Home ARTS & CULTURE Governance: Onicha N’ Idu Political Structure

Governance: Onicha N’ Idu Political Structure

by InlandTown Editor
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Photo Credit: imeobionitsha.org

The importance of political administration cannot be overemphasized. For humans since time immemorial have always had the need for a working machinery to oversee the affairs of individuals in a society. It is often said, “When there’s no law, there’s no sin”. Thus, need for the existence of a government.
Onitsha has a working government structure which has been structured to ensure the affairs of men are regulated adequately. The structure is as follows:
·         Obi of Onitsha: He is the supreme ruler. He is the soul of the people. The household of all that Onitsha stands for. He is the sovereign head of the body-politic. The Obi embodies and represents the majesty of the state and his presence is needed everywhere.
·         The Omu: This is a woman chieftain appointed by the Obi to look after the affairs of women-folk: their needs, strict observance of customary laws and behavior. The last Omu, Chief Nwagboka Egwuatu of Ogbeotu Village died in 1890. It should be pointed out that the Omu is no longer practiced in Onicha for more than a century.
·         Ndichie (Red Cap Chiefs): They act as Councilors to the Obi. The Ndichie is divided into three {Ndichie Ume, Ndichie Okwa, Ndichie Okwaraeze}. They act as the Obi’s representative and play the role of Public Relations Officer in the interest of the Ime Obi. Ndichie maintains law and order. Dispense justice according to equity and the laws of the land. They promote social welfare and uphold the propriety of religion.
·         Agbalanze (Titled Men): The agbalanze basically handles issues affecting traditional religion. They see to it that title-taking is not abused but kept attractive and dignified in order to maintain high social status in the community. The role also includes serving as Justice of the peace in their respective localities. Their decisions are always held in high esteem.
·         Ogbonachiani (Ruling Age Grade):  They comprise of the totality of young men in the community and they are appointed directly by the Obi to serve as the watch dog of the people’s rights and liberties. They provide measures of checks and balances in order to ensure the rule of law and democratic principles are upheld.
At the bottom is the Agbalaniregwu, also known as the commoners. Although they are no titled men and women, they serve as the fuel which supplies power to the administrative machinery of Onitsha.

InlandTown! 2020

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