History of NRI KINGDOM, Anambra State
Nri is an ancient Igbo city-state in Anambra State Nigeria. The Kingdom of Nri was a center of learning, religion, and commerce in pre-colonial West Africa. Historians have compared the significance of Nri, at its peak, to the religious cities of Rome or Mecca: it was the seat of a powerful and imperial state that influenced much of the territories inhabited by the Igbo of Awka and Onitsha to the east; the Efik, the Ibibio, and the Ijaw to the South; Nsukka and southernIgala to the north; and Asaba, and the Anioma to the west. The rulers of Nri did not use military conquest, but used religious authority and control of commercial routes as tactics in the spread of their city-state. Politically, Nri is known to be the most ancient origins of the Eze kingship in Igbo societies. But Nri and its rulers were also known for their occult religious Juju, an institution that instilled both awe and fear in those who made pilgrimages to the shrine.
Commercially, Nri was against slave holding. "Osu" was the name of outcasts of other communities who migrated and were accepted in Nri. Some Osu became eunuchs. During the colonial period, Nri and the regions under its political, religious, or commercial control became international markets for palm oil. In the heart of Nri influence was the Igbo Ukwu bronze castings.
Eze Nri, Nri Enwelana II, Obidiegwu Onyeso
NRI KINGDOM is the oldest Kingdom in Nigeria. It was founded around 900AD by the progenitor, Eri, the son of Gad. According to biblicalaccounts, Jacob had Leah as his wife who begot four sons for him. When Leah noticed she had passed child-bearing age, she gave her maid – servant, Zilpah to Jacob to wife, and through Zilpah he had a son named Gad. Gad then bigot Eri, who later formed a clan known as Erites vide Genesis Chapter 30 verse 9; 46 verse 16 and Numbers chapter 26 verses 15-19. Eri was therefore amongst the twelve tribes of Israel via Gad.
During their stay in Egypt Eri became the high priest and spiritual adviser to Pharaoh Teti, the fifth dynastic king of Egypt around 2400 BC.
During the Exodus, which marked the beginning of the mass movement of the tribes of Israel, the tribe of Eri was amongst the tribe that left Egypt following the injunction from God to the Israelites (see Deuteronomy chapter 28 verses 58 – 68). Some of these tribes founded settlements in the southern part of Sudan, where they established the “Nok” culture, which is similar to that of other (sun Cult) culture, like Nri, Fiji, Samoa, and Jukun in the Northern part of Nigeria and elsewhere. But others who could not remain in the Southern Sudan traveled further South, some branched off to Jukun, in Northern part of Nigeria, others continued and arrived at the confluence of Rivers Niger and Anambara known as “Ezu-na-Ọmambala” and settled there while some veered off to the Island of Fiji in the South Pacific Ocean. An intelligence report notes that the Fijians have the same sun culture with the people of Nri.
When Eri arrived at the confluence of “Ezu-na-Ọmambala” he had two wives, namely Nneamakụ and Oboli, Nneamakụ begot five children, namely (a) Nrifikwuanịm-Menri being the first son (b) Agụlụ (c) Ogbodudu (d) Onogu and (e) Iguedo the only daughter. Oboli begot Ọnọja, the only son who founded the Ịgala Kingdom in Kogi State. Meanwhile, Nri-Ifikwuanịm begot Agụkwu Nri, Enugwu-Ukwu, Enugwu-Agidi, Nọfịa, and Amọbia, while his brother Ogbodudu who later became Nrinaoke N’Ogbodudu had founded the Diodo Dynasty, while his brother Ezikannebo founded Akamkpịsị and Amanuke. Onogu Begot Ịgbariam, while Iguedo, the only daughter, begot Ogbunike, Ọkuzu, Nando, Ụmụleri, and Nteje, Known today as Ụmụ-Iguedo clan, while the former are better known as Ụmụ-Nri clan. According to Nri Oral tradition recently substantiated by archaeological findings of Ọraeri/Igbo-Ukwu objects, the unification of Agukwu, Diodo, and Akamkpịsị was enacted constitutionally during the beginning of reign of Nribụife (AD 1159 – 1252) who was the first Eze Nri to observe the Ịgụ-Arọ Festival as a pan – Igbo affair in 1160AD (Prof. M.A. Ọnwụejeọgwu 2003).
Nri-Ifikwuanịm took after his progenitor Eri, and became a high priest among his people. He left Agụleri in search of a better living place, according to Mr. M.D.W. Jeffreys report, and settled at present Nri site. He started performing what Eri did at Egypt, cleansing of abominations, giving titles such as prestigious Ọzọ title, to his people, proclaiming the New Year (Ịgụ-Arọ) etc.
ỊGỤ-ARỌ: Ịgụ-Arọ is an annual festival of the Nri people. It is during this festival that Eze Nri proclaims the New Year to all the Igbo communities under his jurisdiction, and he then announces the Nri calendar to the people. The Nri calendar is made up of thirteen (13) Lunar months namely:
(1) Ọnwa Mbụ (1st moon) starts from 3rd week in February each year.
(2) Ọnwa Abụa (2nd moon) March to April, (clearing and farming).
(3) Ọnwa Ife Eke (3rd moon) April to May (Ụganị or hunger period)
(4) Ọnwa Ana (4th moon) May to June (planting seed yams).
(5) Ọnwa Agwụ (5th moon) Ịgọchi and mmanwụ (Adult Masquerades) June-July.
(6) Ọnwa Ifejiọkụ (6th moon) Yam Ritual (Ifejiọkụ) July –August.
(7) Ọnwa Alọm Chi (7th moon) Yam Harvest (For Alụsị only) comes up August to early September.
(8 Ọnwa Ilo Mmụọ (8th moon) Ọnwa Asatọ festival (September ending).
(9) Ọnwa Ana (9th moon) Ana Ritual comes up in October.
(10) Ọnwa Okike (10th moon) Okike ritual takes place in early November.
(11) Ọnwa Ajana (11th moon) Okike ritual takes place in November ending.
(12) Ọnwa Ede Ajana (12th moon) comes up in ending of November to early December.
(13) Ọnwa Ụzọ Alụsị (13th moon) offering to Alụsị (early January to early February).
The Nri were great innovators in rituals, diplomacy, economy, administration, and management of a segmented and decentralized people. The Lunar system of calculating the year with a system of adjustment was known to the Nri priests of Alụsị Arọ and the knowledge of the movement of the heavenly bodies were employed in calculation the lunar year, according to Northcote Thomas (M.A. Frai) a British Government Anthropologist who served in Ọka District in the early 20th century, in 1910 he reported he got names from the following heavenly bodies at Nri-Pleiades, Orion and Great Bear. Therefore Nri elders had clear knowledge of these stars and others which helped them in calculating the intervals between each Lunar period and finding their directions during their sojourn from one Igbo Village to another in both the semi – forest and the forest zones.
During the Ịgụ-Arọ Festival, Eze Nri proclaims the New Year; he also distributes seed yams to the Igbo People and asked them to go home and farm. He tells the people that after his Ịgụ-Arọ, approximately within four days but certainly not more than three native weeks (Izu Anọ) “you will have the first rainfall, so after this rainfall you can go ahead to cultivate your crop”.
Eze – Nri introduced the cowrie currency (Ego ayo), and a sophisticated system of using cowrie as a medium of exchange and valuation was developed in the Igbo cultural area. The system of calculation and the table of conversion used in the Nri area in the late Nineteenth century were as follows:
1 Mkpụlụ Ego = 1 Cowrie
6 Mkpụlụ Ego = 6 Cowries = 1 isi ego
10 Isi Ego = 60 Cowries = 1 Ukwu
20 Ukwu = 1,200 Cowries = 1 Afịa
20 Afịa = 2,400 cowries = 1 Akpa ego or ili Afịa
10 Akpa (bags) = 240,000 cowries = Nnu Afịa.
Fowls and bags were valued in Ukwu, goats and sheep in Afịa, cows, slaves and land in ili Afịa. Bride wealth was negotiated in nnu, never to exceed four Nnu Afịa. Iron bars and rods, copper bars and rods and manilas were valued in terms of cowries. In order to facilitate carrying them around for transaction, cowries were strung together in rows of sixes and sewn permanently on mats in bundles of 6, 1,200, 24,000, and 240, 000. The mats were rolled, loose ones were tied in bags of 24,000 called akpa.
Prof. M. Angulu Onwuejeogwu equally reported the conversion of cowries to British currencies this way. At the beginning of the 19th century, the British introduced the pound, shillings and pence #, s. d. currency system. This new system was resisted in various ways. First a dual currency system was developed, traditional goods were sold in cowries and European goods in British currency. Later cowries could buy British currency and British currency could buy cowries. By a system of haggling, the exchange rate varied and was determined by several factors. As more European goods began to penetrate without replacement, the British currency backed by law, became dominant. In 1925, the following rate of exchange was still operating in many rural markets.
10 cowries = 1/2d (Half Penny)
20 cowries = 1d (One Penny)
60 cowries = 3d (Three Pence)
120 cowries = 6d (Six Pence)
240 cowries = 1/- (one shilling)
1200 cowries = 5/-(Five Shillings)
1400 cowries = ₤1 (one pound)
24,000 cowries = ₤5 (Five Pounds)
120,000 cowries = ₤25 (Twenty five pounds)
Having introduced trading and currency which was the cowrie system, and having worked out the rate of exchange to accommodate the British traders and their currency system, Eze Nri introduced a sort of local system for people with extra money to keep on this Prof. M. Angulu Onwuejeogwu 1981 writes:
In Nri, a rudimentary local banking system developed, during the slave trade period, men with strong buildings began to keep the cowries of other people in return for commission. Such men became very rich and were able to give a capital loan to persons who wished to begin a trading venture. No fixed rate of interest was paid, one had to haggle over the interest called Ọmụlụnwa on the principal, isi ego.
Stock Exchange was introduced for the first time in Nri, for instance stock exchange was associated with Ọzọ title. In this system, a person who had belonged to one of the alliance groups called Ogwe Mmuo. The candidate for the title will purchase a total of Nine (9) shares known as “Ọfọ Itenanị”. The shares are known as “Ọfọ” the stall of immortality. The Ọzọ titled man will get his entitlements depending on the number of Ọfọ Ọzọ he has. An Ọzọ man with nine Ọfọ Ọzọ will be entitled to nine shares whenever a new person took the title and made payment. One could sell his Ọfọ, except three, within his Ọzọ group at a loss or profit, whenever he is in need of money. He could use his Ọfọ as security for a loan, the person giving the loan will take the shares allocated to the Ọfọ whenever payments of share were made until the capital and interest were paid back by the owner of the Ọfọ. If a man dies his male children will inherit the total Ọfọ Ọzọ and the allocated shares. Shares of Ọfọ Ọzọ lapses two years after the man’s death, it is known as ovunisi. The family of the dead Ọzọ man will continue to take all shares accruing from the Ọfọ Ọzọ left. The son could use one of the Ọfọ Ọzọ in taking his own Ọzọ title. If he did this he would continue to take shares accruing from his own Ọfọ and those inherited. If he has brothers, the Ọfọ Ọzọ of their father would be shared according to the law of inheritance in Nri. (Northcote W. Thomas, M.A, F.R.A.I) 1913.
The Ọfọ, the staff of immortality, ritual and political authority was converted into a type of security certificate. Nri used the ritual system to achieve economic enhancement via Stock Exchange. This cultural civilization was introduced to Igbo – land before the coming of the British Colonial Administration. Therefore, Nri bequeathed this highly civilized pattern of exchange to Igbo – land.
Eze – Nri introduced the four market days to the Igbo Land, namely Eke, Oye (Orie), Afọ and Nkwọ. In each of the communities where the Eze – Nri establishes these markets, he will keep one of his Alụsị (Deity at that market square, and leave one of his agents to take care of that Alụsị. The inhabitants of that community will pay allegiance to the Eze – Nri through that agent, especially during the Ịgụ – Arọ ceremony of Eze – Nri.
It is on record in Igbo land that Eze – Nri introduced agriculture in Igboland. He introduced yam, cocoyam, and other cash crops in Igbo – land. That is why at every Ịgụ – Arọ ceremony, His Majesty the Eze – Nri will share out seed – yams to the people present, to go and plant. This symbolizes the introduction of yam to the Igbo race.
LIST OF PAST EZE – NRI AND ORDER OF REIGN:
(1) Nri – Ifikuanịm 1043 – 1158
(2) Nri – Namoke (from Diodo) 1090 – 1158
(3) Nri – Buife (From Obeagụ Unified Ọfọ N’alọ Agukwu and Diodo) 1159 – 1259
(4) Nri – Ọmalọ (Uruọji) 1260 – 1299
(5) Nri – Jiọfọ 1 (Agbadana) 1300 – 1390
(6) Nri – Ọmalonyeso (Obeagu) 1391 –1464
(7) Nri – Anyamata (Uruọji) 1465 – 1511
(8) Nri – Fenenu (Agbadana) 1512 – 1582
(9) Nri – Agụ (Obeagu) 1583 – 1676
(10) Nri – Apia and Nri – Alike (both from Uruọji died the same day) 1677 – 1700
(11) Nri – Ezimilo (Agbadana) 1701 – 1723
(12) Nri – Enwenetem (Agbadana) 1724 – 1794
(13) Nri – Enwelana 1 (Obeagu) 1795 – 1886
(14) Nri – Ọbalike (Uruọji) 1889 – 1936
(15) Nri – Jiofọ II Taabansi Udene (Agbadana) 1937 – 1987
(16) Nri – Enwelana II Obidiegwu Onyeso (MFR) (Obeagu) 1988 - Present
NRI AGE GRADES:
(1) Oliokuku between 1846 – 1854
(2) Irunatọ between 1855 – 1863
(3) Umezọba between 1864 – 1866
(4) Ijele between 1867 – 1872
(5) Atụ between 1873 – 1875
(6) Ugo between 1876 – 1878
(7) Ọchokwu between 1879 – 1881
(8) Olimgba between 1882 – 1887
(9) Ekwueme between 1888 – 1890
(10) Mmanenyi between 1891 – 1896
(11) Irugo between 1897 – 1902
(12) Iruagụ between 1903 – 1905
(13) Iruatọ between 1906 – 1908
(14) Nri buenyi between 1909 – 1911
(15) Iruenyi between 1912 – 1914
(16) Ọkpatụ between 1915 – 1917
(17) Ifediọra between 1918 – 1920
(18) Amakaekwu between 1921 – 1923
(19) Abakarị between 1924 – 1929
(20) Atigwe between 1927 – 1929
(21) Akpalị between 1930 – 1932
(22) Akụm between 1933 – 1935
(23) Amuoku between 1936 – 1938
(24) Ọkuanị (Omenyi) between 1939 – 1941
(25) Udokafulukwu between 1942 – 1944
(26) Ndụkakụ between 1945 – 1947
(27) Chikwado between 1948 – 1950
(28) Ofuobi between 1951 – 1953
(29) Nri Jiọfọ between 1957 – 1956
(30) Nri Bụ isi Igbo between 1957 – 1959
(31) Ọdinanị between 1960 – 1963
(32) Nri bu Ofu between1964 – 1966
(33) Nri Ezuo between 1967 – 1969
(34) ? between 1970 – 1972
(35) between 1973 – 1975
Since the present monarch ascended the throne there has been peace, however after the initial wrangling in the community. The community is well-protected security – wise. The town union, Nri progress Union (NPU) has introduced a very reliable security outfit, that patrols through the community both day and night.
The community has benefited from the Federal Government two unserviceable water boreholes. However, since the ascension to the throne by HRM. Eze Obidiegwu Onyeso (MFR) Eze – Nrienwelana 11, Anambra state Government has awarded ADB assisted water project while the federal Government has through the federal ministry of water Resources awarded three borehole projects which have been ostensibly completed but they are not functional yet. We are still begging the Federal and State Government to assist us to get these boreholes become operational, so that our water problem would be solved.
We are gradually improving on our electricity supply in order to ensure that Nri has steady electricity supply. The Federal Government through NEPA is currently executing an enhanced electricity supply project through the installation of a 2.5kva electricity step down from Nibo sub – station to Nri. To this end the Eze – Nri in Council and the N.P.U. Executive would like to thank the Federal Government for this kind gesture to the people of Nri. With the enhanced electricity supply to Nri, our sons and daughters and other entrepreneurs can now site small-scale industries in the community so as to improve the unemployment syndrome of our youths, as well as help reduce the worsening urban drift to the metropolitan cities.
In less than three years into the reign of HRM. Eze – Nrienwelana11, he has attracted the Anambra State Government to look into the road leading into the ancient Kingdom of Nri, The road leading to Nri to wit Enugwu – Ukwu/Nri/Agulu road as well as Nri/Agbanabo/Neni (Anaocha L.G.A Headquarters) have been award to indigenous contractors. Unfortunately road construction work stopped soon after mobilization thereby making these roads unpassable. HRM. Eze Nrienwelana 11, the Eze – Nri in – council and the N.P.U. Executive would like to use this opportunity to request Anambra State Government to see to it that these important link roads which naturally form part of the inner road through the Ọka capital territory are rehabilitated for obvious reasons. Meanwhile we must thank the Anambra state Government for completing the Nise/Eke Nri road last year in 2003. we are indeed very grateful for that gesture a singular dividend of democracy. The village and other well-meaning individuals are helping to renovate the other roads leading into the hinterland.
His Majesty, Eze – Obidiegwu Onyesoh (MFR) Nrienwelana II, was invested with the National Honour of the Member of the Order of Federal Republic of Nigeria (MFR) by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, GCFR, on the 16th of December, 2003 at Abuja. This is the first time any indigene of Nri is bestowed with this kind of high profile honour. We must thank God of Nri, our ancestors and President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for this good gesture unto Nri Community, the Ancestral Homeland of Ndi Igbo.
Last year the members of Nri Progressive Union (N.P.U) USA branch, renovated the Lake City Girls Secondary School Nri, and the Ebede primary school, Nri. They also supplied the two secondary schools with educational equipment, materials and books. They also refurbished the famous ỌDỊNANỊ MUSEUM, Nri, a joint project with University of Ibadan Institute of African studies, which has been neglected by the U.I. They have also promised to do more in the coming years of which we are very grateful.
Nri people living in the Ancestral Homeland of Ndigbo are trying to re-establish positive and effective relationship with our brothers in Diaspora here in Nigeria and even outside the country. Our brothers in Diaspora outside Nigeria are Fijians, Haitians, Samoans, Some Black Communities in the USA, Eritreans, Jamaicans. Records available to us reveal that about 30% of Jamaicans today are from Nri, their progenitor being one slave boy called Aneaso as Archibald John Monteith. The most recent research work on the subject carried out by Dr. Maureen Warner Lewis of the University of west Indies Kingston Jamaica was presented in 1994, when she, the researcher visited Nri Kingdom and had stayed for several months.
The authorities in Nri are working concertedly to re-establish effective relationship with our brothers and sisters in Diaspora in some 113 and ever growing list of identified communities in Nigeria including:
(1) Abala Ụnọ (Delta State) (2) Abala (Delta State)
(2) Abavo (Delta State) (4) Akabọ Mbaukwu (Anambra State)
(5) Akwaeze (Anambra State) (6) Akwukwu – Igbo (Delta State)
(7) Alọ (Part of it) Anambra State
(8) Amaegu Nrobo Ọkpara Ụzọ – Ụwanị (Enugu State)
(9) Amaezike Nkpọlọgwụ Nsụka (Enugu State)
(10) Amọbia (Anambra State)
(11) Amụleri Ichida (Anambra State) (12) Bebe Abbi Nsụka (Enugu State)
(13) Ebe Village Achina (Anambra State) (14) Ebenebe Nasa (Anambra State)
(15) Rgbema Ozubulu (Anambra State) (16) Egumeri Ọrifite (Anambra State)
(17) Eha Alụmụna (Enugu State) (18) Ekpweri (Kwara State)
(18) Enugu Ujaji (Enugu State) (20) Enugwu Agidi (Anambra State)
(21) Enugwu – Ukwu (Anambra State) (22) Enugwu Abbi (Enugu State)
(23) Eziọnwa Oko (Delta State) (24) Ezira (Anambra State)
(25) Igberi (Kwara state) (26) Ikot Ichie (Cross River State)
(27) Ipọnri (Lagos State) (28) Ile – Efi Ossomari (Anambra State)
(29) Ishiagụ (Delta State) (30) Ishi Igala (Kogi State)
(31) Isuochu (Abia State) (32) Isu Iga (33) Isu Akabọ Ukwu Nnewi (Anambra State)
(34) Isu Awa (Enugu State) (35) Isulọ (Anambra State) (36) Ichi Nsụka (Enugu State)
(36) Ivolo Ọraifite (Anambra State) (38) Iyagba Ụmụdim Nnewi (Anambra State)
(39) Mbanagụ Otolo Nnewi (Anambra State) (40) Mbọsi Ihiala (Anambra State)
(41) Megeri (Kwara State) (42) Mgbudu Ichida (Anambra State)
(43) Ndiamazu Arọndizuọgụ (Imo State) (44) Ndianichi Arọndizuọgụ (Imo state)
(45) Nimbo (Enugu State) (46) Nimbo Ukpabi Uzo – Ụwanị (Enugu State)
(47) Nkwere Isu (Imo state) (48) Nnọkwa (Abnambra State) (49) Nsụka town (Enugu State)
(50) Nọfia (Anambra State) (51) Obiọra Nnewichi Nnewi (Anambra State)
(52) Ofun Nrobo (Enugu State) (53) Ogbo Akpọ (Anambra State)
(54) Ogboli Isele Ukwu (Delta State). (55) Ogboli Atuma (Delta State)
(56) Ogboli Ibusa (Delta State). (57) Ọgwashị –Ukwu (Delta State)
(58) Okpolo Amichi Nnewi (Anambra State) (59) Ọkpọra Nrobo Uzo – Ụwanị (Enugu State)
(60) Okpuneze Nnewi (Anambra State). (61) Ọmanenu Nkwelle Ezunaka (Anambra State)
(62) Ọmanenu (River State) (63) Oraeri (Kwara State) (64) Oraeri (Anambra State)
(65) Ute – Okpu (Delta State) (66) Ọwa Oyibo (Delta State) (67) Owelle Utehi (Delta State)
(68) Oya Affa Udi (Enugu State) (69) Part of Ọkija (Anambra State) (70) Ụbụlụ–Ukwu (Delta State)
(71) Ugbene (Anambra State) (72) Ukpabi (Enugu State)
(73) Ụmụ Ejiofọ Obeledu (Anambra State) (74) Ụmụ kabia Achalla (Anambra State)
(75) Ụmụ Ilozumba Obeledu (Anambra State) (76) Ụmụodume (Anambra State)
(77) Ụmụ Okeakpukpo (78) Ụmụ Eme Asaba (Delta State)
(79) Ụmụachalaogu Nnobi (Anambra State) (80) Ụmụagụ Oguta (Imo State) (81) Ụmụakpanshi Illah
(82) Ụmụchi Ossomari Ogbaru (Anambra State) (83) Ụmụchim Agulu –ỤzọIgbo (Anambra State)
(84) Ụmụhu Ọkabia (Imo State) (85) Ụmụeri Ogbunike (Anambra State)
(86) Ụmụeri-Owerri (Imo State) (87) Ụmụezedi Ifite Nteje (Anambra State)
(88) Ụmụezedi Nteje (Anambra State) (89) Ụmụnri Neni (Anambra State)
(90) Ụmụeze Ọgba Nguru – Nsụka (Enugu State) (91) Ụmụisim Akpulu (Imo State)
(92) Ụmụkabi Ikeduru (Imo State) (93) Ụmụkabi Mbaise (Imo State)
(94) Ụmụkabi Ọkigwe (Abia State) (95) Ụmụnkwọ Uruagụ Nnewi (Anambra State)
(96) Ụmụnọgha Ọka Etiti (Anambra State) (97) Ụmụnri Ekwulu mmili (Anambra State)
(98) Ụmụnri Ọraukwu (Anambra State) (99) Ụmụnri Nsukwu Abatete (Anambra State)
(100) Ụmụnri Onitsha (Anambra State) (101) Ụmụnri Ama Okpala (Anambra State)
(102) Ụmụnri Ụmụọgaze Ukpo (Anambra State)
(103) Ụmụnri Ezidike Agulu – Uzoigbo (Anambra State) (104) Ụmụọrichi, Isukwatọ (Abia State)
(105) Ụmụosineme Ọka (Anambra State) (106) Ụmụebere Dibia – Oguta (Imo State)
(107) Uwanyama Nsukka (Enugu State) (108) Ụmụọhaori Owere Village Akokwa (Imo State)
(109) Ogboli Nkwerre (Imo State) (110) Ụmụkabi Community Ihiala (Anambra State)
(111) Ụmụ – Nri Community Ọkija (Anambra State) (112) Nkpologwu Agụata (Anambra State)
(113) Nnewi (some Communities) see C.N. Ugochukwu’s Isu factor in Nnewi History 2000, Tabansi Publisher.
From the foregoing, Nri is one of the oldest established Kingdoms in Nigeria, which dates back to 900AD. There are to date 113 Ụmụ – Nri Communities in Diaspora within Nigeria about some score others outside Nigeria. In these communities H.M. Eze – Nri has definable functions and roles known among the Igbos as “the spiritual head and potentate”. Hence, Nri has been widely heralded as the heart of Igbo nationality “and” a kind of holy city, the Rome or Mecca of the Igbos” (Isichei 1977,10). Professor Elizabeth Isichei goes further to capture the evergreen picture of Nri in these elegant words.
The street of the Nri family is the street of the Gods, through which all who die in other parts of Igboland pass to the land of the spirits.
Some other notable references include Olaedo Equiano (1789), G.T. Basden (1902, 1921), A.G. Leonard (1906), M.A. Talbot (1926), Northcote Thomas (1930), C.D. Forde and G.I. Jones (1950), Professor Kenneth Dike (1956), F.K. Elechi (1971), M.D. Jeffreys (1972), A.E. Afigbo (1973), (1981), Prof. M. A. Onwuejeogwu (1981) B.I.O Odinanwa (1987, 1993), D.C. Ohadike (1975), Cardinal Arinze Francis (1970), P.J.O. Nwadirigwe (1999), Uche P. Keanyibe (1997).
PAST ỌFỌ NRI HONOREES
1. Rt. Hon.(Dr) Nnamdi Azikiwe, The Owelle of Onitsha.
Former Premier of Eastern Region and first President of Nigeria
Was bestowed with Ọfọ Nri in 1956.
2. Rt. Hon. (Dr) M.I. Okpara
Former Premier of Eastern Region
Was bestowed with Ọfọ Nri in 1958.
3. General Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu.
As the Biafran head of State
Ọfọ Nri was bestowed on him on 1967.
4. Rt. Hon. (Dr) Jim. Nwobodo
Was bestowed with Ọfọ Nri in 1979.
5. Rt. Hon. Sen. Dr. Chuba Okadigbo
Was bestowed with Ọfọ Nri in 1979
6. H.E. Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani
Governor of Enugu State
Was bestowed with Ọfọ Nri in 2001.
RECIPIENTS OF AWARDS:
H.E. Dr. Sam Egwu
Executive Governor of Ebonyi State
Shall be conferred with a chieftaincy title of
DIKE ORA of Igbo land.
H.E. Senator Adolphus Wabara
Senate President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
Shall be presented with Ọfọ Nri
H.E. Dr. Chris Nwabueze Ngige OON
Executive Governor of Anambra State
Senator David Mark
Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
Chairman Senate Committee on Police Affairs.
Shall be honoured with chieftaincy
Title of DIKE MBA of NRI
Engr. Emma Okonkwo,
Assistant General Manager, NEPA H/Q Abuja
Shall be honoured with CERTIFICATE MERIT
With its paraphernalia.
Conferment of Certificate of Honour as well as certificate of Merit to deserving Nri Indigenes.
Otunba Mike Niyi Adenuga Jnr. OON.
Chairman, Global Com. Ltd
1004th Ịgụ Arọ Ndigbo 2003Ad
Recipient OF A Chieftaincy Title of Omefulu Ora Of Nri.
Chief Dr. Anieze Chinwuba PhD.
Former Chairman Nitel Plc Abuja
1004th Ịgụ Arọ Ndigbo 2003AD
Recipient Of A Chieftaincy Title
Of Ikeora Ndigbo
Chief Barr. (Dr.) Mrs. Josephine N. Anenih
Iyom Nri Nwachinemelu
National Woman Leader, People’s Democratic Party.
Chief Mrs. Uche Ekwunife
Prof. Miriam Ikejani Clark
Iyom Ada Eji Eje Mba. Of Nri.