THE ORIGIN OF “ONYE EJENEJE – SIT AT HOME” IN IGBO LAND!
The sit at home or stay at home is as old the wise messenger bird called Ukwukwii (Owl)
There is an Igbo adage which says that: “The owl does not cry at night in vain (Ukwukwii ana ebe na nkiti)”. For this reason and other reasons, many Igbos sees the owl as an evil bird (Ajo nnunu).
In those days and at that time, the ancient Igbos elders always declares a sit or stay at home order the following day; whenever the cries of the owl is heard at night.
The purpose for the declaration of the sit at home on the following day is for everyone to stay inside their house so that the evil which the owl announced in the night may pass away without affecting anyone negatively.
The Ancient Igbo Stay At Home Or Sit At Home Order Stipulates The Following :
Ukwukwii n’ebe n’ime ofia.
Onye EJENEJE – onye Anana Ana
Onye ejene olu – onye ejene afia
Onye azuna azu – onye egona ego
Onye echuna mmiri – onye akpana nku
Maka na Ukwukwii na ebe n’ime ofia!
The cries of the owl is an omen in Igbo land and the ancient Igbo elders sees the owl as a messenger who has come to deliver a strange message from the gods – to announce a sudden death, or to warn the people of an unknown doom which is to befall the them if they fail to appease the gods.
According to Igbo cosmology, anybody that fails to abide by the sit or stay at home order in those days will be forced to stay out of home – face banishment or going into exile.
There was a story of an ancient king who died after the cries of the owl at night. His subjects were instructed to stay at home for four Igbo market days. The custom demands that anyone found outside his or her house is at risk of losing his or her head which will be used for the king’s burial as their funeral ritual.
In contemporary times, the Igbos still use the instrument of sit or stay at home to let the world know that things are not going well ; especially now that their son, brother, king, teacher and messiah is in the DSS custody.
This form of self isolation, sit or stay at home which the Igbos embarked on; since Mazi Nnamdi Kanu was captured is equally a type of civil disobedience in total rejection of the injustice and abhorrent of the works of devil and its evil against the Igbo since 1967 till date.
At a time like this, in the history of the Isrealites, they all went to their tent according to 1kings 12:16 and 2nd Chronicles 10:16. “When the people saw that the king would not listen to them, they shouted,” Down with David and his family! What have they ever done for us? To your tent oh Israel! Let Rehoboam look out for himself “.
Even God arranged a compulsory sit at home or stay at home for his people in the book of Isaiah 26:20 – “Go into your houses, my people, and shut the door behind you. Hide yourself for a little until God’s anger is over.”
In conclusion, I pray that the anger of God which is upon the wicked leaders will never affect the righteous in Jesus mighty name Amen.