The Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe, has declared war to end the practice of Osu caste in Igbo land. While speaking at a workshop on Thursday in Awka, the capital of Anambra State, the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe, disclosed that the time has come for the Osu caste system to be abolished in Igboland.
The influential monarch who described the Osu practice as antiquated, unlawful and obnoxious, called for a concerted war against the act.
The Osu caste system is a practice in Igbo land that discourages social interaction and marriages with a group of persons regarded as slaves. The stigma is transferable to even children yet unborn.
Igwe Achebe who spoke at the event organized by the Initiative for the Eradication of Traditional and Cultural Stigmatisation in Our Society (IFETACSIOS), a non-governmental organization, Achebe said the practice had no place in the 21st century.
He urged traditional rulers in Igbo land to stamp out the practice in their domains, while hailing IFETACSIOS for its initiative in that regard.
“We are happy with the coming of IFETACSIOS group on this project and we are going to collaborate with them to ensure we end this bad culture that has held our people backward for many years now.”
The President of IFETACSIOS, Oge Maduagwu, in her address, sought the help of the traditional rulers in the area in the abolition of the Osu caste system. Maduagwu said abolishing the system would restore the dignity of human beings, promote peaceful relationship and reduce communal conflicts.
She said the Osu caste system had wreaked havoc on the socio-cultural, economic and political lives of the Igbo.
According to her, the group has extended the advocacy on the abolition of the harmful practice to Imo and Enugu states.
Maduagwu disclosed that they would visit Ebonyi and Abia before the end of 2018, saying,
She said apart from meeting with the leadership of the traditional rulers, the group had engaged various community leaders to tackle peculiar challenges faced by communities with a view to ensuring total eradication of the system.