Saturday, 17 December 2016

Why People from my own side of Nnewi don’t marry 2 wives—Chief Fred Muoma, new Onowu Ndigbo of Agbado-Oke Odo

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Chief Fred Moumoa (R) with His Royal Highness, Eze Ndigbo of Agbado Oke Odo LGA, Eze C. Njoku (2nd Left) and other Chiefs
Penultimate Saturday morning, Igbo indigenes living in the Agbado-Oke Odo—Alimosho area of Lagos State (South West Nigeria) had the rare opportunity of turning out in large numbers to honor one of their own, His  Royal highness, Eze Cletus Njoku, the Eze Ndigbo of Agbado-Oke Odo as he honored some of his subjects with new traditional titles during an end of the year festival. The event which witnessed great celebration of rich Igbo culture both in music, fashion and dance had various dignitaries from all walks of life. However, the highest title which is the title of Onowu Ndigbo (Traditional Prime Minister) was given to an international business man and community leader, Chief Frederick Muoma. The Anambra State born Chief Muoma who deals in various brands of Mercedes Benz Spare parts and other brands from Germany, London and Japan carried the day as his guests from all walks of life sauntered into the Eze’s palace somewhere in Mologede Estate in Meiran area of Lagos to celebrate with Chief Muoma and HRH, Eze Cletus Njoku. The ceremony which lasted a day saw the arrival of guests pleasantly dressed in their best attires and wearing cheerful looks with various activities dotting the day. The next day, Chief Fred Muoma gave your Africa’s number 1 Celebrity Encounter blog a rare interview inside his compound somewhere in Alaro Estate, around Meiran. He spoke on his new title of Onowu Ndigbo (Traditional Prime Minister) of Agbado-Oke Odo, his humble beginning, philosophy and why people from his tribe always prefer marrying just a wife. The New Onowu Ndigbo who spoke to us in the presence of his subjects and guests gave us his own impression on the life style of Igbos in Lagos State, the role of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode and President Muhammadu Buhari’s policy as Nigeria’s President. Enjoy the excerpts.
High Chief Fred Muoma the New Onowu Ndigbo of Agbado-Oke Odo
The Eze Ndigbo of Agbado Oke Odo, His Royal Highness, Eze Cletus Njoku has just honored you with the honorable title of Onowu Ndigbo (Prime Minister of the Igbos in the Agbado-Oke-Ode) How do you feel with your new status?

In fact, all my body and spirit is full of joy because I did not expect such a thing to happen in my life. But due to my goodwill and sense of leadership in this community, the entire Igbo community of Agbado-Oke Odo united in one accord and supported the Eze Ndigbo to bestow me with the title of Onowu; they made me the Traditional Prime Minister of Agbado Oke-Odo community.  I am deeply honored.
Eze C. Njoku, Eze Ndigbo of Agbado Oke Odo leads Eminent Igbo Chiefs to the Coronation of Chief Fred Muoma as Onowu Ndigbo
How are you going to describe HRH Njoku the Eze Ndigbo of Agbado-Oke Odo?
The man you asked me about that is HRH Njoku, Eze Ndigbo of Agbado Oke Odo, number one, he is a very straight forward human being. He doesn’t tell lies and doesn’t deceive people and he does not practice 419. His words are his bond. He is a very straight forward person. Anybody that is going to be Eze must stand on these four cardinal points. He must say the truth at all times, he must not deceive anybody, he must not indulge in foolery, he must not be a 419er and he will never chase another man’s wife. Those are the criteria of a dedicated and loving Eze Ndigbo. Eze Njoku has now passed this exams and that was why all the Ezes (Igbo traditional chiefs) in Lagos State endorsed him as the Eze Ndigbo of Agbado-Oke Odo area of Lagos State. So, he is a very nice man.
As the Onowu Indigbo or Prime Minister of the Eze Ndigbo, Agbado-Oke Odo, what is your role going to be like?
Chief Fred Muoma welcomes some Chiefs to his Coronation
The role of a traditional Prime Minister is basically a diplomatic role. If there is any problem in the community or any strong matter, it is brought to my knowledge. In Lagos, we the Igbos can describe ourselves as visitors. We have stayed in Lagos for a very long period and by the virtue of that, we are now a member of the Yoruba community. So many of us can even speak Yoruba language but not many Yorubas can speak Igbo language. So, if there is any issue within the Yoruba community that has to do with our citizen, their Oba will push the case to the Eze and the Eze will push it to my table to settle and make sure there is peace. The position of Traditional Prime Minister is not just given to anyhow person, maturity counts and a sense of administration is equally needed and by God’s grace I feel honored to be qualified for this role.
Can you tell us the story of your life, how was growing up for Chief Fred Muoma?
High Chief Fred Muoma, The Obi of Obi Muoma
In fact I grew to understand life better. In my life, I don’t drag things with people. Before the issue of my new title came up, I was being studied for a long time and I didn’t even know I was being studied by the Eze and his cabinet and it was after they were convinced that I will manage the role well, that they honored me with the title. For you to be a traditional Prime Minister, you must be tested before you are trusted. Before I became the traditional prime minister of Agbado-Oke Odo, I have received several titles both from my clan and my town in Ukpor. In Ukpor, I am Obi of Obi Muoma in Anambra state. I am from Ukpor in Nnewi South Local Government Area and in that Nnewi South LGA, I am from a village called Aguria and this Aguria we are talking about is a king in Ukpor and that was the reason I became the Obi of Obi Muoma in my own particular village.

The New Onowu and some Igbo Youths
So, Muoma is a village, I taught it was your father’s name?
Yes, it is my father’s name but my father is a king as well and the village is named after him and I am the person that is representing him in that kingdom after his demise.
Was your father a polygamist and how many of you did he sire?
My father married only a wife and I am the first son. We have 3 boys and two girls and I am the senior and today, I fulfill my obligation to them as a father.
Is that the reason you also married one and not two wives?
Chief Fred Muoma and his wife with a guest
You see in our side, we are very diplomatic and philosophical when it comes to the issue of women. You see, woman issue, before you involve yourself in living with a woman, you must study well. Apart from people who married anyhow, maybe by church or by movement or you saw your wife at a hotel or a party and you just hook up, such things don’t happen in our side. In our own village, you cannot marry two wives. Anybody that marries two wives in my village is simply seen as a fool.
Why would you call a man who married two wives by choice a fool?
The Muomas wih Mrs Charity (L) and Mrs. Faith Uba (M)
The reason is that to maintain a woman is not an easy task and particularly if you marry someone’s wife or you marry an entirely new woman to join your (old) wife, you have already created a bomb in your house because you can never have rest of mind again for the rest of your life. Based on that, to enable you to live longer, it is advisable to marry one woman.
Uju Muoma and Mrs. Uju
You know women are naturally unique, like in my own case, I married one and she gave me few boys and about two girls and I am okay. You cannot sell a woman in the market because a woman is not a goat. And you cannot also sell your children, you no fit sell pikin because pikin no be goat. So, a human being is a human being and immediately a father or an entire village decides to give you a wife, you must behave well because the two families have become one. That is how we understand marriage in our place.
Some royal families see women as part of the paraphernalia of the office of a king but I am surprised yours is different, why?
Chief Fred and Lolo Ebere Muoma with Chief Obasi of Randoloff Ltd

Chief Benji Nwogu (3rd Left), Obi of Olota and wife (R) Chief Orjiakor (R) and New Onowu, Chief Fred Muoma (M)
The time you marry so many women and raise many kids was during the subsistence farming period when farming was in vogue. Those women were vessels of human capital for the purpose of cheap labor. But today, education and self enlightenment has taken over. You know illiteracy has many faces. It is not only the person that cannot write that is an illiterate, if you don’t know how to behave or talk; you are an illiterate of your condition. If you don’t know how to dress well you are an illiterate in that regard. If you don’t know how to write you are an illiterate because you don’t know how to write. If you are involve in women issue you are also an illiterate to healthy living. Even if you lack manners, you are also an illiterate because you lack manners. The culture of marrying many women in the olden days was never a good achievement.
Mrs. Uju and Lolo Ebere Muoma
You know when your father born and raise you, when you grow to a level, you must go out and find your own apartment. But in my own place, before you even marry, you must build a house. Yes, you must build a house even if it is just three rooms, you must build. You cannot stay in your father’s house and marry a woman there. You are staying in a room and you just go and bring a woman and you start raising family, you know one day, you will be driven away because you are not the owner of the property. It is a family house. So, basically if you know that you are ripe to marry and keep a woman, you will start building a block, even if it is 3 blocks, you must erect. That shows that you are a man and you can maintain a woman not all these young people of nowadays wey their prick raise up like fire, like a bomb. They think say na good something, it is not. Because a woman is a life insurance and if you do mistake, you have done mistake, it is always costly. Anybody who initiates such wahala upon his family cannot have rest of mind because you cannot enjoy your food again, you cannot enjoy your sleep again and even your general well being is under threat. I have done a lot of personal research on successful people especially the married ones, I have seen what happened to a man with two wives, I saw what ended the life of a man with three women and
Caricature of Fela & Femi Kuti
I saw how the life of late Fela Anikulapo ended, he was married to twenty seven women and how many kids? I don’t know if the twenty seven women had kids for him because I am only hearing about Femi, Femi alone.
No, he had 6 kids initially and now 5 with the death of one in 1998
So, that is it. You must be very careful with women. In my area, we marry just a woman so that we can have peace.
The New Onowu with some Igbo business men
How is the Igbo Community in Lagos faring in terms of business and politics? Is like most of your people prefer business to politics?
Thank you very much for this beautiful question. It is not that we are not interested in politics, we are interested. There is this new group we are bringing to limelight and I am the treasurer of that group in Lagos State. We call it ‘Igbo Traders in APC’. It is going to be in all the markets in Lagos State.
L-R: Eze Ndigbo of Agbado Oke-Odo, HRH C. Njoku, Chief Odus, Ikeji Ahia Ndigbo of Lagos and Chairman of Igbo Traders in APC and wife with New Onowu Ndigbo, Chief Fred Muoma
We have already started and Chief Odus is the Chairman of the organization and we do our meeting from time to time and I, Chief Muoma, Obi of Obi Muoma is the treasurer of that organization. Why did we decide to start this organization? Simple, it is where a man is established he calls his home. Where somebody stays is where his house is, so, we must join the Yoruba people to make sure their thinking goes forward. In life, you keep learning and life itself is about learning and we have now learned that, if you buy a land in Yoruba land, you build house in Yoruba land, your children were born in Yoruba land, they grew up in Yoruba land and their education is in Yoruba land, why can’t you join them? So, we are joining them to make things move better. The Politics you are talking about is simple; you know APC is the leading political party in Lagos State. So, we are a member of APC. All Igbos are members of APC. No matter the situation of the economy, we support APC.
Chief Fred Muoma (M) with Chief Remmy Ozuba (Anagba Onye Isi Egbe II) of Remson Pharmacy Ltd (R)
Yesterday at your coronation, a lot of people came to celebrate with you, how do you feel with their presence?
Members of Igbo Business Community in Agbado-Oke Odo gives their New Onowu a gift
Well, I feel highly honored. It was a memorable event but let me say this in brief, if the Oba of Lagos (HRM, Rilwan Akiolu) did not confirm the ceremony, it wouldn’t have taken place because you cannot go to another man’s house and become the leader of the house. So, I appreciate the Oba of Lagos because he gave his consent to the title before a notice of intention was given to other Obas, I mean Eze-Ndigbos. We have them stage by stage;
Chief Fred Muoma with Associates
we had the Oba of Ejigbo in attendance, the Oba of Ikeja, Oba of Badagry, Oba of Surulere, Oba of Ikorodu, Oba of Ikate Surulere and so many Obas including the highly revered Obi of Onitsha who gave his blessing for the ceremony. By laying their hands on my title which is very symbolic to us in Igbo land, it simply means I got the support of every one that is important. We thank them for their royal support and I promise to use my office to serve humanity.
Do you have a word for the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode?
You see what is happening in Lagos is fantastic. Ambode is a very beautiful governor who is trying to do everything in Lagos to ensure the city of Lagos gets her own bearing in the comity of states. Yes, so many people are crying at the moment, maybe their house, their shops or business environments have been demolished. Well, my advice is that anybody that wants to build or erect a structure in Lagos, you must get what is called C of O; there are areas that government have mapped out for their own projects.
L-R; High Chief Omudo aka Psalm 90, Prince Onyekachi and Chief Fred Muoma at the Coronation Ceremony
You might mistakenly buy those portions from fraudulent land retailers. Assuming that the places demolished, if those people had C of O, I think government wouldn’t have gone ahead to pull such structures down. Government is not about a person; moreover, we are in a democracy which is the government of the people for the people and by the people. So, Ambode is a nice governor because he is trying to do great things in Lagos State and the things he is trying to do is for our good. You will not say because you want to give your baby a medication and the baby is crying and because of that, you won’t give the baby that medication. The baby is crying because the medication is bitter but it will heal the baby eventually. If you don’t give the baby that medication because the baby is crying, then, the baby will die.
The Onowu and Members of Christian Association of Nigeria who visited him for the coronation
If the baby dies, what is your profit? So, you must give your baby his medication for him to be alive. What is happening in Lagos is not clear to many people and the reason for this is ignorance. Like I told you earlier, illiteracy is of various dimensions, understanding is of many dimension as well but it profit to seek understanding than ignorance. I have not seen a father who brought up a child and the child is duly respecting him only for him to take a knife and kill that child. I know this for sure because I am a father, so, Ambode is a very nice governor.
What about President Muhammadu Buhari, do you think he has done well in terms of economy?
High Chief Fred Muoma
Enn, enn…our President is trying. They are talking so many things about him but what surprises me is the fact that he gave Nigerians so many promise, that this is what he is going to do, that he is going to create jobs, he is going to do all these things, food will dey barakata and other things. But in my own little understanding and my own view, there is a lot of hunger and so many people are dying. Many people are even losing their job and I begin to ask a question, what is the issue, why are we here?. Although, nobody can say his father is a fool. Nobody can ever say his father is not good because if you curse your father he might refuse to give you food. So, to me, I will still say our president is a good president. Maybe he is trying to do some certain things for the country. So, Buhari is trying.
Chief Fred & Lolo Ebere Muoma being greeted by a High Chief

What advice do you have for Governor Obiano of Anambra which is your state of origin? There are wild insinuations that he has fallen out with his godfather, Peter Obi?
Youths of Agbado-Oke Odo visits the New Onowu
You know Obiano is our Governor and from my own personal understanding, there is no more godfatherism in Anambra State. If they push attachment of something concerning godfather, the thing will not work for Obiano. Obiano is a very straightforward person who is trying to do something good in Anambra state. If you go to Onisha right now, you will find out that there is no traffic gridlock again, like Ochanja, like Main market, like Enugu-Onisha road, like Iweka Road, Obiano has made things better. It shows his level of accountability and prudence. Even all those ‘standby pillars’ in Anambra that are using their guns, using their knives, saying they are godfathers, if you listen to them, you discover that they cannot do anything. And as I told you earlier, you cannot stop the medication for your baby simply because the baby is crying. If you do that, the baby might die. If Obiano and Peter Obi are fighting, I don’t think it is over Anambra, maybe they have personal issues to settle. So, our Governor is our governor and our governor is a hardworking governor.
The Onowu & a young friend
What advice do you have for Igbos living in Lagos state as their Prime Minister?
My advice to all Ibos in Lagos is simple. You know Ibos in Lagos are of various backgrounds, we have those from Anambra, those from Enugu, those from Imo state, those from Ebonyi state and those from Abia state. All of them have their peculiar behavior; people behave according to the water they are drinking.  So, these entire things give joy to the spirit but so many of us that are in Lagos, some are creating troubles for themselves. Maybe they are living in somebody’s house and they will not pay their house rent. Maybe so many people are doing alaye (Fine Boy Syndrome) and you didn’t come to Lagos to do Alaye.
The New Onowu with an Admirer...
Maybe some are into criminal activities but they forgot that bullet can wound them one day. Maybe, some are indulging in night crawling, forgetting that the night has no respect for anybody. Police can arrest you if you wander anyhow in the night. I advise all Ibos in Lagos that if you know the bad thing you are doing, stop it because there is no profit in doing bad and all the whole thing on this earth always get a pikin but the pikin bad thing dey deliver na death.
The New Onowu of Agbado-Oke Odo with a young Igbo business man at the event
Your wife was all through by your side yesterday, making the event go smoothly, do you have a word for her?
His Pretty Wife, Lolo Ebere Muoma
I want to use this opportunity to thank my wife because she tried very well including Chief Odus. My wife’s name is Chief (Mrs.) Ebere Muoma; she is a very nice woman. She tried very well for my coronation ceremony. I also want to use this opportunity to thank all my good friends,
The New Onowu Ndigbo with some Igbo business Men in Lagos
I want to thank the whole Obas, Oba of Ikorodu, Oba of Ajegunle, Oba of Ikate-Surulere, Oba of Ado-Odo Ota, Oba of Oshodi, Oba of Shomolu and all the Onowus that surround them in their various communities. I specially thank the entire Igbo community that are doing good things and all the guests that came to my house to celebrate the Onowu title with me. May Almighty God bless them and give them long live in Jesus name.

Gbenga Dan Asabe

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