Written by Chika Austine
2nd January 2019
I want to start by thanking our brother Okechukwu Joseph and his team for the 28th December Osu, Ume and other caste systems abolition which took place in Nri Omambara. I and others were lucky enough to be there as Biafra TV witnessed the whole abolition processes. Prior to this time, a man who believe in vicious circle freedom (Mazi Nnamdi Kanu) had condemned these social abnormalities inherent in our way of lives. In one of the broadcasts, he made a systemic dissection of the etymology of the practice. If Okechukwu is coming from Christianity angle for the abolition of Osu, Ume and others, Nnamdi Kanu as a succeeding heir of a kingdom, represents traditional angle (not minding his wide research and exposure).
MY OWN EXPERIENCE
I grew up in my village with false impression that “you don’t think of marrying an Osu”, as the so-called “di ala” are forbid to do so. I bought into that due to my age as of the time, though there were inner questions I did asked myself which airing them out was even a taboo. I got to see high hypocrisy when a wealthy (Osu) family in my village was depended upon by the same “di ala” for assistance. I picked up courage to ask my dad one day (as I do know he was one of those Osu preachers), why do you meet Mr XY for financial assistance and encourage us to do so when Osu people are meant to be avoided? Surprisingly I asked this question when I was little, till now I am getting old, my dad has feigned deaf and dumb on my question. Hypocrisy!
Luck ran against my family as I had planned to marry any lady I found love with irrespective of the social status of the individual. Contrary to my plan, I never dated any as my love affairs radar couldn’t pick any. I am born twin, I have a very beautiful twin sister who trusts lots of her secret to me. She one day (sometime in 2010) told me that she has a guy seeking her hand in marriage. I desired to see this in-law in making, but my twin sister told me that there is a serious challenge in the whole scene. I probed to know what the problem was; she told me that the guy is an “Osu”. Alas! I busted into serious laughter and she was disappointed on me that I could laugh at such a serious issue. Sighting her facial look, I requested she reschedule the meeting with me for better day. I decided to reschedule the meeting because if I tell her what was in my mind at that very emotional moment, she will think my position was out of emotion.
I got to sit down with Onyekachi on the day we agreed. She narrated her observation on her man. How she loves the guy and wants him as a husband which the caste system is posing as a clog. I demanded she allows me approach my family members over it. I met my dad on the affair; he told me his position on the issue which is still on their funny discriminatory ground. I asked him what will happen if he accepts the young man as an in-law; he said he will die if he touches anything from him. I wondered a man that has giving birth to seven kids will be afraid to die? I wondered what he has not seen in life again. What car has he not used, what brand of bear has he not taken? I felt being born by a man that cannot stake much to stop oppression on his fellow human kind. I pleaded he allowed me receive those things while the gods should come to for my life. He felt I never knew what I was doing.
I was looking at my twin literally dying for the sake of this nonsense. I called her and the guy, I said to them. “Look you have tried your best to honour the family, it looks my family for now doesn’t want honour from anyone. You know what, I am her twin, you guys should build up yourselves into family and God Almighty will take charge”. My in-law looked at me and wondered why I was speaking as if I was the father of my twin. My twin sister understands me too well, and knows I am not that flexible in issues I stand on. As they both started to live together, one day my twin sister told me she was pregnant. At this time, the whole family knows I am the only one in support of their marriage as none wanted to be associated with Osu. I brought the good message of her pregnancy to the family which to them, I deserved to be killed. But I knew they were not really like most of us rich in knowledge of the whole story of Osu. And telling my un-lettered father to read wide opinions on this and makes his judgment is like expecting Late Buhari to write thesis.
As ChiukwuOkikeAbiama could have it, she delivered successfully and God was showing them mercy and grace. They began to expand financially and run the most peaceful home I have ever seen. Within a short period of time, they got blessed from one room to owning their land in Aba and building their own house. Surprisingly they whole family visited sometime last two years ago, goodness me! Their family is so treasured that everyone tries to learn secret of family management from them. Same family began to re-amend the Osu story on the young man to a suitable one of “they migrated from Arochukwu”, which makes him acceptable. Success broke ill stories.
I wondered why you the so-called “free born” doesn’t want to marry the so-called Osu but want his alert on your phone, ride his car, date her as if you are meeting a different fellow. That is the most stupid and useless exhibition I have ever seen. Sometimes I read some childlike statements of us on social media in respect to the issue on discourse; you could see childish opinion display. Very laughable to burn one’s data on it, though fun to read such when fatigue comes. But must one contribute on any trending issue? Must you write because an issue is on discourse? That is where most of us get things wrong. It is said, “much analysis leads to paralysis”. One thing the struggle is making some of us who want to learn is that we should try to make a provable and empirical submission and not just watershed ones. Throwing one’s voice carelessly on a sensitive issue can only make or mar you.
THE EVIL NOTIONS OF SUPERIOR AND INFERIOR BIAFRANS
There is soft way of enthroning these abnormalities in nation making. There are things Biafrans will correct before the restoration of the sovereign state and there are ones that will be corrected in Biafra. One of the earlier issues that must be resolved is the enthronement of fundamental rights of the people and that is obtainable in various speeches of Nnamdi Kanu. Despite the childish zealousness of some of us, Biafra national behaviour has its pinnacle on respect for individual rights, equality of her citizens and other worth embracing ideas. No one is a caste in Biafra irrespective of how you think. We are Biafrans who want our freedom and are together fighting for it.
IPOB is driving for equal society in Biafra devoid of the stupidity of Osu and other Caste system. After all, I learnt that this trash is not observed in the entire Igbo Land. The King of Nri made it to all that Nri Kingdom doesn’t know what Osu is all about. So, while would a sectional affair turned out to be said is an “Igbo” thing? We must frown at anything geared towards making any one of us less superior.
When people fail to reason, fatalism dominates their senses of logic. I chose to go empirical on the whole thing for the fact that fatalism of a thing has wreck down lot of us, our human status. In field of philosophy, every word is dissected with “etymology”. It is the etymology of a word that gives you literal meaning, connotative meaning and even its polysemic meaning. I challenge anyone here among the Dark Age thinkers to make an etymological research of the topic in discourse. When you are floating on this cardinal assignment, you have no reason to make a criminal retirement to “the gods said” mantra of the Dark Age.
If the “ancient people” made the system and the modern people see it as a clog to the wheel of their progress and choose to review it, does that amounts to abuse to the tradition. The ancient people might had allowed that based on the reality of their time, not because it was meant to be absolute. It is equivalent to killing of twins which at a time in our history was an acceptable norm, but today it is evil. The gods or men gods made some thinks based on the realities of their time which cannot be practicable in today’s successors’ lives. And that it was made by the ancient does not in any way mean that the modern should discomfortably allow that. Even though these abnormalities are enthroned by “the gods” as some funny ones among us postulate, I asked, is man made for the law or the law made for man? I think the latter is the right position. It then means that man can change the law and not the law changing man. The law did not create the man, rather man created the law. And if this is logical, it then means man has the authority to repel amend, refute and even halt any custom antithetical to his survival and joy. That is sound thought.
IS MY POSITION ABSOLUTE?
My position is not absolute as I would wish to be part of a liberal nation and not religious fatalistic state devoid of sense. To me, nothing likes Osu or any social pariah systems. But I will be more glad to see those in the other side of the wall present an empirical evidences to clear my doubt other than retiring to the imbecilic ground of “the gods” without telling me while the gods never restricted them to accepts gifts and friendships from these great sons and daughters of the land. Shame! Shame!! Shame!!! What a wicked, shameless and criminal mindset devoid of decency. Well, in the land of the poor in mind, anything presented in the name of the gods are swallowed hook line and sinker in the name of the gods. Biafra as a state will not accept any form of discrimination of her citizen, neither are we going to be religiously blind that criminal elements will exploit. It is a nation desired by those oppressed in one way or the other which the garbage Osu caste is one of the segregations, and we will make sure that such evil does not stand in that Holy Nation of Biafra.
For: Imo State Media
Chibuike John Nebeokike
For: Imo State Media