The Polity in Traditional Edda Society (Part 3 of 3)
Edda Clan Political Organization
Atamata National Hall is the venue for major deliberations in Edda, Ebonyi State, Nigeria
As the highest body in the hierarchy of Edda political organization, the Clan Assembly (Nzuko Edda) meets less frequently than the other assemblies and is open to representatives of each of the seventy-two villages in Edda, no matter how small.
In reality, not all the villages send representatives as some are, by tradition regarded as integral parts of others irrespective of their size. Such village groups which can exercise much influence over decisions at the assembly due to their sheet size and dynamism are Nguzu with four villages. Ekoli (twelve), Ebunwana (five), Owutu (seven), Amangwu (nine) and Oso (nine).
The “Eze Edda” from Eziukwu Ifuogo Nguzu presides, assisted by Igboeze or Uduligbo of Ezi-Ukwu, Nkagbogo Ekoli Edda.
A sign in front of Atamata National Hall in Edda, Ebonyi State
The Clan Assembly is of two types, namely Atamata and Osisioma; the former being the higher assembly. They are situated at the village square of Ifuogo Nguzu and at Eketa, some two kilometers from Ekoli, respectively. As the hightst authority, decisions on declaration of war and matters relating to life, death and slavery are taken at the assembly without any options or appeal. Every village or village group therefore, tries to ensure that its representatives are intelligent and vocal enough to guard against manipulation and disgrace.
Age grades do not normally feature at “Nzuko Edda” as they are fully utilized at the village and town levels and there is no common age grade that cuts across the clan. They are however, mobilized for such communal effort as war when every village or village group is mandated to send her able-bodied age grades in defence of the interest of the fatherland.
Source: Egbebu Liberal Movement. Edda Heritage.
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