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Date: February 26, 2020, 09:12:05 PM


Clerics battle Osu caste system in Igbo land: Culture : - Nigeria's Premier Online Forum


Clerics battle Osu caste system in Igbo land

By: dayan (M) |Time : July 26, 2018, 02:03:00 AM
By Vincent Ujumadu

AWKA—SOME retired Bishops of the Anglican Church yesterday renewed the battle against the continued existence of the age long Osu Caste System in Igbo land, which classified some people as free born and others as not free born.

The clerics at the helm of the battle are   Bishop Raphael Okafor, former Bishop of Ihiala; Bishop Anthony Nkwoka, former Bishop of Niger West, both in Anambra State and Bishop Samuel Chukwuka, former Bishop of   Isiukwuto/Umuneochi.

At a sensitization forum tagged ‘Conference of Coalition on Osu Cast System’, the clerics appealed to leaders of thought and other stakeholders in Igbo land to end the Osu stigma, otherwise they would face the wrath of God.

According to them, it was surprising that the Igbo had not been able to end the obnoxious system 62 years after the defunct Eastern Nigeria enacted a law abrogating the practice throughout Igbo land.

They regretted that even political office holders, particularly the South East   governors, the legislature and traditional institutions, which ought to be in the forefront in the battle against the Osu Caste system, were paying lip service on the issue.

Describing the practice as wicked and retrogressive, the  Bishops vowed not to relent in the struggle to end the act until justice was achieved.

In tones that betrayed their emotions, the Bishops said: “We are worried that generations who know nothing about these cultural and idolatrous practices are today suffering from the stigma, whether their forefathers willingly or unwillingly became Osu.

“It is wicked and very unfortunate. Moreover, the Osu caste system is antiquated and had been outlawed since 1956.

“God will judge and punish the hypocrites concerning this matter. The Bible makes it clear that God will judge and punish those who violate his laws and regulations.

“For a Christian to assign another Christian to an idol as Osu is hypocrisy of the first order.

“Is it not absurd, barbaric, retrogressive, hypocritical, shameful, unbelievable and unacceptable that after 160 years of Christianity in Igboland and after over 60 years our parents and grandparents abolished the Osu caste, it still continues amongst us?”

They said they would mobilize youths, traditional rulers, governmental and nongovernmental bodies to fight against the caste system throughout Igbo communities.


Re: Clerics battle Osu caste system in Igbo land

By: dayan (M) |Time : July 26, 2018, 02:56:38 AM
Is it not absurd, barbaric, retrogressive, hypocritical, shameful, unbelievable and unacceptable that after 160 years of Christianity in Igboland and after over 60 years our parents and grandparents abolished the Osu caste, it still continues amongst us?

THIS fact is supposed to force Igbo people to have a serious thinking about this problem.

My 2 kobo opinion on this issue is that it proves that the religious practice that we adopted needs to be reformed to solve our problems.

The question raised above is even anachronistic because the first question that should be asked is why is it that Igbo people (regardless of how educated they get) seem to be uninterested or even derisive or dismissive of their own culture?
They just ignore it, until something like Osu issue arises, and then suddenly they start crying.

Igboland has produced world class theologians and divinitists, and yet they just cannot produce anything with it.
One of my former teachers in high school had a doctorate degree in theology, but I can't recall him doing anything revolutionary with his degree. He taught mostly Greco-Roman and Hebrew theology as they related to the Bible, but that was it!

Osu is an issue that will never be solved in Igboland until the Igbo nation develops its own version of "church" or worship of the creator whom they have always known and worshipped since antiquity.

Many things in Igbo cultural practices show that somehow the Igbo are a Hebraic group. Nobody has ever made a serious effort to create a religion that incorporates this fact. Hebrews of the old had an on/off relationship with idols. But it seems that idol worship had stuck in Igboland. Hebrews occasionally destroyed their idols to make peace and start afresh with the most high the creator, but Igbos never did that. The result is that most of the idols in Igboland are there waxing stronger.

The latest I hear from Igboland is that even young men are now abandoning churches to worship idols. They do this out of frustration that churches are not helping them solve their spiritual problems. But then the Osu issue remains, and methinks that it is a way that God keeps our feet to the fire to force us to remember him.

Until we create a religion that solves our spiritual problems, Osu issue will remain. Sadly. 

For a people that pride themselves as the "wise men of the east", I wonder why it has been so hard for the Igbo to create their own version of Christianity or simply a religion that codify the worship of the most high God in ways expected by God.

When such a religion has been created, it will solve this Osu issue by identifying which idols that holds the titles to each Osu and then to neutralize its powers and influences in transparent manner.

When I was a kid, there is this "church" in Igboland that was formed by a person from Igboland. I won't mention the name of the church because I don't want to divert from the topic.

In this church, it is nearly impossible for any member to commit immoral or abominable acts.

How you may ask?

Well, in each service there are prophets that sit at the front and watch the worshippers come in for service.

They (prophets) are merely men and women with gifts of prophesy. During the service, they go around sometimes to ask an already seated member to leave the church.
They would first tell the member what they did wrong before asking them to leave. But they do most of it during offering time when members must walk up to the front of the church to give offering if they want to give offerings.

Before the member is able to get to the offering bowl, he or she must pass the prophets.
And once the member approaches, the prophets either keep quiet and allow him or her to put money into the bowl and walk on, or they stop him or her. 

If the member had done something really bad, the prophets will stop him or her, tell him/her what s/he did wrong and ask them to go past without putting money in the plate. They are hardly interested in the offering. They are mostly interested that God will accept the offering. The prophets would tell the member how to rectify the sin (usually through doing the right thing), and fasting.
One lady was abusing her father's second wife who was a widow at the tine. This lady was told to go home to apologize to that woman and do her best to make her forgive her. She was also given some fasting to do before she would embark on that journey of apology. She did exactly as she was told and peace returned to the family. When next she went to the church to make offering she went through without problems.
Now, tell me, is there an Anglican or Roman Catholic or other pentecostal church that would refuse an offering, for any reason?
Go figure that!

That church is not very popular in Igboland, but it has survived for decades on.
And their prophesies? THEY ARE AS ACCURATE AS IT GETS. Talking from personal experience.

That church is a Christian church, but it is very much close to the spiritual happenings of Igboland.

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