Home FEATURES Obi of Onitsha Represents Gods On Earth

Obi of Onitsha Represents Gods On Earth

by InlandTown
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The ancient kingdom of Onicha enjoys a rich untainted dynasty of Obis that has run through 550 years. The first Obi of Onitsha (Onicha) is the venerated Obi Eze Chima. Obi Nnaemeka Achebe is the twenty-first in this dynamic dynasty that has flourished for more than four hundred years. He occupies the most important position among the people of Onitsha and  is personally associated with the conduct of essential aspects of Onitsha local affairs.


Obi Nnayelugo Onyejekwe flanked by supporters just after he was presented. He ascended the office after a controversial contest with Nnanyelugo Jideofo Enwezor

According to Ugonabo Amene Esq in an article, “The semi-divine or spiritual nature of the Obi is expressed in how his subjects address him. He is addressed as ‘Igwe’ or ‘Sky’. The other terms used are ‘Agbogidi'(All Powerful), ‘Enyi'(Elephant) and ‘Agu'(Leopard). He is also greeted as ‘Nkpu'(Ant-hill), for just as ant-hill has many openings so the king has many eyes, being aware of whatever happens in the town. Being semi-divine, he is the embodiment of the spirit of the ancestral god. Traditionally, he confines himself to his house. ”


Obi Nnaemeka Alfred Achebe

The Onicha man’s spiritual beliefs revolve traditionally around the monarch, the Obi or Agbogidi who is believed to be the personification of sacred and godly principles in man. the Obi is believed to be the Big House/ OBI that swallows every citizen of Onicha. After the Obi, the Eze Idis who are the custodians of Nze and have the spiritual authority to make men Agbalanze by means of consecration. The Eze Idis are followed in rank by the Diokpas whose divine responsibility include intercession in spiritual matters. The Agbalanze traditionally act as consecrated priests who have the charge of officiating on divine altars for intecessory purposes.

Obi Okosi with Zik and Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip

Obi Okosi with Zik and Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip (Credit: Mirror Pix)


The stool of Omu of Onicha falls to a woman, however in more than 100 years since the death of Omu Nwagboka, the stool of the Omu has been vacant. The position of Omu was upon appointment by the Obi and not based upon marriage.



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