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 in the region.
Chairman of Eri Dynasty Traditional Rulers Forum, Eze Nkeli Nzekwe Kelly (The Great King Kelly and 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 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 Commissioner, Anambra State Ministry of Diaspora Affairs, Indigenous Artwork, Culture and Tourism, Sally Mbanefo, to the Director, Celibacy International, made available to newsmen 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 practise in Igbo land. We, therefore, have no reservation, whatsoever, in endorsing your project to abolish the Osu practise,” the statement said.
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 said the proposed abolition exercise couldn’t have come at a better time.
“We will ensure the exercise is a huge success,” he said.