IGBO ROYAL FATHERS MOVE TO END OSU CAST SYSTEM - ADA IGBO
In the days she led the police women association when her husband was still a Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of police, Evangelist (Mrs) Chioma Adeoye, made the association one to be reckoned with as she was vocal on many national issues. And today as a partner of the Royal Ministerial Outreach to Traditional Rulers of Africa (ROMTROA), Mrs Adeoye, who hails from Mbaise in Imo State, is adding her voice to the good work the traditional rulers are doing in the country, particularly in Igbo land.
She spoke with Daily Sun last week at the end of the 4th All Igbo Kings Convocation held at the Old House of Chiefs Chambers, Enugu now the Enugu State House of Assembly Complex, saying that the royal fathers in their group have resolved to abolish the Osu cast system in Igbo land even as one of the traditional rulers has vowed to give her daughters out to Osu son-in-laws. Excerpts:
I gave my life to Christ in 1985. I remember when I was a young girl; I used to lead the block rosary. I have always really done the work of God. So, right from time I knew that I have the Holy Spirit in me and that the Lord has some assignment for me.
Our Kings from Igboland programme
These are the kings from Igbo land, Anambra, Abia, Imo, Ebonyi, Enugu, Delta and Rivers states, the kings from the seven states converged here on Enugu and our leader is His Royal Grace, Eze Tony Chukwuma Okoro from Umudike, Ikwuano kingdom. Before he became the leader of this group he used to be a Scripture Union member and an engineer by profession. But after he accepted the Ezeship of his kingdom, God called him to go and work with other Ezes and bring them back to God's kingdom, in other words, for them to stop ritual practices, that the Ezes need somebody who will be telling them the truth, that some of the Ezes do not know some of the things they follow.
For instance, the Osu cast system, just yesterday some of the Ezes came out and promised to relinquish this Osu thing in their kingdom because they saw some of their colleagues that have done it and nothing happened to them. You know that some might be thinking that if I abolish this thing maybe I will die, but this forum is one that when they come together they share testimonies and go deep into the Bible to really see whether what they are doing or following is of God or not. But some of them find it difficult to come out, but God has used this group to really make some of the Ezes to stand. Last time we had some of our brethrens from Israel and the US who came together. Also God has made some openings through the Ezes too to Igala-land and Idoma, and a lot of them are now going back to God.
My recognition by the Ezes
You can see that today they made me the Ada-Igbo, Esther, which originally was my name and you will know the story of Esther. Esther did not marry to her people, she was married outside, but she had love for her people and, therefore, anywhere she was she was able to do something for her people and that is what I am doing.
Yes, to them I am their Esther and their Ada-Igbo. Like the Eze of Nri, Akajiofor of Igboland; we know Nri to be the first son of the Igbo. I don't take chieftaincy titles, but these Ezes came together and brought out money to say this is a point of contact and made me the Ada-Igbo, the Esther of the Igbo. They gave me the money as a point of contact and prayed with me and I ministered to them. It is said that a prophet does not have honour in his land, but being the Ada eji eje mba 1 of Igbo land, I think my people deeply appreciate me. For instance, none of the kingdoms where these Ezes come from will do anything without calling me and there are occasions I go abroad to represent them.
Our leader, Eze Okoro
He has been the one that God has been using, this is the fourth convocation. It is a yearly event, but we still go out to other kingdoms like the one in Ekiti state, it is all about those who have believed in God and those who are ready to relinquish fetish things in their kingdoms. Like this Osu thing has been abolished by a good number of the Ezes.
Possibility of abolishing the Osu cast system in Igbo land
Yes, it is like the Eze that came out yesterday weeping, he said … in fact, when he was talking somebody asked a question, do you think the people will not be afraid of this and he said that he would help the Osus to come and marry his own children, he said that he would bring some of the Osus to his palace. That is what people are doing now, if you don't have a daughter that they can marry, you allow them to marry from elsewhere. You're to be the example, they have seen from the scripture that God did not call anybody an outcast, there is nothing like an Osu with the coming of Jesus Christ, it might have happened in the old testament, but when Jesus Christ came He abolished the whole thing.
Igbo traditional rulers
The Igbo traditional rulers as I used to hear, the Igbo do not have kings, no, the Igbo have kings, it is just that the Igbo do not appreciate their kings. You see, the average Igbo man is proud of himself, but we thank God that a lot of them are beginning to appreciate their kings. As I was telling them today in my topic for this convocation, 'Avoid that hamper that will hamper your conscience and hamper your judgment.' When an Eze places himself where he ought to be, they will respect him, but when an Eze goes after money, collecting N10, N10, his worth will be gone. So, I believe when the Ezes live up to expectation, they will be given the recognition and the respect they deserve. I am married to the Yoruba land, the Yorubas appreciate their kings and I thank God the Igbos are beginning to appreciate their own kings now.
Our Enugu convocation
One beautiful thing we learnt here was that the Israeli government sent a delegation to come and join us, they identified with the Igbos as being part of them. If you see the regalia of the Eze Nri you find out that it has Israeli content in the fabric, we have a good number of us invited to Israel on yearly basis to meet with them, they recognised us, they said that we are the children of Gath that scattered all over he world and they had traced this to Nri in Ananmra State.
This is not the first time we are doing this convocation, like some of the people that came today and decided that they are going to abolish the Osu thing, they had it last year and some of them did it last year and some thought that they would die, but when these people came this year and discovered that the people who did it last year didn't die they had to follow suit.
Relevance of the Ezes
When a pastor calls the people only those who believe in his faith would come, but when an Eze calls the people everybody will come. That is why it is important that in everything you want to do you pass through the Eze because God recognizes the Eze. God will speak to the prophet and say go and talk to the king. You see, the prophet, the Eze and the Prince and when these three are not working together the community cannot go on well. So, we use the Ezes to achieve more and that was why groups who had talked about this Osu thing could not achieve anything, but now that the Ezes are involved in it, we are getting results.