Anambra government backs Dec 28 deadline to end Osu caste system
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 and Okalakwu Igbariam Ancient Kingdom; Regent of Nri Kingdom, Prince Ikenna Onyesoh; Convener and President of Celibacy International Initiative, Joseph Okechukwu; and others had announced that the abolition would take place at the Nri Palace on December 28.
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 to Okechukwu yesterday, the Commissioner of Diaspora Affairs, Indigenous Artwork, Culture and Tourism, Sally Mbanefo, assured of the state government’s unflinching support to the abolition of the practice in Igboland.
“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 unflinching support to abolishing this unfortunate practice in Igboland. We therefore have no reservation whatsoever in endorsing your project to abolish the Osu practice,” the statement read in part.
The caste system stigmatised sections of communities in the south east, depriving them social, business and other relationships.