Politics

Posted On 16 May 2010
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Ogba political structure which is broadly similar to the Benin structure  which is marked by “King” and “Cabinet”. The traditonal cabinet posts reflect political offices, titles, rights and privileges acquired by different onuobdos when they settled down in Ali-Ogba.  A semblance of these positions, titles, rights and privileges has been retained by the various onuobdos to this day
through Isiali and the observance of other customs and traditions.
The most outstanding feature of the titles is that they depict a monarchical hierarchy complete with cabinet and departments of state.
Every Ogba onuobdo had a traditional position in the politica organizatin of Ali-Ogba which is preserved to this day. When a member of an onuobdo “bows” in the Isiali (or formal greeting) ceremony, he or she is “praised” with the appropriate title of his or her own onuobdo. according to tradition, the person bowing responds loudly to at least two “praises” (sometimes more) before a ceremony is considered properly accomplished.
The Isiali or greeting ceremony is an important affair which must be mastered by anyone anxios to retain his self-respect as a full-fledged Ogba indigene. To carry out Isiali correctly, you must know the exact onuobdo of the person you are about to greet. You must also know the appropriate greetng for his  or her onuobdo in termd of praise names or titles of distinction.
Every onuobdo has its own distinct titles which have political, social or economic implications, which must be correctly recounted. You must know the age-grade of the person to be greeted because a member of a younger age-grade should “bow” or commence the greeting ceremony (i.e. iduisali), other things being equal. But other things are seldom equal in Ali-Ogba.
Whatever may be a person’s age, he will “bow” to every member of his mother’s onuobdo, execpt the very young.
A man and his agnatic relatives will “bow” to the agnatic relatives of his wife or wives. A man will “bow” to the wife of an elder member of his own onuobdo. All female members of an onuobdo should “bow” to all male members of the same onuobdo irrespective of age, except those from their own immediate extended family. Members of the same age-grade bow almost indiscriminately among themselves. These  rules vary slightly amoung the four major clans or groups (Egi, Igburu, Usomini, and Omoku the capital city) in Ali-Ogba.
The Usomini version of Isiali involves only a fraction of the ceremonies associated with Egi Isiali. The latter is cheerfully hedged about with unparalleled ceremonial embellishment and camaraderie. As Ogba ‘king” or tradional ruler does not respond to Isiali. Instead, a visitor praises the ‘king” with his royal title ( e.g. Eze Egi, Eze Ohali, Eze Ogba Nwadie, Eze Ogba (oba)), bowing or genuflecting slowing. The ruler replies by praising the subject with the traditional title of his onuobdo (e.g. Akogu, Iyasra, Ogbuehi, Adeze, etc). In this way, essential features of ogba political history and system has been preserved without written records.  Ali-Ogba, A history of Ogba People 1995.
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