By Elizabeth Uwandu
ANAMBRA State Government has adopted the December 28, 2018 date set by major traditional rulers in the South-East to abolish the controversial Osu caste system in the region.
Chairman of Eri Dynasty Traditional Rulers Forum, His Imperial Majesty, Eze Nkeli Nzekwe Kelly (The Great King Kelly & Okalakwu Igbariam Ancient Kingdom), Regent of the Ancient Nri Kingdom Prince Ikenna Onyesoh, Convener and President of Celibacy International Initiative, Nollywood actor, Joseph Okechukwu and other traditional rulers had announced that the abolition would take place at the Nri Palace in Anambra State on December 28, 2018.
They had warned that there would be far-reaching consequences for those wishing to continue the obnoxious practice after the symbolic exercise.
In a letter of endorsement by the Honourable Commissioner, Anambra State Ministry of Diaspora Affairs, Indigenous Artwork, Culture and Tourism, Barr. Sally Mbanefo to the Director, Celibacy International made available to journalists yesterday, she assured of the state government’s unflinching support to abolishing the practice in Igbo land.
“Ministry of Diaspora Affairs, Indigenous Artwork, Culture and Tourism has been inundated with your efforts in raising awareness on the traumatic stigma of Osu/Ohu/ Ume Caste System. As a ministry, we also commend your selfless and bold commitment to the abolition of this demeaning caste system in the land.
“Consequently, we wish to express our unflinching support to abolishing the scourge of this unfortunate practice in Igbo land. We therefore have no reservation whatsoever in endorsing your project to abolish the Osu Practise”, the statement read.
Also endorsing the December 28 deadline for Osu Abolition, Bishop Obi Onubuogu of The Rock Cathedral, Enugu is leading a cross section of high profile South East Religious leaders to Agukwu Nri for the abolition exercise. Bishop Onubuogu agreed that the proposed abolition exercise couldn’t have come at a better time.
“We will ensure that the exercise is a huge success. We are all in agreement that this is long overdue. We can’t continue like this. One of the reasons God kept some of us alive is to see that things like this are abolished from our land. And we will do this and save our generation and race from self destruction and extinction” he said.