Why My Nnewi Relatives Have Now Decided To Give Citizenship Rights To Qualified Settler Applicants

By Anayo Nwosu June 5, 2020

Why My Nnewi Relatives Have Now Decided To Give Citizenship Rights To Qualified Settler Applicants

There had been a demand brought upon Ụmụezenwegbu, my ụmụnna, by modernity and the young and upwardly mobile members to craft a modern constitution for the children of Ezenwegbu, the 3rd surviving prince born from Imediugwu, the first wife of Ezeọgụiñe, the Obi of Otolo and Nnewi. Its time had come and we could no longer resist.

The Palace of Obi Ezenwegbu Ezeọgụiñe is located on Ezeoguine road near Anaedo Hall in Ọkpụnọ Otolo Nnewi. Most of those households that dot both sides of the road from Mkparụ end up to St Thomas Anglican Church, Akwụ Udo are family members of ụmụ Ezenwegbu.

By deciding to amend its constitution and becoming more accommodative, we the children of Ezenwegbu wanted to correct the mistakes we made in the past.

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Ụmụezenwegbu in Ọkpụnyo Otolo Nnewi is the only ụmụnna in Nnewi that its family unit members are the purest of all the children of the man called Nnewi probably achieved through craft or by pride. The ụmụnna or family ensured that it didn’t allow into its midst, any stranger element or settler.

Ụmụezenwegbu rejected assimilation of our own share of slaves of Obi Ezeoguine, our father when slave trade was abolished and when his assets including slaves were being shared.

After years of tagging along, the only family descending from Ezeoguine slave who would have become members of ỤmụEzenwegbu had to join another more welcoming family or ụmụnna in Ọkpụnyo Otolo. That action of ours to grow organically without strangers has affected our capacities and reflected in our fewer population a great deal hence our informed decision to change the policy.

The now more educated and widely traveled members of Ụmụezenwegbu family had come to see the benefits USA, Brazil, Mexico, Britain etc derived from diversity.

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The informed members were able to drown the resistance from some old brigades who kept reminding the progressives of what an uncontrolled acceptance of rich and powerful settlers did to original inhabitants of Australia, New Zealand and other quarters of Nnewi. This hardline group insisted that we should define the scope of rights derivable from naturalisation as a member of Umuezenwegbu.

With future in mind while mitigating the risks of the past, Ụmụezenwegbu inserted in our ụmụnna Constitution the clauses that permit any settler or tenant becoming an Ezenwegbu by naturalisation. I’m so glad that I was part of that epochal process.

The implications of the constitutional amendments of Ụmụezenwegbu are as follows :
(a). That anyone person from anywhere could apply to join the meeting of Umuezenwegbu.
(b). That if the applicant is from Nnewi, he must provide evidence of his renounciation of his original ụmụnna and clan.
(c). That the applicant could aspire to any elective position in the Umuezenwegbu family association except becoming the Obi and the Obu Ọfọ Ụmụnna or Okenye Ụmụnna (which is reserved for the oldest man produced from a marriage of pure Ezenwegbu son to another non-Ezenwegbu woman).
(d). The applicant and his descendants are forbidden from marrying a daughter of Ezeoguine and vice versa.
(e). The applicant will be qualified to ịmachili or nkụchili nwaanyi or take into his home a widow of an Ezenwegbu son.

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Having amended our constitution, the conscience of some members of my kindred who live abroad and who have since become American, Canadian and British would be unburdened. We amended our constitution mindful that even when our kinsmen abroad become British, they could only become British prime minister but never the King or Queen of England. The royalty is protected and could be accessed through biological succession.

Curiously, after more than 12 years of this historic constitutional amendment, we have not recorded any admission or citizenship pledge even with the increasing number of people who settle amongst Umuezenwegbu through buying our land or via settlement by tenancy.

But with increasing migration of sons original inhabitants of Okpuno Otolo, Okpuno Nnewi, Abụbọ Nnewichi, Okpuno Egbu etc towards the hinterlands where they buy cheaper land and settle, after selling “ana amụ nna ha” or their “ancestors’ abodes”, the demographics of Nnewi would soon be reshuffled.

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Very soon, I mean very soon, most 40-year old men in Nnewi might not be able to tell the names of their great-grandfathers. That’s if that time has not come.

Didn’t some Nnewi boys the other day publish a communique that Nnewi, my own biological ancestor, was not a name of a man that lived?

Granting citizenship rights without clear documented joiners’s rights and privileges as Ụmụezenwegbu has just done has its own issues. But, it is not late in the day to mitigate the risks before children start would calling Ọhụ an Ohu which have different and serious meanings.

  • Ikenga Ezenwegbu Nnewi: anayonwosu@icloud.com