Rev Ekweozor Launches Books on Igbo History

…Advocates Igbo Historical Studies, Research

By Ifeanyi Ndukwe

Two books, “Origins of lgbo” and “Replacing Faulty ideologies”, were Saturday, February 11, launched at Emmaus House, Awka. The books, authored by Rev Canon Charles Amobi Ekweozor, a minister with the Evangelical Church of West Africa (ECWA), x-rays the cultural heritage, history and philosophical ideologies of the lgbo people.

Speaking on the occasion, Igwe lweka 111 of Obosi, the reviewer of the book, “Origin of Ndigbo” explained that generational ideas imbedded in the book describes the lgbos as descendants of the Black Jews of Africa.

Explaining that Omenala meant the traditions of the land, Igwe Iweka said the author saw God as a special being that taught morals, discipline and acceptability.

The traditional ruler pinpointed salient words that, according to him, distinguished the lgbo dialect, which, he said, included, “Odi Aso”, “Onu ebe ni le”, “Okpuru iche.”

For his part, Prof Ikechukwu Okedo explained that the book was made up of 333 pages and recalled that children and relatives sourced their guides from the traditions and ballads told from generations down.

He recommended the book for research to higher institutions, students and teachers of religion, research institutes and libraries.

The Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Achebe, reiterated the need for lgbos to know and understand their origin, pointing out that a man who did not know his history was bound to be lost.

He explained that Omenani encapsulated the customs and traditions of the people, a belief system and culture.

‘We must appreciate our ideology and philosophy as a people and descendants of Jews.

‘The foundation of Christianity is to believe in God. Secondly, the administration of communion and belief that Christ died and ascended to heaven. The communion in lgbo culture is the breaking of kola nuts as a symbol of sharing. We, as a people share same philosophy,’ he stated.

Supporting, the monarch of Eze Enugwu Ukwu, Igwe Ralph Ekpe, lauded the author for launching the book at the ideal time, noting that the times required the revival and reinvention history and culture.

He appealed to government at all levels to ensure that the lgbo language was taught to avoid extinction.

For his part, lgwe Aguleri, Eze Mike ldigo, reiterated the need for appreciation of one’s culture and language and explained the concept of the Omenani and Odinala, saying Odinala represented the norms set up by the supreme creator, while Omenani referred to the practice of such.

Meanwhile, His Lordship, Most Rev Paulinus Ezeokafor, Bishop of Awka Catholic Diocese, appreciated the author for the honour bestowed on him and advised that the book be made into soft copies and placed on the internet to gain wider readership.

The prelate, represented by Rev Fr Maximus Okonkwo, education secretary, Catholic Diocese of Awka, emphasized the need for parents, guardians, civil servants and professionals to revive and imbibe good reading culture.

The Bishop, Province of the Niger, Anglican Communion, His Grace, Most Rev. Dr Alexander Ibezim, hailed the resilience of the author in writing the books. He maintained the need to revisit culture and history.

Don Onyenji, the Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, said the book elucidated the journey of the lgbo people and emphasized the need for festive celebrations like the New Yam Festivals and other cultural festivals to propagate the spread of the language. He assured that the ‘Soludo legacy-driven administration’ was focused on spearheading the reintroduction of the lgbo Language as a subject in schools within the state.

The chairman of the occasion and CEO, Muzzy Entertainment World, High Chief Azubuike Ekweozor, commended the author for his work, describing it as timely and educative.

He said it was imperative to advise parents, academics, and research centres, to adopt the book as a reference study for historical archives.

In his vote of thanks, the author, Rev Canon Charles Ekweozor, thanked all for honouring his invitation. He explained that the books were intended to redirect, inform, and enlighten the people of their ancient history.

The event had dignitaries and stakeholders, traditional rulers, lecturers, politicians, professionals and lgbo advocates in attendance.