Stop The Politicisation Of Iriji Mbaise



Every election season, the Iriji Mbaise deviates from a cultural festival to an opportunity for political tussle. And it appears that some traditional rulers of that very beautiful clan of wonderful people are enjoying or actually reaping some gains from the political drama.

This year, while a set of Traditional rulers directs that there won’t be funfair because of the insecurity in the State, another group of traditional rulers, have given a contrary directive which shall see the Imo State government empty into Mbaise tomorrow.

I do not think that the security situation in Imo State affects Mbaise so much that a big cultural festival like the Iriji festival should be suspended. If anything, there has been very good efforts by the government and Imo State government to make most of Owerri zone safer than it was about a year or few months ago. This is why the Oru-Owerri festival went ahead without incident few days ago. I expected that Mbaise traditional rulers would have toed the same path by holding their Iriji without unnecessary politicisation.

It appears that conferring politicians with chieftaincy titles is a major point of disagreement between these traditional rulers, thereby, dividing them into pro-government and anti-government factions. I think it will be better for Mbaise people to come together and pass a law barring conferment of chieftaincy titles to individuals during the Iriji festival. Let Iriji be Iriji and nothing else. Traditional rulers who wish to confer titles on some individuals should schedule such ceremonies outside the Iriji calendar.


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