We, the Idigo Elders Ruling Council and the members of the Idigo Dynasty of Aguleri, Anambra State hereby dissociate ourselves from the charade that happened on the 29th day of March, 2019 in the guise of a coronation of an Igwe of Aguleri.
We considered it important to inform the public that:
- On the 11th day of January 2019, Eze Christopher Nwabunwanne Idigo (Ogalagidi) Igwe Aguleri went to be with our ancestors following what his wife told the family that started as mild catarrh and a subsequent injection administered on him by a Medical Doctor donated to him by a friend, which made him very uncomfortable that he was rushed to Iyienu Hospital, Ogidi.
- The Idigo family as tradition demands paid a visit to Obuga Aguleri to inform Ndichie and Ojiani Aguleri of the demise of our brother, the late Eze Aguleri. There, the Ndichie and Ojiani told the family that the issue of Igweship or Eze Aguleri is the exclusive preserve of the Idigo Royal Dynasty and asked the family to go and produce a successor.
- The family also informed the Iruokechi family (a kindred to which the Idigo Royal Dynasty belongs) and they repeated what the Ndichie and Ojiani said, and asked the Idigo Royal Dynasty to go and produce a successor.
- Having observed all the necessary customary and traditional rites and following our constitution, the Idigo Elders Ruling Council on the 19th day of January 2019, selected Prince Gabriel Chukwuka Ndidi Idigo as Igwe-Elect of Aguleri and in the evening of the same day presented him to the Iruokechi Family. The current pretender to the throne, Dr. Michael Idigo was a signatory to the resolution of 19th January 2019, forwarding the selection of Prince Gabriel Chukwuka Ndidi Idigo
- The Igwe-Elect, Prince Gabriel Chukwuka Ndidi Idigo was blessed and prayed for by the 95 year old Okpala of Iruokechi kindred, Sir Gabriel Chiatula (Onolueze Aguleri) on the 20th day of January 2019 as tradition demands.
- Things took a different turn when on the 24th day of March, 2019 the President of Iruokechi Family Meeting, Chief Mike Ejoh called an emergency “stakeholders” family meeting and said that the Igwe-Elect was not acceptable to the Governor of Anambra State. The Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr Primus Odili (a member of the Iruokechi family) addressed the meeting and said that the Governor ordered that the choice be changed otherwise he will not issue a Certificate of Recognition.
- Majority of the Elders of Iruokechi family took a stand that it is better that the Governor withholds his Certificate of Recognition than that Aguleri would desecrate its tradition and custom thereby anger the gods. Thereafter, a kangaroo group in Iruokechi kindred held a meeting where an election was purportedly conducted and Dr. Michael Idigo was allegedly selected as the “Igwe-Elect”, despite the fact that the meeting was reminded as follows that:
a. The selection of an Igwe Aguleri on the demise of the former one is the exclusive preserve of the Idigo Royal Dynasty and not an Iruokechi affair
b. The Okpala Idigo, Crown Prince Fidelis Idigo was not present at the said meeting neither were other principal members of the Idigo Ruling family.
- On hearing this development, the Okpala Iruokechi called a meeting at his residence on the 25th day of March, 2019 where the entire Iruokechi family reaffirmed their support for the selection made by the Idigo Elders Ruling Council on the 19th day of January 209 and accepted by Iruokechi kindred.
- Subsequently, another meeting was called for on the 26th day of March, 2019 at the same venue by the President of Iruokechi family meeting and other members still reaffirmed the decisions of 19th January 2019 and 25th March 2019. Even some persons who were misled to stand with the purported nomination of Dr. Michael Idigo recanted from their position in writing, reaffirming the nomination made by the Idigo Ruling Family.
- Despite all these, the Governor of Anambra State, a total stranger to the Idigo family and Iruokechi kindred, insistent on humiliating and intimidating the Idigo family and Iruokechi Kindred manifested a gross abuse of the powers vested on his office when:
a He forcefully removed the body of the late Igwe Aguleri from the mortuary where it was kept and confiscated same until he buried the son of the Idigo family without the proper rites and the participation of the rightful members of the family.
b. He sent over one hundred (100) security operatives (Police, DSS, Civil Defense etc.) to invade and seal up the Eze Idigo’s Palace from the 26th day of March 2019 to date (though the number has been reduced considerably). Police helicopters were also hovering around throughout the ceremonies. During the initial invasion they denied the members of the Idigo family access to their home and Obi.
c. He crowned a person that was not selected by the family who was rather selected by the Governor of Anambra State.
- In their haste to please the Governor of Anambra State, the following traditions and customs of Aguleri kingdom were breached by the Governor’s Foot soldiers:
a. The body of the late Igwe was carried by strangers instead of family or selected cabinet members
b. The body was not received by the Okpala Idigo to perform the traditional “Welcome Home and Cry of Pain”
c. Once the body of a late Igwe Aguleri is brought home for burial, it is not taken away again until is taken for burial or church service followed by burial.
However, in this instant case, the body of our Igwe was taken away after it was brought home to stay in unknown destination for the whole night, only for it to surface at the church the next day.
- During the purported coronation, the following traditions were breached:
a. Neither Okpala Idigo nor Okpala Iruokechi was present nor did they give their consent to the charade of a coronation
b. The proper regalia which is about one hundred (100) years old that a new Igwe must put on at the ceremony was not used for the ceremony
c. A woman is not supposed to be present inside the Isabanka during the crowning of a new Igwe, but in this abomination of a coronation, a woman in the person of Mrs Ebelechukwu Obiano (wife of the Governor) was present
d. The person crowned is not even the Diokpala of his immediate family, he has two living elder brothers which makes his coronation to be an abomination to the Aguleri tradition.
Aguleri okwanu alu oooooo!
In the circumstances, we, the Idigo Elders Ruling Council totally reject the purported coronation of Dr. Michael Idigo as the Igwe Aguleri and are already taking necessary steps to ensure that such affront to the age-long custom and tradition of the Aguleri people is redressed. We thank all our brothers and sisters of Aguleri origin, who rejected pressures and overtures (with money and otherwise) from all quarters and stood for what is right. Also to the numerous other members of the public who expressed their shock and outrage at the rape of the respected Aguleri tradition and custom, we salute your courage. May God bless you all.
We are law abiding citizens of Anambra State and have tremendous respect for the institutions of the State but are constrained to resist the unmitigated assault at the dignity of the Idigo Dynasty, the Iruokechi kindred, as well as the respected tradition and custom of the Aguleri people. Be assured that we shall continue the struggle until the right thing is done.
Let us state it very clear, the Idigo Dynasty as a group is not interested in politics (individual members are free to express any political belief but this does not and have never bound the Throne). Any reigning Igwe is absolved from politics, but gives his support to any government in power – both at the state and federal level.
- This whole charade was planned with the help of some black legs in the family namely, Pius Meze Idigo, Dr Clement Meze Idigo, Anthony Aghanti Idigo, Michael Ejoh and Michael Igwekwuoba Idigo. The intention being to destroy and split the family into two paving the way to eventually handing over the kingship to the highest bidder.
- We are calling the Ohaneze Ndigbo to take note of these happenings as it is the desecration of the Igbo culture and traditions being perpetrated by an Igbo leader.
We also call on the IGP to provide security for the family members as their lives are being threatened.
Long live Aguleri Kingdom!
Long live Anambra State!!
Signed for the Idigo Elders Ruling Council:
Crown Prince Fide Idigo
Prince Michael Idigo
Prince Gabriel Idigo