IGBO - Culture
Abolition of Osu Caste
The making of Caste started 874th year of man on earth and ended in AD1901 in Igbo land, when the shrine at Aro-Chiukwu was sabotaged and taken by Britain while fighting to end the slave trade. The end of shrine should be the end of caste but what sustains it to-date? Igbo is a land founded on terms and conditions (edudo-ani/ala). Thus, whoso breached the terms suffers the curse. The present age treats it particularly to marriage but it is more than that. Consider stillbirth, untimely death, barrenness, certain deformities are the signs and symptoms. Unknowing to the Igbos, ninety-six per cent of the world has caste symptoms because by 874th year of man on earth, the men were one bound by the same custom.
When “The Igbos: The Afrikan Root of Nations” was published in the UK in 2002 and launched at Owerri in 2004, chapter 3 devoted to Igbo custom including caste. God used custom as a carpet to cover the slipperiness of the earth. Igbo custom adopted God’s way to institute edudo-ala and it subsists. When the book was launched in London in 2002, some reacted to the caste to their detriment because the section warned that money, education qualification, chieftain… should be kept away from seeking true solution. In 2004, after the launching 25 copies each were given to Abia and Imo State Universities but they read it literarily and showed no understanding. But the inspiration rose even higher yielding: The Exposition of the Bible; Post-Cold War International Law and Relations; The Origin and End of Caste…detailing further matters that drove men crazy. God did not create a headless world; is Igbo head without knowing?
The origin and regeneration of caste are two things. Consider a son of traditional man loving and marrying a beautiful daughter of a warrant-chief for his son and the wife dying just three days after joining her husband. It happened in 1959. Consider also a man being poisoned and killed of suspected saying something which another reacted to: is it because I am…; it happened in 1977. Stand here and see India (1950), Eastern Nigeria (1956); Governor of Enugu State (2017) Eze Nri Enweleana (2018) went about abolition academically. When did honest, frank Igbos become sentimental as if condemning the ancestors on their generational solution? But as Europeans, Bishop Ardain (AD671) and Pope John Paul 11 (1978), said: when you see a problem, do not rush it but study deeply about it and solve it from the root. This was the advocacy of The Igbos: The Afrikan Root of Nations (chapter 3). I dealt with it in waiting for what will happen next and the solution magnified in seeking its international spread. Can we wake up in one morning and say: Caste is abolished? Do not forget, a man can marry whichever lady agreed to him. Caste as it started was to do with marriage and custom of it. It is a fundamental rule of equity that any problem created on earth must be resolved on earth. But if yesterday’s solution becomes today’s problem, what is the solution? Our ancestors made it to safeguard even offenders from revenge killing. Further all castes are not the same. Again the rule of law requires that where circumstances produced difference, the cause of each circumstance must be distinguished carefully in seeking solution.
As Bishop Ardain and Pope John Paul 11 said above, at times keeping quiet in search of true solution may prove wiser. Yet, it is childishness in word if it expresses no truth. Do all the above attempts mean that the problem has no solution? Abolish and keep signs and symptoms is no remedy. Presently, Nigeria is one of the highest producers of stillbirth because since AD1970, there have less custom customary marriages. ‘Na my choice’ being a radical emancipation breeds untimely death, stillbirth, death in labour... This year by the special grace of the Almighty God, we shall set a typical solution; monitor it and proliferate. Igbo is right to sit up of its worthiness to prove its position as it was seriously aspected in the New Era Judgment. Reconciliation of persons, peoples and nations is very paramount to suit New Era judgments but the process of it must be right. Caste can be resolved. Custom means process and should apply in resolving issues of the slave trade (AD1441-1901) and Caste (874th year of man on earth to AD1901). We should know what happened in order to go near to its solution; else, it becomes fake remedy. Start from the current state of affairs in Igbo; are there breaches, illegalities; unreasonable acts, envy, jealousy, wickedness, killing, poisoning, rapes, theft, abuses, embezzlement….; apropos, acts that can yield caste-like effects? They were sanctioned and covenanted against from 874th year of man on earth. Igbo was not sustained from this time by religion but custom. Thus, if we learn something good and new, we take it and add to our custom as well as pruning anything bad. Jesus’ truly, verily, solemnly and even covenantly came within Igbo custom. No religion can abolish oath of honesty, sanction or covenant to discern terms and conditions to live together. Thus, let us start from where we are and look back. You cannot abolish past terms and conditions and still live awfully. If we live ease to fulfil to ourselves; we have the open mind to check what happened before. You can see that projecting caste and stirring it to marriage is not true. Those things that our ancestors forbade in their custom that safeguarded Igbo to-date cannot be casually set aside. Let us justify our time (generational equity), of how we stand fit to live together. How did Igbo survive in the past but diminishes in value presently? For the head to become the tail is a curse. Igbo at a time had 2,000 clans bound by custom without Police or prison but shrine of escape. Igbo survived all attempted invasions because custom chained stronger. To abandon our ancestors’ custom is becoming hybrid and childish. I did not come to abolish but refine the terms and conditions for good living together mannerism said Jesus; thus, religion does not prevail over custom. If we make covenant village to village; town to town, we may resolve all our drawbacks and hindrances.
A land safeguarded with custom can never be sustained without custom said the Prophet of Doom, Jeremiah. Why did past generations allow caste to regenerate? A caste made by dedication to the shrine or felony that took refuge in the shrine in 874th year of man on earth is remote to the current evils that sought to depress the land. Let us abhor evil: in doing, conniving, condoning and give right to right and judge if God does not pardon wrong. But incubating the past wrongs and adding more to it and seeking freedom without repentance, confession and penance is threating earthly and heavenly orderliness. Let us be sensible and reasonable to our hardship caused by callousness.
To know a subject well is very vital to its affairs. I am Igbo is not enough without its characterizations. Igbo is everywhere, is a common drive of the feral but what challenges Igbo is to justify its age wisely. Thus, as God told Moses: get going. Thus, start with: The Igbos: The Afrikan Root of Nations (Heinemann Books) to know Igbo. Yes, refusing the offer of 2004, the inspirations continued to ‘The Exposition of the Bible’ to explore further and establish peoples and nations that hailed from Igbo; alias, Hebrews and the customs about Melchizdek, which Moses adopted to civilize the Israelites. Then, there is the Bible that grounded Igbo, which you must know to justify your worthiness into the New Era. We are heading to difficult and testing time but with good courage we shall overcome everything. Igbo was tramped, undermined and suppressed but the Master of Intrigues and Manipulations (Agbawo Dike Izu) objected. Thus, it is Igbo’s time to show the world what and who they are.
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