo Cow is symbolic. The Igbo herdsmen rearing Igbo cows do not carry AK47. Let us patronize our own instead of contributing money to the Fulani herdsmen to buy more bullets. I pray the Almighty God who has placed Agbogidi on the Throne to continue to protect him, guide him, increase his wisdom, power, knowledge and understanding, and renew his strength and health from year to year. May the King live forever’ The message concluded.