By Brown Chimezie
In a bid to continue to promote Igbo culture in the Diaspora, Ndigbo resident in Lagos State have crowned their first Onye-Ndu in the person of Chief Paul Nnoruka Odinaka.
The historic occasion, which attracted the who-is-who among the Igbo in southwest zone and beyond, including the national chairman of Council of Ndindu Ndigbo n’uzo ije (Diaspora), High Chief Aloy Obi, the national secretary, Chief Iheonunekwu George, the Onye Ndu Ndigbo in Ogun State, High Chief Michael Ubah, the Onye Ndu Ndigbo in Owo, Ondo State, Chief Chibuzo Ojinaka, the Onye Ndu Ndigbo of Federal Capital Territory, Chief Henry Ifeanyi Iheanacho, as well as the patron of Igbo General Assembly, Chief Emeka Enweronye, happened in Alimosho, Lagos, on Sunday, September 18, 2022.
Speaking at the event, High Chief Aloy Obi, the Onye Ndu Ndigbo in Ibadan in particular and Oyo State in general, said that the coronation of Chief Paul Odinaka as the Onye Ndu Ndigbo in Lagos State was in compliance with the directive of the apex Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, and the South East Council of Traditional Rulers.
According to him, as a disciplined, responsible and respectful organization, the Council of Ndindu Ndigbo in Diaspora would always abide by the dictates of Ohanaeze Ndigbo and South East Council of Traditional Rulers.
He said it was in line with this policy that they choose to be taking the title of Onye Ndu Ndigbo (Igbo leader), rather than Eze Ndigbo (Igbo King).
High Chief Obi described those going with the title of Eze Ndigbo outside Igboland as prodigals and as such should repent and make peace with the traditional rulers in the South East.
His words, “In the Bible, Jesus said, if you love me, obey my commandments. Ohanaeze Ndigbo and South East Council of Traditional rulers have said that nobody should be parading himself as king outside Igboland and yet somebody are disobeying them. That simply showed that they are not responsible, let alone respectful. The same Bible also said honour your father. So, I want to congratulate Chief Paul Odinaka, the first Onye Ndu Ndigbo in Lagos State, for deciding to be responsible and respectful. I also appreciate the Igbo General Assembly, Lagos State chapter, for choosing a very a quality and honorable man for this position. I am aware that the position is very tasking. But God will give you the strength, wisdom and wealth to justify the confidence that Ndigbo in Lagos reposed on you.”
Responding, Chief Odinaka commended the Igbo General Assembly, Lagos State chapter, for finding him worthy of the position. He also commended the Council of Ndi Ndu Ndigbo in Diaspora for accepting him into their fold.
According to him, many people have approached him to take the title of Eze Ndigbo but he refused because he knew that it was against the resolution of Ohanaeze Ndigbo and South East council of traditional rulers.
He promised to contribute his quota in the promotion and projection of Igbo tradition and culture.
He also promised to be fair and truthful in the discharge of the duties of his office.