Igbo monarchs, Ndi Igbo unite to end Osu practice


By Sunny A. David, Awka
The end may have come for the age-long Osu Caste System in Igbo Land.
One may also choose to call it Ohu, but for once, the Igbo race united to abolish the system and practice which has adverse consequences.
The palace of the traditional ruler of Nri, Eze Obidiegwu Onyesoh surged with children of Igbo descent from the five eastern states and other Igbo speaking areas in the Country to engage final push to the end of the practice.
The Osu Caste system has its origin traced to the Nri Kingdom, believed to possess the hereditary power and thus do go about cleansing various kingdoms of abomination where communities that refuses to be cleansed are called Osus.
Osu victims, fondly called outcasts, traditional rulers including the Regent of Nri Kingdom, Eze Obidiegwu Onyesoh, Igwe Charles Anyasi of Idumuje Kingdom, the clergy, among others graced the occasion.
First was the abolition prayer by Bishop Chukwuka, closely followed by prayer of atonement by the State Chairman of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, Bishop Moses Ezedebego who described the practice as obnoxious and not acceptable to God and even humans.
Next was renunciation on behalf of the Igbo race by Joseph Okwuchukwu, the Convener of the event, after which an Osu victim, Ibezim Onyekaonwu from Nneato Isuochi accepted the apology on behalf of the race.
The Regent of Nri, Eze Obidiegwu Onyesoh did the traditional atonement where he expressed optimism that the process is binding and sustainable all over the Igbo race as Nri is the head of the race in the world.
Mr Stephen Jideofor of Akwanne-ato in Umunochi Local Government Area of Abia State and Miss Chinenye Agunenye narrated how the practice has set them back in life, calling on ndi Igbo who still segregate and marginalize their brethren on account of the Osu practice, to desist.
Paper presentations and remarks traced the history and condemned the practice in Igbo land.
The Nri Regent, Eze Onyesoh danced the abia and traditional Ufie music, joined by ndi Igbo in celebration and consummation of the atonement.
The Osu Caste System is an ancient practice in Igbo land that discourages social interaction and marriage with a group of people, referred to as Osu or outcasts.
This is because they dedicate these Osu people to the Alusi or deities and are thus seen as inferior to the Nwadiala or free-borns.
The abolition of these practices at the ancient kingdom of Nri, in Anambra State may be seen worldwide as the most robust effort until now, to summarily abolish the divisive practices.

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