December 7, 2022

Umuaka Times

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How to revive Igbo culture. Emma Duruigbo.

5 min read

Emma Duruigbo is an attorney based in Lagos. He shares his feelings about Igbo culture in this exclusive interview. 

Excerpts:

May we meet you sir?

My Name is Emma Duruigbo, I am a lawyer, Principal Attorney and Head of Chambers at Ducex Solicitors Lagos.

How long have you been practicing law?

I have been practicing Law since the year 2006.

How would you describe the law profession in Nigeria? Excellent or disappointing?

The law profession in Nigeria is xxcellent, of course you would not have expected otherwise from someone like me who has passion for the profession, However, I must emphatically and aptly confess that the way and manner in which certain individuals practice this our noble profession is actually mindboggling and therefore disappointing.

How? Can you explain further please?

Originally, lawyers are noble men of integrity (hope you are aware that there are no women at the Bar) whose character are impeccable, who are upright , fit and proper in all ramifications. But Today’s economic miasma has chased some lawyers into cutting corners to survive thereby ‘unnoblin ‘ the noble profession.

Umuaka Times is aware that you were the chairman of the organizing committee of Pro-Active Diamond Friends Club of Nigeria that organized Oghu Lagos 2022. Many who witnessed the event confirmed it was the best so far. How were you able to achieve that?

Again thank you so Much Umuaka Times, yes I was the chairman of the organizing committee of Oghu Lagos 2022 as powered by Pro-Active Diamond Friends Cub of Nigeria. It is of a fact that the event was the best so far. There were a lot to eat and drink sessions and most especially we paraded the best Oghu dancers any one can think of.

How were you able to achieve that?

Achieving that success was not an easy task but firstly I give credit to God Almighty for strength and wisdom. Then I thank the President of Pro-Active Diamond Friends Club of Nigeria, Hon. Sir Chidi Iwuoha, for his moral and financial interventions during the planning and the execution of the event, in fact he is a leader to follow.

I am eternally grateful to members of my Committee, Chief Linus Nwokeocha, Chief Julius Ezeta, Hon Cletus Oforji and Hon Nnamdi ogbu, while others were sleeping, these men were awake painstainkingly planning with me, the accolade of the oghu success should in fact go to them and not me.

Some still maintained that there were some lapses. Do you agree with them?

Of course everyone is entitled to his or her opinion, we are not robots, we are mere mortals and subject to errors, however, I personally would welcome constructive criticisms so as to get it right the next time.

Those people who said they identified some lapses said the event was done when the 2022 oghu festival had already ended in Imo State. What is your take on that?

Well, if timing is the only identifiable lapses by some people that wouldn’t amount to serious issue, the oghu is our culture, we are equally aware of the laws of timing and season associated with the oghu. Justice Obaseke said Laws are made for man and not man for the law.

Explain further please.

The oghu as a culture has been displayed in some certain big events/occasion outside the normal time either as honour or as last respect to an illustrious son. So we outside Imo State, choosing that time to entertain ourselves and friends have not committed any serious offence. More so, when we sought the consent of Ndi Isi Oghu.

How do you combine your profession as a lawyer and your interest in the culture of your people knowing full well that two of them usually clash?

Again, this is the second time I am being confronted with this same question, first was when I was doing my Masters in Great Ife {LL.M} and now by your organization, Umuaka Times. My answer has only remained choice, a lot of people do not take part in the affairs of their people, they will claim that either their religion do not permit that or that their profession does not allow that , it is all false, it is simple choice. I have interest in the affairs of my people irrespective of my profession or religion.

So how do you see culture?

Culture is a way of life, lifestyle of certain people, it has nothing conflicting with me as a lawyer. {though if culture seems repugnant to natural justice equity and good conscience, we may use the instrument of Law to curb such excesses.

In law there are provisions for land law, criminal law, company law, Cannon law and more. Why is there none for cultural law?

Good observations , honestly you have given me an assignment and topic to research on.

Do you agree with some certain individuals that Igbo culture is dying seriously?

To be candid with you I do agree and if it may interest you to know this. The serious abandonment of Igbo culture was one the motives behind our just concluded Oghu Lagos 2022. We spent money organizing that event so that our children and some of our brothers would enjoy it since travelling down East for some persons has become a nightmare.

In your own view, what is killing the Igbo culture?

I cannot say for sure, but I believe the quest for westernization may be one of the contributory factors. Igbo people travel a lot and copy a lot too, in so doing, we tend to abandon ours.

What do you think is the roadmap to revive Igbo culture?

Simple, our knowledgeable elders should make it top priority to educate the younger generation.

 

On the oghu festival, what do you think that will be done to improve on its activities? Two years ago Chief Ben Durugbor came up with an idea to start Oghu Cultural Institute.

I think I subscribe to that idea by Chief Ben Durugbor, in so doing, the younger ones would be masters of oghu activities. So many people in my age bracket may not be abreast with the common rudiments of oghu activities, Like how does one get initiated {mbano oghu, the itu nkwa, the uro oghu and so on.

Thank you so much sir for your time.

It is my pleasure.

 

 

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