Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, has announced the abolition of ‘Osu’/‘Ohu’ caste Practice in the state.
The governor who described the practice as ‘satanic’ said the abolition takes immediate effect.
During a protest by some indigenes of Obuno Ndi Uno community in Nkanu West Local Government Area of the state, he said on no account should anybody be described as a slave (Ohu) in the community.
Osu or Ohu is a practice in some parts of Igbo land which proscribes some individuals as outcasts.
Such individuals who are also indigenes are referred to as slaves (Ohu) in the communities and do not associate with other members of the community, especially in matters of marriage, traditional music and title taking.
Condemning the practice, Ugwuanyi said Nigeria’s Constitution has placed all Nigerians on the same level. He added that the Enugu state laws also abolished the system.
“Slavery and segregation have been abolished and as far as the state government is concerned, we do not recognize Ohu Caste system.
He called on community members to embrace Christianity and treat their fellow humans as one.
Ugwuanyi said: “If you know you are holding anybody down in the name of whatever belief that is not godly please release such person and let them be free.”
Also speaking at the protest, the president general of the town union Austin Okoye said the seat of the Traditional Ruler in the state has been vacant because of Ohu/Amadi discrimination and called on the state government to intervene by conducting an election which would produce a traditional ruler.
“We want the state government to come and conduct the election using option A4,” Okoye said. “We are ready to support anybody who wins but we do not want imposition,” he added. Leaderonline