OZO TRADITIONAL TITLE SOCIETY IN AMAWBIA
Ozo title taking in Amawbia town was reviewed in 1947 – 1948 and certain aspect of its performance was approved to be made entirely in cash.
Ozo Title taking in Amawbia is performed in two stages:
- 1. Kpololo Ozo or Ozo uno-ngu
- 2. Ozo Ochichi or Igba Nkpu.
Kpololo Ozo must be performed before the Ozo Ochichi just as Amanwulu is performed before Isa-ekwu in the villages. Kpololo or Ozo Uno-ngu can not be performed on the same day with Ozo ochichi because of qualification and convenience of participants.
The aspirant shall commence with a visit to H.R.H. Okpaligwe of Amawbia to acquaint him of his ambition to take the Ozo title. He shall present to the Okpaligwe 4 pieces of Kolanut, 1 bottle of quality hot drink and the sum of N20,000.
After consultations with the Okpaligwe, he shall then proceed to the Head of Ozo title society with the following items: 4 kolanuts, one hot drink or money in lieu, and the sum of N10,000. On accepting the gifts, the head of the title holders shall disclose to the aspirant the names of the Ozo title holders living whom he will invite as well as the first sons of Ozo title holders whom are dead shall be invited to his ceremony. The head of Ozo will examine the candidates fitness both character and financial capacity before approval. He shall then proceed to perform the ceremony of Isete Ite Ozo as follows: the aspirant shall go to the last Ozo title holder to perform the collection of the Isete Ite Ozo. He must present him with 4 kolanuts and one bottle of hot drink and the sum of N2,000 only.
Performance of Kpololo Ozo: On the arrival of the invited Ozo title holders, he must present them with the following: 8 kolanuts, 2 gallons of palm wine, one big basin of abacha ncha with sufficient quantity of dried fish or whole goat meat. The Ozo pot of unadulterated palm wine must be present. The sum of N30,000 cash to be shared among the Ozo title holders and the first sons of deceased title holders. He shall pay the sum of N5,000 to Amawbia Town Union.
Ozo Ochichi or Idaba: On arrival of the Ozo title holders (Ozo Ochichi holders) at the aspirant’s house, he shall welcome them with the following: 8 kola nuts, 2 gallons of palm wine and enough kola nuts to go round.
The above is called iche oji, then he will produce the following: N200,000 cash called “Ego Ozo” for them to share, ite Ozo or the big Ozo pot filled with unadulterated palm wine and the following food items:- one big basin of abacha ncha with 2 big rolls of asa azu “fish”, one big basin of pounded yam with rich egwusi soup with lots of meat inside. One carton of small stout for each living Ozo title holder and one big cow ‘live’ to be shared by all Ozo Ochichi title holders.
The aspirant and his first living and accepted wife by him are required to present to the head of the Ozo title man a big bowl of abacha ncha and one cock and two big yam to be taken home by him. After these presentations and acceptance ceremony have been completed, the Ozo aspirant is called out with his first wife for the wearing of “ITALI OZO” “IGBA MKPU” to the feet of the aspirant and ordinary “OWULU OZO” on his wife’s feet. In addition, the oath of the society is administered on the aspirant in the presence of the other Ozo title holders by the head of the Ozo title holders, while the other members will confirm the oath by stamping their ngwu agiliga together. The new Ozo announces his Ozo names and gun shots may be fired to signify the celebration. He become from that day fully initiated into Ozo title society. The entertainment with food and drinks may continue as long as he wishes but not exceeding 23 days.
The new Ozo member can be drafted into ichie order after performing the rights which is administered by the head of ichie order.
Code of Conduct
The following code of conduct shall be observed by all Ozo title holders:
- the head of the Ozo title society shall not accept another application for initiation within less than two months from the first accepted by him.
- Ozo title holders convicted of murder, theft, cheating, and any scandalous crime that may bring shame and disgrace to the title and to the town shall be stripped of the title by the Okpaligwe of Amawbia after due consultation with Ozo members.
Position of H.R.H. Okpaligwe Amawbia in Ozo Amawbia Society
The Okpaligwe shall be accorded the most befitting position in the Ozo Amawbia Society as he is the custodian of Amawbia tradition and custom. He is not head of Ozo title society except if it is his turn in the ranking to be the head. He shall be accorded the usual protocol demanded by his position as the traditional ruler of the town. When he attends any Ozo society function, he shall be received by the other members standing and giving the ovation of “okpaligwe-o”. He shall take his seat before the others are seated. He shall be given his own share of food and drinks separately. When leaving the function, he shall be accorded the same ovation with members standing up.
Ozo Amawbia Oath Of Office
I, Ozo________________Of_____________Village, Amawbia do declare on oath to protect, defend and cherish the Sacred Ozo tradition of Amawbia to the best of my ability and acknowledge the traditional and civic authorities of the Okpaligwe of Amawbia and the A.T.U. Constitution. So help me God/Chukwu.
CONSTITUTION OF OZO AMAWBIA
RULE 1. NAME OF THE SOCIETY
The Association shall be known and called Ozo Amawbia Society.
RULE 2. AIMS AND OBJECTIVES.
- To provide a closer relationship among its members.
- To organize social activities among its members.
- To promote and encourage a spirit of co-operation with the Okpaligwe of Amawbia in matters affecting the traditions and customs of Amawbia people.
- To ensure the maintenance and enlistment of the traditions and customs of Amawbia.
- To lend assistance and co-operation to the Eze-Ana in the performances of his traditional functions and duties.
- To undertake or support self help projects in Amawbia for the benefit of its members and Amawbia community in general.
- To promote and protect the prestige and authority of the Okpaligwe of Amawbia in all matters affecting the traditions and customs of the community.
RULE 3. QUALIFICATIONS FOR MEMBERSHIP OF OZO AMAWBIA TITLE SOCIETY
- He must be a male adult citizen of Amawbia.
- He must be a financially up to date member of the Amawbia Town Union.
- He must be transparently honest, truthful and of upright character.
- He must not have been found guilty of any criminal offences such as embezzlement, cheating, murder, fraudulence, robbery, incest and rape within Amawbia Community or its close neighbourhood.
- He must be a man of visible and reasonable financial resources capable of performing the Ozo title without strain or stress.
- He must be married, have a male issue, and possess his own compound and building.
- He must have performed the junior title starting from Agu to Ekwu before aspiring to the Ozo title.
- He must not have been guilty of any abomination (alu) or any abominable act (nso Ani) from which he has not been cleansed.
- Where an abomination (alu) or abominable act (nso ani) has been committed by an aspirant, evidence of cleansing must be the Eze-Ajana in person or in writing.
- He must be a patriotic citizen, able and willing to undertake or contribute to the development projects in Amawbia.
- He must be able to produce on demand (a) the sum of N30,000.00 (thirty thousand naira) to be shared by he “kpololo” or “Unongu” members, (b) N5,000.00 (five thousand naira) to be paid to Amawbia Town Union, (c) N20,000.00 (twenty thousand naira) to be paid to the Head of Ozo Title Society and (d) N10,000.00 (ten thouand naira) to be paid to H.R.H Okpaligwe of Amawbia.
- He must be able to produce on demand, another sum of N200,000.00 (two hundred thousand naira) to be shared by the members of Ozo Chili-Echi only.
RULE 4. CESSATION OF MEMBERSHIP
- Any Ozo title holder who is found guilty of stealing murder, cheating, sabotage, embezzlement, robbery, abomination and abominable act such as rape, incest, etc within Amawbia and environs; shall loose his Ozo title an d forfeit all his rights and privileges. He shall remain as such until he completely cleanses himself or pays the penalty or penalties (if any) according to the gravity of the offence.
- An Ozo titled man looses his membership of the society on his death but shall retain the rights of “Kpololo Ozo” to be inherited by his first son.
Rules 5. RIGHT AND PRIVILEGES
- An Ozo titled man shall have the right to be invited (Ife Ozo) to have a share of the fees and entertainments attendant on Ozo title taking and to participate in the initiating of a new member into the Ozo title society.
- He shall have the right to own and carry the title chair (Igada), to wear the special Red Headgaer with two eagle feathers, to wear rope anklets “Atail” on both legs and to wear “Mkpu” on his atali if he has performed the Ozo Ichie order and to choose and bear Ozo title names.
- The right to carry and blow the elephant tusk and to own and use the “Ngwu agiliga” as and when he desires.
- The right to be given the relevant part of a goat or a cow, killed at certain ceremonies and functions as required by custom and tradition, “Ife Nru”.
- At any public ceremony of which he is present, an Ozo title holder is entitled to take one out of the kola nuts offered by the host, also to “ikpo ngu” ceremony if warranted by the occasion I accordance with custom.
- The house of an Ozo title holder shall be sacrosanct and cannot be searched; also his senior wife shall be sacrosanct and cannot be tampered with or abused.
- Like the husband, the wife (or in the case of wives) the most senior wife of an Ozo titled man shall wear permanent rope anklets “atali owulu” on both legs.
- It is a taboo to kidnap an Ozo titled man or to cause him harm resulting in bleeding.
- An Ozo titled man is exempted from a number of public duties such as communal labour, other than those assigned to his age grade. It is a taboo for him to go to war or to carry a corpse, climb trees, or hire himself out as a labourer, however poor he might be.
- An Ozo titled man is entitled to dance to the “Ufie” and “Abia” music as well as retain an “Opi-Ike” man and others to make music for him.
- If an Ozo titled man dies, his geirs would inherit his “Kpololo Ozo” or Ozo uno-ngu” until the death of the first son “diokpala” or the successor to the diokpala, if the Diokpala died before his father. It is to be noted that the inherited kpolol Ozo title would not include the rights, privileges, obligations and responsibilities due to the original holder of the title.
- When an Nze and ozo title holder dies, his corpse must be laid to rest according to his wish and accorded special burial rites and ceremonies to be performed by his wife or wives, children and family including first and second burials or church outing.
- The funeral may involve the performance of some burial rites and rituals by some Ozo title holders. It may involve the slaughter of cows, goats, rams and fowels as well as preparation and presentation of foods, drinks and other entertainments to different groups, organizations, friends and relations. This in effect mean that the A.T.U regulations for marriage and burial ceremonies, page 13, paragraphs 11-12 shall not apply to Ozo and Nze title holder in relation to their death and burial rites.
RULE 6. OFFICES OF THE SOCIETY
The society shall have the following officers by ranking elected by consensus of its members.
(a)i. Head of the society by ranking
ii. One Secretary – by selection
iii. One Treasurer or Financial Officer – by selection.
(b). Powers and Responsibilities of officer Head of the society
i. He shall preside over all meetings
ii. He shall have a casting vote in case of a tie in any debate.
iii. He shall be a co-signatory for any withdrawal from the Treasury or Bank account of the society.
iv. He shall countersign minutes of meeting.
- He has the right to adjourn any meeting in the event of extreme disorderliness.
- He shall have any other powers as the society hall from time to time grant to him.
i. he shall be responsible for recording of minutes of meetings of the Society and be a co-signatory of the minutes.
ii. He shall be responsible for the writing of all correspondences on behalf of the Society.
iii. He shall co-ordinate the activity of the financial officer or Treasurer.
(d). TREASURER OR FINANCIAL OFFICER
i. He shall receive all monies on behalf of the Society and pay same within 48 hours into the Bank account of the society.
ii. He shall honour all vouchers legally raised by the society.
iii. He shall be entitled to an imprest account as may be approved for him, by the society.
RULE 7. The Society can make other local rules and regulations not included in these rules provided they do not contradict or violate the A.T.U constitution.
Approved and authenticated by Isi Ichie Order Amawbia and head Nze-na-ozo Amawbia H.R.H Igwe M.O. Okoye Okpaligwe I nke Amawbia, the Traditional Ruler of Amawbia town, in 1989.
H.R.H IGWE M.O. OKOYE
OKPALIGWE (I nke Amawbia (Isi Ichie)
TITLES AND RELATED MATTERS
- Agu is the beginning of all titles. From this to Ekwu title can be taken at family and village levels, Ozo is taken at Amawbia town level.
- Asam Ekwu or performance of Ekwu title takes place by 5th or 8th month. End of the performance is married by (Izu afia) going to Afo Ezionyia market at Umukabia. At this time the holder of Ekwu title does obeisance to Ezeonyia family. The end of Ozo ________ of the holder’s village. After this Ozo Holder stays away from his compound to unmarried man’s compound for 12days with his first wife and a maid servant (nwa-okwa-nzu). On the Ida-aba night, all the Ozo holders leave Amawbia town and return the next morning. On return to his compound after 12days the Ozo holder celebrates his safe and sound return for 28days. At the end of which, he end his wife markets on the path-way this is called (Chi-ebu-nuzo) before he does obeisance to Ezeonyia family and later goes to Oye of Ezioye Ezimezi. Man without a male child does not take Ozo title.