Celebrity Gist

NATIVE ADMINISTRATION OF IKWERRE LAND ; Political Rulers ship of ikwerres operated a Republican method. Leadership responsibilities were shouldered upon senior men of various political settings. Administration by the joint efforts of these senior sons catered for both legislative and judicial systems. For matters concerning single family, only the Senior men of the family met. This political setting is identified as the ‘ Ele-Oha’ For matters that concerned compound, senior men of all families that comprise the compound met. This political level is termed as the ” Ele-Oha” or Nde-Oha” which means” Those in meeting”. Similarly, head’s of extended families that comprised a village met to deliberate and resolve matters relating to the village. The gathering of these senior men was equally identified as the”Ele-Oha”/”Nde-Oha”. The Nde-Oha of the village embraced the ” Nyerisi Eli” of the village. They were the senior men of each extended family as well the holders of the family Owhor. The senior elder of the senior family of the senior compound was called the” Nye Nwe Eli” which means ”Holder of Land”.The Nye-Nwe Eli convenes the meeting (Oha) when need arose. The Oha meeting comprised of each senior man or Owhor holder who is accompanied by the next man in seniority. The NyeNwe Oha does not act autocratically but acts with the consent of the Oha council. The Oha council invariably served as the apex administrative body of ikwerre ethnic nationality. There was strict order of succession of NyeNweEli,brother succeeds brother until after the death of the youngest brother. Hence, the title will return to the eldest son of the eldest brother. If the successor is a young man,he succeeds in such order but his action will be strictly guided by other elders. Religiously, it is the NyeNweEli that holds the”Owhor” of the town. Likewise, it is the NyeNweEli that often sacrifices to”Eli” on behalf of the community. In few cases, there are established priesthood by which the sacred staff ” Owhor” falls upon another person as occupying the seat of a priest. The priest was called the Nyeisi Agbara. In case where there are NyeNweEli and NyeisiAgbara, the NyeNweEli took control of council meetings while the Nyeisi Agbara holds to the affairs of the deity. Both persons played strong roles in the community and equally attended the council meetings. As provided in the usage of custom and traditions of ikwerre,the NyeNweEli of the most senior extended family, kindred or villages sits at either at the middle or the nearest end during meetings. Others sit in their exact order on his sides. When a member of the council arrives late in a meeting, others will make a necessary shift to allow him sit at his exact position. In an event of dispute between two communities it is the Oha council of both groups that usually met to resolve the matter. Authored by chief odungweru in 2015

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