By Henry Umahi,
It could be said that Prof. Philip Chidi Njemanze has encyclopedic knowledge of science and history. Cerebral and controversial, he is a medical doctor, clinician and researcher in neurocardiology and neuroscience.
In this interview, Njemanze, chairman of the International Institutes of Advanced Research and Training, Chidicon Medical and Diagnostic Center, Owerri, Imo State, made profound revelations about the Igbo, Nigeria and elsewhere.
You book, Igbo Mediators of Yahweh Culture of Life, posits that the architects of ancient civilisations were found in Nigeria, not in the Middle East. I would like to begin this conversation with the question, who are the Igbo?
I will begin with an important note to the reader, that the letters of ancient Igbo language also called ancient Hebrew script gave rise to the present-day English consonants but not the vowels. So, we could refit the correct vowels in Igbo language to obtain the correct pronunciation of the words transliterated in English. The word Igbo comes from the words I gbo, meaning ‘to mediate.’ In Owerri dialect, we say I bo. This is the reason you see both correct spellings ‘Igbo’ and ‘Ibo,’ meaning ‘the mediators’ or ‘priests’ that mediate between humanity and God for the remission of sins. This can be demonstrated in the words: Holy Bible, which has Igbo etymology (origin), the word ‘Holy’ (Igbo language: Iho Eli Ya, meaning ‘the Divine Light of the Most High God’); and Bible (Igbo language: Ibo Ibe Eli, meaning ‘mediators and witnesses of the Most High God’). The Bible was authored by Igbo scribes, prophets and saints in the Old and New Testaments.
You said in your book that Igbo people were the ancient Egyptians and ancient Israelites. How is that?
The correct historical perspective supported by facts of genetics and ethnolinguistic origins is that the Igbo people were the people of ancient Egypt (Igbo language: Greek: AÍgyptos; Igbo language: A gọ Ya, a pa atụ Ose, meaning ‘prays to God and takes advice from the Almighty God’; Egypt; Igbo language: A gọ Ya, a pa atụ, meaning ‘pray to God and take advice’), ruled by the dynastic Pharaohs (Igbo language: efere ọha, meaning ‘your worship of the people’) who built the Great pyramids (Igbo language: pịa Ya Orie ọma ide, meaning ‘the carvings of God at the temple of Almighty God like a heap of sand’). These ancient pyramids are seen to this day in Igbo land at Nsude, Agbaja, Enugu State and at Eziama, Okigwe, many others are submerged underground.
At short periods before 1200 BC and after the Exodus in the 19th Dynasty, the Igbo Egyptians were conquered, enslaved and later expelled by the white people of Turkic origin called the Hyksos or Shepherd Kings, the ancestors of the present-day white Egyptians. They later faced invasions by the white Hellenic Greeks and white Romans. I say white Hellenic
Greeks because there are the Black Arctic Greeks (Igbo language: Ogo rị ike, meaning ‘district of very strong people’) with known historical characters like Socrates (Igbo language: isi a kaara atụ ọsa, meaning ‘the head that narrates the instructions to the people’) and Plato (Igbo language: a pa ilu atụ, meaning ‘crafts proverbs and instructions’). The place Rome (Igbo language: Orie ọma, meaning ‘Almighty God’s temple’) was the capital city of ancient Italy (Igbo language: itili, meaning ‘dark [people]’) of the people called Etruscans (Igbo language: itiri isi oke ana, meaning ‘[people] of dark hair of a great land’) with a language called Latin (Igbo language: olu otu ana, meaning language of a united people’). The Igbo Egyptians were enslaved in their own land and hence called themselves Hebrew (Igbo language: ọha e bu ụrụ ụwa, meaning ‘the people who bear the wickedness of the world’) and they called their God, Oseburụwa (Igbo language Ose e bu ụrụ ụwa meaning ‘the God that bears the wickedness of the World’).
The Exodus pushed Igbo people out of Egypt southwards to the land of Canaan (Igbo language: oke Nna, meaning ‘the allotment of the Father’) in present-day Nigeria. All major archaeologists in the world, including present-day Israeli agree that the Exodus from Egypt to present-day Israel never happened, because no trace has been found. On the contrary, we have documented every step of the Exodus from Egypt to Nigeria. On the journey to Nigeria, they were consecrated as priests and hence were called Igbo, the mediators. When they arrived in Nigeria, a land that was promised by God to their ancestors, they settled as the nation state of ancient Israel (Igbo language: ị zara Eli, meaning ‘you answered the Most High’), which was the other name of the people because of their ancestry from Jacob (Igbo language: Ya a kaa ebe, meaning ‘God bears witness’).
The word Jew (Igbo language: ji ụwa, meaning ‘they hold the world’) reflected their dominance as the ruling class in the ancient world, particularly, of the people from the tribe of Judah (Igbo language: Ya ode ọha, meaning ‘God resounds among the people’). The letter ‘J’ was lately introduced in the past two centuries into English language to replace ‘Y’ sound in Igbo language. The word YaHWeH (Igbo language: Ya Iho wụ ihe, meaning ‘God the Divine Light that enlightens’) is an Igbo expression about the attributes of God (Igbo language: Ọgọ Dị, meaning ‘the Eternal Divine Mercy’). The title of the book tells the story of the mediators of God with a Culture of Life.
How then did the name Nigeria come in?
The name Nigeria comes from the alternative name of Canaan transliterated as consonants Ng-r (Igbo language: Nga Orie, meaning ‘the place of God’) or N-g-g-r (Igbo language: Nga Ọgọ ọra, meaning ‘the place of the people of the Divine Mercy’). This was vowelised by the British as the Niger. They named the biggest river in this area where the ancient Israelites settled as Niger. The Black people from this area were then called Negro or Nigger. However, the modern full name Nigeria comes from Niger area, which first appeared in an essay written by Miss Flora Shaw, who later became the wife of Lord F. Lugard, who put forward this argument in the Financial Times of London of January 8, 1897 thus: “The name Nigeria applying to no other part of Africa may without offence to any neighbours be accepted as co-extensive with the territories over which the Royal Niger Company has extended British influence, and may serve to differentiate them equally from the colonies of Lagos and the Niger Protectorate on the coast and from the French territories of the Upper Niger.”
Recently, there was a publication with a headline, ‘Igbo not Jews, says DNA report,’ conducted by the Jewish Voice Ministries at Nnewi. What is your reaction to this declaration?
The caption could have been technically correct if it was entitled. ‘Igbo not modern Israeli Jews, reveals DNA report.’ This is because the modern people of the state of Israel are not the biblical ancient Jews. We should not expect there would be a genetic match of the modern people of the state of Israel with Igbo people who are the authentic ancient Jews. The standard they used to compare the Igbo DNA was the wrong Jewish database. The comparison should have been the other way round, and the conclusion should read that the modern-day people of Israel have no relationship with ancient Jews who are the ancestors of the Igbo people of Nigeria.
Let us get to the genetic information
In the phylogenetic tree of mtDNA, we find the so-called super groups, which are really only three basic groups. They came from three main female lines, which corroborate the biblical account of only three females that bred supposedly as wives of Shem, Ham and Japheth. These haplogroups are descendants from a single female Supergroup, namely Haplogroup L. This one female line Hg L, which is a Super L, then split into L1, L2 and then L3. The line L3 diverged and from L3 came the other mtDNA mutations N and M. Thus, all females came from one Eve whose mtDNA line was L.
The Igbo of Nigeria belong to haplogroup L1, believed to have first appeared approximately 150,000 to 240, 000 years ago in East Africa. They are the Hebrews of the first of God’s creation from Adam (Igbo language: A daa m, meaning ‘I fell’) and Eve (Igbo language: E wo, meaning ‘the body that transforms into another body’; or woman; Igbo language: e wo mmanụ, meaning ‘transforms into a human being’). The L groups, L1, L2, and L3, are all found in Africa and are the major groups almost exclusively in sub-Saharan West Africa, with L1 predominant in Igbo land, Southeastern Nigeria. The L1, L2 and L3 genes are also referred to as the Nilotic genes, which means genes of people of Igbo and Southern Sudanese extraction that founded the civilisation of ancient Egypt and ancient Nubia, along the River Nile (Igbo language: mmiri Niile, meaning ‘all the waters’). The only exception is North Africa in Ethiopia where there are large diversities of the mtDNA haplogroups with traceable Igbo origins in diaspora. The Igbo Greek origins also show traces of L1 haplogroup especially in Greek Macedonia.
The genetic analysis is the basis for the ‘Out of Africa Theory’ of migration of modern humans. On the basis of modern genetics, only the Igbo of Nigeria can be the Hebrews of ancient Israel! It must be underscored that there are significant gene flows of a common heritage between Nigerian tribes especially the Igbo-Yoruba. In fact, the word Yoruba (Igbo language: oyiri ibo, meaning ‘they look like the mediators’) underscores the genetic similarity, which is up to 99%. The European genes haplogroups N, M are mutations of the L3 gene of the majority of the people living in present-day Israel, have no traceable origins in ancient Israel. In fact, the white skin evolved only 6000-7000 years, so the white Europeans did not play a significant role in the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Greece, Israel, and Babylon until late towards the beginning of the first century AD.