Some Igbo traditions, not obnoxious – Obi of Onitsha

Alphonsus Nweze

The Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Achebe, has stoutly stood in the defence of Igbo traditions, declaring that not all Igbo customs and traditions are obnoxious as most people perceive it.
The Obi spoke in defence of Igbo tradition on Thursday when the Bishop on the Niger, Rt. Rev. Dr. Owen Nwokolo paid him a courtesy visit at his palace as part of the programme for this year’s Synod, holding at All Saints Church Cathedral, Onitsha.
Obi while responding to Bishop Nwokolo’s address at the palace agreed that some of the Igbo traditional practices are unchristian but stated that some are not as evil as they were being portrayed.

He said some Igbo cultures are seen as negative and obnoxious actually showcase the positive identity of Igbo people.

The traditional ruler specifically mentioned the breaking and sharing of cola-nut and wine in various Igbo communities which he said showed the Igbo concept of love, peace and unity.
Earlier in his speech, the Bishop on the Niger, expressed the resolve of the diocese to end all forms of obnoxious Igbo culture and traditions still existing within the diocese.
The bishop lamented that after about 165 years of Christianity in the area, some people were still neck-deep in various Igbo cultural practices which he termed as very unchristian.
He expressed worry that in some communities in the diocese, people are still delighted in animal sacrifices, fetishism of all kinds and patronages of all types of shrines, stressing that it has become imperative to completely eradicate such satanic practices.
The Bishop appealed to Igwe Achebe, the Obi of Onitsha who is one of the custodians of Igbo culture and traditions to assist in the eradication of the these vexatious cultures and traditions in the area.

The Chancellor of the Diocese, Kpajie Nnamdi Ibegbu (SAN), gave vote of thanks after the exchange of gifts by both Obi of Onitsha and the Bishop.
In a sermon delivered during the formal opening of the Synod at the All Saints’ Cathedral, the guest preacher, the Rt Rev, Dr James Odedeji of Lagos West Diocese, emphasized the importance of discipleship among proffessing christians.
Bishop Odedeji said the purpose of discipleship was to appropriate the great commission to depopulate hell and populate heaven.
He emphasised that evangelism is compulsory for every christian but lamented how the task of evangelism has been relegated to the background by christians and expressed worries that street envagelism has been taken over by charlatans, who he said now extort money from people in the name of envagelism.
He called on christians to obey the great commission because, according to him, “it is a command by God.”

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