…As Archbishop Obinna performs abrogation ceremony
The Catholic Archbishop of Owerri, Most Rev. Anthony Obinna has commended the people of Mbieri in Mbaitoli LGA Imo State for joining other progressive communities in Igboland to abrogate the obnoxious Osu/Ume/Ohu/Diala caste system.
Speaking during the abrogation ceremony held at the playground of Umuagwu Primary School Umuagwu, Mbieri, Saturday August 28, Archbishop Obinna who was the Father of the Day, recalled how he started the crusade against the practice several decades ago and expressed happiness that the seed sowed is growing fast and urged others who are yet to join to hasten up. He later performed the Renunciation and Abrogation ceremony and blessed the people and the land.
The occasion which was organized by the traditional rulers of the seven autonomous communities in Mbieri (namely: Obi Mbieri, Obazu, Ihitte, Amaike, Awo, Ezi and Umueze) with the support of their PGs and the National Human Rights Commission, attracted people from far and near including the clergy from various denominations.
Presenting his welcome address, the Chairman of the occasion, Chief (Dr.) Onyewuchi Asinobi (Mayor Gburugburu of Mbieri), described the occasion as a defining moment for Mbieri people and a culmination of years of battle against an age-long social isolation of certain categories of people due to the entrenchment of unjustified man-made caste system known as Osu/Ohu/Umeh and Diala.
Chief Onyewuchi expressed joy for being part of the move to restore dignity for all Mbieri people who love freedom within and outside the area. He congratulated the people for the landmark achievement in building a far greater future for the living and children unborn.
Traditional rulers from neighbouring communities witnessed the ceremony. They commended the Mbieri people, their traditional rulers and leaders for their vision in abolishing of the obnoxious practice. They included: HRH Eze Matthew Onweni, Eze Dr. Nelson Uzoma Obasi of Dim na Nume, Eze Godwin Eziogu of Umunakam etc.
Earlier, the Central Planning Committee Chairman, Chief Kingsley Asinobi in his address said the event was the culmination of an enormous collective effort which began about five years ago when Ndi Mbieri unanimously decided to get rid of the obnoxious, ungodly, inhuman, barbaric, archaic, uncivilized and dehumanizing practices of Osu, Ume, Ohu and Diala caste systems in Mbieri and Igboland in general.
Sir Asinobi thanked all those who put in their money, time and contacts to ensure that the move was actualized despite challenges and urged ndi Mbieri not to go back to the system.
Earlier in his sermon at the service, the Anglican Bishop of Owerri, Rt. Rev. Chukwuma Oparah, said, “We have come to abolish what our fathers did wrongly.”
Insisting that there is “no more Jew or Gentile,” the prelate charged all Christians in Mbieri land to stand against any power that will rear its head to go back to the old traditions of Osu/Ohu and Ume practice in their community.
Other bishops who participated in the abrogation ceremony included, Rt. Rev. Dr. Uche Nwole, Bishop Stanford Nwogu, Rt. Rev. Chidi Oparaojiaku, Rt. Rev. Blaise Iwuogu etc.
Archbishop Obinna has been involved in the abrogation of the caste system in various communities in Imo State.
In December 2019, he was invited by four communities in Orlu area to lead the abrogation. In April this year, another community in Mbano invited him for the same mission.