Diaspora female Igbo chiefs drop Ozo titles
A group of female Igbo chiefs in the Diaspora has has backed down from a plan yo confer Ozo ttles on women.
The group known as Umunwanyi Prestigious Chieftaincy Association on UK and Ireland were recently accused by Igbo leaders of describing themselves as Ozo ttle-holders
However, rising from a meeting on February 2, 2022 in Enugu, the South-East leaders condemned the alleged misuse of the title, which they declared is reserved for men.
The declaration was contained in a comnunique issued by the National Chairman, Nzuko Ozo Ndigbo Nigeria, Prof. Ike Oluka; Prince Ikenna Onyesoh, the Regent of Nri Ancient Kingdom, and Member, Board of Trustees; as well as Dr. Ferdinand Ozoani – Member, Board of Trustees.
It reads: “Following quantum of calls from different parts of the World, and the viral social media reactions on reports that some Igbo women in the United Kingdom claimed to be Ozo Title Holders, an emergency meeting of the Stakeholders of Nzuko Ozo Ndi Igbo in Nigeria was held on 2nd February, 2022 at Enugu, Nigeria. The meeting resolved as follows:
1. That throughout Igbo land, Ozo title taking is an exclusive preserve for men. WOMEN DO NOT AND CANNOT TAKE OZO TITLE.
2. That Ozo title initiation in Igbo land only takes place in the ancestral home land of the initiate – paternal or maternal; and never in foreign or strange land.
3. That the Ozo Traditional Institution exist only in recognized Igbo communities and there are rules and for recognition of new communities as well as procedures for initiation of new members which include bestowal of Ofo Ozo from its rightful Custodian.
4. That Ozo title is a sacred Igbo Institution for which an intending aspirant undergoes several rigorous puritanical processes. It is not a chieftaincy title which is awarded or conferred by an Igwe or Eze.
5. That it is reckless and irresponsible for a group of Igbo Women within or outside the shores of Nigeria to claim to be Ozo title holders and also claim to have formed an association called “Umunwanyi Ozo Prestigious Association of United Kingdom and Ireland.”
6. That Nzuko Ozo Ndigbo immeasurably condemns these bogus claims of this bizarre group of Igbo women and warn them of dire consequences which will descend on them for this wilful desecration of Igbo values.
7. That Nzuko Ozo Ndigbo hopes that the women will come to their senses and terminate this charade and save themselves from the Igbo Nation ancestral wrath.”
However, in a statement on Saturday, on behalf of the group, Chief N. Obieze said the diaspora female Igbo chiefs had dropped every reference to the Ozo title.
“In the light of all that has happened in the last one week and all that has been said, we listened and we have removed Ozo from our name. This is our new name and logo.
We apologise if the use of Ozo in our name has caused to anynoanas it does not reflect the entire association.
We stress that we have not conferred any chieftaincy or Ozo title on anyone here in London. Neither did anyone or association conference chieftaincy titles on any of our members in London. No ”akupe’ (staff of office) of any of our members bears the words ”Nze na Ozo.’
Members of our association obtained their chieftaincy titles in their respective towns in Nigeria.
Our association is a social club with cultural undertone, which is supoosup to uphold culture and tradition. We cannot be breaking that which we are meant to be upholding.
We hope this clears the air for everyone.”