Controversy over Nnamdi Kanu’s visit to Eze Nri
Controversy ensued yesterday following the visit of Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu to Nri, in Anambra State.
Sources said the IPOB leader was locked out of the palace of the traditional ruler of Nri ancient Kingdom, Eze Obidiegwu Onyeso, when he visited the community, while IPOB said he never visted the monarch, but was rather honoured with his wife, Uchechi, by the community.
Though thousands of IPOB members gathered at Nri community, Anaocha Local Government Area of Anambra State, regarded as the ancestral home of the Igbo, when Kanu visted the community yesterday, sources said the IPOB leader was denied audience by Eze Nri, who locked him out of the palace for breaching protocol.
Kanu had, on arrival at Nri visited Akamkpisi village, Nri, where he paid homage to Adama Nri, Chief Shedrack Mbanefo, on alleged rival to Eze Nri stool.
Adama Nri took Kanu to the Onuebo shrine and presented Ofo to him, even as IPOB members, who accompanied him waved Biafran flags and banners.
He later proceeded to the palace of Eze Nri, but, the traditional ruler never welcomed him.
A palace source who pleaded anonymity told Daily Sun that there was a breach of protocol in the whole arrangement.
“How can he storm the palace of Eze Nri without clearance and invitation after he had visited the Adama, who had earlier laid claim to the Ezeship of Nri Kingdom and lost out. Things are not done that way and that was why Eze Nri did not give him audience and he left with his followers,” the source said.
In a related development, IPOB has declared that Kanu was never snubbed by Eze Nri. The group said its leader was rather honoured with the title, Adama Nri of the community.
IPOB said Kanu was given an ‘Ofo,’ a symbol of title holder by Adama of Nri, when he visited him with his entourage.
The Media and Publicity Secretary of IPOB, Mr. Emma Powerful who confirmed the visit and honour said the people of Nri gave Kanu and his wife, Uchech, a resounding reception.
He said Kanu did not visit Eze Nri, as alleged in some quarters, but visited the Adama Nri, saying there was no initial appointment with Eze Nri and did not go to his palace.
According to him, “Nnamdi Kanu did not visit Eze Nri rather, he visited Adama Nri, who prayed for him and honored him with an ‘Ofo’.
“He had no appointment with Eze Nri, our leader doesn’t go to somebody’s house or palace without proper arrangement. If we want to visit Eze Nri, we must secure an appointment, therefore, our visit today was to see Eze Nri.”
“So many people including school children trooped out from their schools to see and cheer up Nnamdi Kanu, even the villagers and came out en mass where they hosted Kanu and wife Uchechi while children were chanting ‘Kanu give us Biafra”.