Igbo traditional rulers set to end Osu caste system
• Threaten curse on adamant indigenes
Major traditional rulers in Southeast have announced date for abolition of the controversial Osu caste system.
Targeted for extinction on December 28, 2018 are the Ohu, Ume and Osu caste systems that have taken roots in different parts of Igbo Land. The abolition will take place at the Nri Palace in Anambra State.
Regent of the Ancient Nri Kingdom Prince Ikenna Onyesoh, in a statement, said there would be far-reaching consequences for those wishing to continue the obnoxious practice after the symbolic exercise.
According to the Regent: “Come December, 28 2018, more stringent spiritual implications will be pronounced from Ikpo Eze-Nri against such devaluation of mankind, after an extensive spiritual abrogation exercise.” He said it would be “spiritually suicidal for anyone to continue to hold unto these beliefs and practices after that pronouncement on December 28 as the oldest ofor (scepter of authority) in Igbo land shall be deployed for such pronouncements.”
Eri traditional rulers, also in a statement, said they were set for the abolition and effect reparation for the ancient practice.
The Osu caste system have stigmatised sections of communities in the Southeast, depriving them of access to social interaction and marriages with belief that any ‘free born’ that marries an osu defiles the family. This obnoxious act, however leads to investigations by elders before any marriage is contracted between two families, especially when from different communities.
The Osus are allegedly dedicated to deities (Alusi) while Ohus are said to have inherited slavery as a socio-cultural placement in perpetuity.
According to the Chairman Of Eri Dynasty Traditional Rulers Forum, His Imperial Majesty, Eze Nkeli Nzekwe Kelly (The Great King Kelly & Okalakwu Igbariam Ancient Kingdom) stated, “The whole world needs to witness what is about to happen in our lands on December 28, 2018 because such a thing has never happened before.
“The last time in history anything close has happened was 200 years ago. And mark my word, after these abolition and Atonement exercises, anybody who continues to uphold these practices will have themselves to blame. It’s time to end these once and for all and unite our people for the new era. It’s time for our estranged brothers and sisters who were sold into slavery to return home. We are more than ready to atone for the sins of our forefathers and reunite with our kits and kins in America, Europe, the Islands, and beyond. It’s time.” He said.
Corroborating his statement in an address at the recent meeting of the Eri dynasty traditional rulers forum on the 26th of Oct., 2018 by Prince Ifeanyi Onyesoh (Akaekpuchionwa n’ Nri) “After the abolition exercise there will be a robust atonement ceremony to atone for the sins of Transatlantic Slavery, which resulted in the heartless and forceful seizure and selling of our kits and kins abroad to live in perpetual slavery.
“Without this atonement to appease the devastated souls of our ancestors, we may never know peace or see real prosperity in our lands. We will do our part and hope that the foreign collaborators as well will take steps towards effective reparations” He said.
Meanwhile, Convener and President of Celibacy International Initiative, Nollywood actor and activist Joseph Okechukwu hailed the move and praised the ancient kingdoms and their traditional rulers for the bravery and timely intervention to the obnoxious system, adding “This singular act will place their names in the history books as abolition and atonement are our shortest cuts to peace, unity and progress.”
According to him, Celibacy International Initiative has been on the move to build broken sociocultural bridges and mend broken hearts by seeking a total abolition of all obnoxious practices in the Eastern Region of Nigeria and beyond.
“In our quest for a permanent solution to the perceived bondage of the Igbos and their kits in Nigeria, the organization has found very strong reasons to believe that certain outdated practices in the Igbo culture may have contributed largely to the predicament of Igbos in Nigeria,” he added.