Anambra State born Rabbi Chinedu Nwabunwanne is a United States based Chief Rabbi of Apostolic Jews.
In this interview with Pamela Eboh, he gave an insight on the origin of the Igbo, how they migrated from Israel to the southeast and how he discovered a river called Sambatyon. He advised Igbos to Liberate Themselves from Secular Judiciary By Establishing Talmudic Customary Courts As Descendants of Israel.
Q. Rabbi Yanum, tell us about yourself.
A. I am Rabbi Chinedu Nwabunwanne-Yanum. I hail from Aguleri, Anambra State. Currently, I reside in Los Angeles California, USA. I am the Chief Rabbi of Apostolic Jews, USA. Apostolic Jews are heirs to the Sadducees.
Q: What do you do?
A. I am a researcher and a forensic investigator. Also, I perform my duties as the Chief Rabbi of Apostolic Jews.
Q: There is a Rabbi in your name, what does that denote?
A. A Rabbi is a Jewish religious teacher. The teacher must have character and successfully complete a degree in Rabbinics. I attended Los Angeles Valley College, Valley Glen, California, USA, where I obtained an associate degree in Rabbinics.
From there, I proceeded to the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) where I earned an undergraduate degree in Jewish history. Also, I went to Rio Hondo Police Academy, Whittier, California where I obtained a Graduate Certificate in Forensic Investigation and finally, I proceeded to California State University, Carson California where l completed interdisciplinary Graduate work in Israelite Literature.
Q. As a Rabbi, what exactly is your duty?
A. The job of a rabbi is to steer a community to be in good standing with God and to attend to the societal and spiritual problems of a community by proffering solutions.
Q. What solutions do you proffer?
A. The solution we proffer for the current uncertainty in Ibo society is to return to Igbo customary laws as enshrined in the Jerusalem Talmud. Liberating ourselves from secular judiciary by establishing Talmudic customary courts as enshrined in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is the way to go.
As some states in northern Nigeria embraced their oath by adhering to sharia laws,and states in western Nigeria continues to follow secular laws, let us in southeastern Nigeria return to our oath with God by returning to Jerusalem Talmudic laws.
Q. How do you hope to achieve that?
A. We are seeking for men and women who can help us advance customary court legislations in all the Igbo speaking states Houses of Assembly. This is one of the four ways to liberate ourselves.
Q: Some people including the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu have at a time propagated this Jewish origin idea, but it appears not have been embraced, probably because many are yet to understand it. Why did you choose to take it up as a task and be the loud voice in the wilderness. Also why now?
A. Our movement is a religious approach to problem solving. We seek a devaluation of power in a unified Nigeria. Our return to God is being hampered by Nigeria’s secularism. The book of Romans 11 stated that the reasons we fell out with God was sin.
It also stated that we will reclaim our blessings when those who took our blessings sin. The United States and Britain are preoccupied with the promotion of homosexual sin today. So, we believe it is time to reclaim our blessings. We have started a movement, the Jerusalemite Organization International to teach our religion, history and the Laws of Return.
We intend to evangelize the Igbo and Fang family members in Nigeria and Cameroon. When our awareness campaigns become mainstream, the State of Israel must help us be free in Nigeria or open its doors for our return to Israel. Additionally, we want to unite Yidduh people who are members are nationalities in the senatorial zones bordering the river Benue on the north, the river Niger on the west, and the states between the River Benue and the Atlantic Ocean.
Presidential election maps for 1979, 1983, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015, 2019 and 2023 proved beyond reasonable doubt that our political, social, and religious future will be better enhanced if we mend ways and reconcile with the Yidduh nations. Many Ibos in the United States agree that when our Fang brothers across Nigeria’s border awake,and we unite with the nationalities from River Benue to the Atlantic Ocean, our enemies in Nigeria must reconsider their ways.
Q. Can you give us names of the tribes that first migrated to Nigeria and where they first settled?
A. There are two parts to fully answer your questions. Let me begin with the second part. The names of the congregation of Judah are as follows: Asher, Gad, Naphtali, Dan Zebulon and Judah. The tribe of Dan were the first set of Ibos that entered Nigeria.
They were sacked from Kaybar in Saudi Arabia by Prophet Mohammed between 626- 629 AD. Danites occupies Ebonyi north and central senatorial zones. Also, they are in parts of Ebonyi south, parts of Enugu state and Benue State. The second set of Israelites that entered southeast Nigeria were the following: Asher, Gad and Naphtali.
They were sacked by Syria from 744-750 AD. The tribe ofAsher or Ani-Asher (which means I am Asher) are the Ibos on coastal east of River Niger called Delta Ibo and coastal towns west of River Niger from Onitsha, Ogbaru, etc. In Anambra, through Oguta, and Imo to Ndoni and surrounding areas of River State. The exceptions are Umu-Nri towns like Ogwuachi, Igbuzo, Akwukwu-Igbo, Okpanam, etc. in Anioma zone.
The tribe of Gad comprises of the upper parts of Anambra senatorial zone, Anambra Central, Enugu East andWest senatorial zones, and some enclaves in Anambra north senatorial zones.
The tribe of Naphtali occupied the lower parts of Anambra south senatorial zone, Imo state except Asher along the coast and the Oratta/Owerri peoples of Old Owerri zone and surrounding communities.
The third group of Israelites that entered southeast Nigeria were the members of the tribe of Judah sacked by King Juan II of Portugal to Soa Tome Island between 1481-1495 AD. King Juan II entered into a binding contract with the royal house of Judah and the priestly house of Levi in Portugal. When Israel failed to fulfil their obligations, King Juan gathered the Judaeans and the Levites and deported the Judaeans to Sao Tome Island, but the Levites he deported to IboIsland, Mozambique.
The deportees from Portugal are the Nri people in Anambra north and parts of Anambra central senatorial zones. Enugu north senatorial zone, Owerri/ Oratta in Imo south senatorial zone, and the Ngwa people in Abia South and parts of Abia central senatorial zones. Finally, the tribe of Zebulon entered southeast Nigeria between 1666-1676.
They came from Libya on the instruction of Shabbatai Zevi and Prophet Nathan of Gaza to proclaim the arrival of the false prophet Shabbatai Zevi in Southeast Nigeria. They are the Edeh (Adah) people who occupied parts of Ebonyi South senatorial zone, the Abriba/Ohafia and others in Abia north senatorial zone and the Ibeku and other parts of Abia central senatorial zone?
Q You wrote a manuscript talking about Igbo being Israelites. How can someone interested on the subject verify the entrance of Israelites into Nigeria?
A. This is the most important question. For more than two thousand years, Jewish scholars assert that members of the congregation of Judah comprising: Dan, Naphtali, Gad and Asher reside in the river Sambatyon region. However, both Jewish and Christian scholars were unable to identify the location of the mysterious River Sambatyon.
And I, Rabbi chinedu Yanum, discovered the river in Nigeria. I was able to discover the river because I split the mysterious compound word Sambatyon into two parts making it possible to identify each of the two parts: Samba and Tyoan. I used the website fallingrain.com to locate Samba town (latitude 8,9166667 and longitude 11, 1166667) along the Benue River, and Tyoan town (latitude 7, 3667 and longitude 8, 7500) along the Benue River.
This is significant because identifying the river Sambatyon signals the beginning of redemption. There are two witnesses that collaborate with my findings. The first was David Reubeni who stated that it takes two months to travel by Carmel from Sambatyon to Ethiopia, and one half of a day to travel from Sambatyon to Sao Tome, Island. This is signicant because it indicates that Sambatyon is the proximity of Sao Tome Island. The second informant Eldad the Danite mentoned five to seven kingdoms that were always at war with the Jews of Sambatyon.
The kingdoms: Kaloma (latitude 10,2833 and longitude 10, 4333), Kim# (latitude 10, 3333 and longitude 11, 9667), Kuba (latitude 10, 5667 and longitude 11, 6667), Takula (latitude 8, 8333 and longitude 11, 6833), and Karma (latitude 11, 7000 and longitude 13, 0667) are in present day Nigeria.
Q. If I may ask, what led you to major in Judaism and how long have you been in this area of study?
A. A call to duty led me to major in Judaism. Infact, in 1995, Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan the leader of Nation of Islam in the United States organized “A Million Man March,” in Washington DC. to attune for the sins of African Americans.
The match was attended by over two million blacks. On October 17th, 1996, the one-year anniversary of the million-man march in Washington, Debra D. Bass of LAS VEGAS SUN Newspaper published my responses to the million-man march.
The leader of King Solomon Sephardic Organization- a Jewish organization based in Philadelphia- saw my interview and contacted me. He told me that an Mbaise man Chima Onyeulo have been suing the government of Israel since 1988 for the issuance of automatic Israeli citizenship as a returning Jew under the Law of Return.
Also, he told me that the Government of Israel sent opposition researchers to Aguleri, Aguukwu, and other Igbo towns. Finally, he said that members of Bigard Seminary, Enugu, Nigeria went to Eze Chukwuemeka Eri with a questionnaire for clarification on how Igbos came from Israel. He sent the questionnaire to me and said, “Aguleri town assert the headship of the Igbo nation, therefore the onus is on Aguleri town to prove how Igbos came from Israel.” I am from Aguleri. The questionnaire was a call to duty, and I answered the call for the sake of Aguleri and the Igbo nation.
Q: it is interesting to know that for two thousand years, Jewish and Christian religious scholars were searching for a Nigeria river (River Sambatyon) and you made the discovery. This is another way to improve tourism in Nigeria. How does that make you feel?
A. Of course, it will bring tourism to Nigeria. Nigeria has endless potentials for tourism. Our diversity can be a blessing. I wish Nigeria well. I want the best for a united Nigeria. I am elated that I made the discovery. Its quite fulfilling.
Q. Speaking of diversity, you are of Igbo ethnicity, but you said your language is Yidduh. Is Yidduh ancient Igbo language or insibidi?
A. Yidduh is our language. Etymology. the term Yidduh is the feminine aspect for Yed (variant ‘Jew’), while the term Yiddish is the masculine form for Yed (variant Jew). The use of the term Yed to represent the term Jew was a camouflage adopted before the exile from Israel. Yidduh was a mixture of Hebrew, Ijir (Ijaw) and Hiv (variant Thiv or Tiv) Languages.
The Talmud mandated Hebrew exiles to Sambatyon in the southern hemisphere to adopt the languageof Afriki, and the exiles to Germania in the northern hemisphere to adopt the language of Caspi. The Talmud mandated Hebrew exiles to Sambatyon in the southern hemisphere to adopt the language of Afriki, and the exiles to Germania in the northern hemisphere to adopt the language of Caspi. The Ijir (now Ijaw) people were the Girgashites of Canaan and the original inhabitants of the delta region who invited exiled Hebrews to Nigeria.
The Hiv (variant Thiv or Tiv) are Hivites of Canan who entered into an oath with our ancestors centuries ago. Our leader, Jesus of Nazareth formed the covenant of Yidduh by renewing the ancient Hivite oath and promised that the two thousand years of unity between the Hebrews and Nineveh (Tivs and Ijaw union) will be the only miracle to expect. Besides the glitches between 1967 to 1970, which Chief Edwin Clerk of Delta State and Gov. Samuel Artom of Benue state are now reconciling, the peace treaty has endured. It is the religious duty of Yidduh people to carry out the mandate of Jesus Christ.