- Osu system in Igbo land is a violation of human rights
- This was disclosed by Tony Ojukwu, executive secretary of NHRC
- Ojukwu consequently urged people who practice it to do away with it
Tony Ojukwu, Executive Secretary, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Friday, March 13, said that the “Osu ” caste system was a violation of human rights and therefore illegal.
Ojukwu made this known in Abuja during a scene on a movie series ‘ Silent Prejudice ‘ by a Non- Governmental Organisation( NGO) named Pillars of Hope Africa Initiative (POHAI).
He said the “Osu” Caste system is a system that considers some as free-born and others as slaves.
” It does not allow association between the so-called free borns and the slaves. It does not allow marriages or same market, school or association between them in any way.
” It is therefore degrading and accordingly, the commission thereby declares that Osu caste system is violation of human rights and therefore illegal.
”Any person who continues this has violated the human rights of the citizens, the Osu caste system is therefore declared null and void and unconditional.
”As any such practices are considered a violation of human rights such people should not go unpunished,” he said.
He called on those who practice and encourage such to said all parties involved should regard as a degrading cast system.
Speaking to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN ) Chris Oge- Kalu, producer /director of ‘ Silent Prejudice’ said the aim of POHAI was to bring to the front burner the issue of Osu.
He said that the scene was a public hearing on the Osu caste system which involves NHRC because the issue being treated in the movie was the system as practised in the South- East.
”The issue is a human rights issue and a lot of people shy away from it and pretend that the issue is not there.
“People don’t want to to talk about it, that is why we took the initiative to come to NHRC for we reasoned that by collaborating with the commission, we will pull the bull by the horn”
“What we are doing is an advocacy because the evil that this Osu system presents is much” he said.
He added that the Osu victims are seen as leprosy and that people should not go near to them and that some believe that they have body odour and all sorts of things.
Acting as senators were Femi Fani- Kayode former Minister of Aviation as Uche Kai and former Sen. Dion Melaye, as Ibekwe.
Also in the cast was Dan Nwanyawu former presidential candidate who acted as Chief Odumegwu.
NAN reports that the Osu Caste System is an ancient practice in Igboland that discourages social interaction and marriage with a group of people, referred to as Osu (outcasts).
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had reported that a former military head of state, General Yakubu Gowon (rtd), said that without the Igbos Nigeria as a nation would not be complete and that the absence of the tribe’s hard work and brains would have made the country poorer.
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