Enugu State Governor; Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, has directed the immediate abolition of the Osu caste system, saying it is a violation of human rights.
Speaking during a protest march by some indigenes of Obuno Ndi Uno community in Nkanu West Local Government Area of the state, Ugwuanyi described such practices as “satanic”.
The governor noted that the Constitution had placed all Nigerians on equal pedestal, adding that the laws of Enugu State had also abolished all forms of Osu Caste practices in the state.
The Governor said:
“Slavery and segregation have been abolished and as far as the state government is concerned, we do not recognise Osu Caste system.”
“We operate the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
Ugwuanyi said that the time had come for the people to embrace Christian teachings and eschew all manner of injustice in their lives.
“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.”
The governor promised to look into the matter to ensure that the right things was done, adding that his administration would not tolerate injustice in whatever guise.
Earlier, the leader of the delegation, Austin Okoye, said they were at the Government House to plead with the state government to conduct an election which would produce a traditional ruler in their community.
Okoye, who is the President-General of the town union, said the traditional stool had been vacant since 2016 when the former occupant died.
He alleged that the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matter had been hobnobbing with an unpopular candidate in the election with a view to imposing him on them.
“We want the state government to come and conduct the election using option A4.We are ready to support anybody who wins but we do not want imposition.”
“Our community is in trouble. There is high rate of crime because we do not have a traditional ruler.”
“We want the governor to call the commissioner to order and for him to come and conduct the election.”
A chieftain of the community, Chief Okwudiri Agbo, said their kindred had over the years suffered all manner of injustice in their community.
“My people make up 19 out of the 30 kindreds in our community. Yet we are vilified and regarded as slaves.”
“I have never seen where the minority rules over the majority in a democratic setup”
Agbo alleged that the state commissioner had conspired with their traducers to cause tension in their community.