I have come across a lot of Afrocentrism in recent time. While a good number of them believe that the Christian faith (The Most popular religion of our time), is plagiarised from ancient African mythologies, and so, they advocate for the worship of the original African Gods from where this Christian faith, the story of Jesus in particular was copied from. Some of them are of the opinion that recognizing African culture would uplift Africa/Africans.
Today, I have decided to share a clue on one of the African Gods, popular among the Igbo tribe of Africa. It is called Amadioha. Looking at the title; Once A God in West Africa, might create the impression that Amadioha no longer have adherent, the title is picked because the adherent have shrunk to record low in recent times. According to belief, it is believed that Amadioha is the God of Justice, symbolized by White Ram, Believe to be ruling the planet Sun, and associated with Lightning and Thunder. Amadioha is among the most popular Igbo Deities. In fact, Amadioha is widely acknowledged among the many Igbo ethnic groups as the God of Justice.
In my curiosity, I have wondered, how was Amadioha discovered? Did Amadioha appear to anybody? Did Amadioha perform any extraordinary work in delivering Justice before it could be recognized as the God of Justice? How did those who discover it came up with the name Amadioha? My curiosity took me to a limited place and my inquiry didn’t yield much fruit at first but after more research and exploration, I came to realize who the God, Amadioha really is.
In the ancient Igbo nation, there was nothing like Igbo leader. Each clan, is a federating unit. This system of government worked so well for the Igbo people. Each clan would elect a president, not a King. However, monarchical leadership was practised in some Igbo traditions but that was not the widely practised system of leadership in Igbo land. This absence of a consolidated Igbo leader is very present in the community today where you can’t point at anybody today as the leader of the Igbo people. The leadership of Igbo clan was not hereditary, it must pass through election. The elected leader is more of moderator in an Igbo gathering, his opinion has no special influence. What he was saddled with was simply to maintain orderliness during the clan’s meeting/assembly. Whenever there is a decision/judgement to be taken/passed on an issue, and they are stuck with which decision/judgement is to be accepted, they would use voting to decide which opinion is more popular.
Decision-making through voting system was so common among the Igbo people. The leader of a clan has no veto power, neither can he use his office and enforce any decision. His cabinet is made up of representatives from every family in his clan. It was these representatives that mostly vote when a decision/judgment is to be carried out.
As time changes, people change as well. A lot of things were modified. People forgot some ancient practices. The cabinets started turning this act of decision making/passing of judgement into a cult-like circle. They created the impression that there resolution was usually under the guidance of supernatural power and that failing to abide by their decision/judgement would attract dire consequences. Fear and intimidation were both employed to get people to accepting this. At a point, it became a widely held belief system that Amadioha is a GOD.
Amadioha was built temples/shrines, priests were appointed for Amadioha. Gradually, the passing of judgement started taking a new shape. The idea of voting, to decide a judgement gradually started going extinct and swearing of oath started creeping in. And so, it lasted for centuries, that today, Amadioha is revered to, by many as the God of Justice!