The Anambra state government has declared Wednesday, December 28, as the set date for the abolition of the ‘Osu caste system’. The decision was made by major traditional rulers in the south-east. The abolition will reportedly take place at Nri palace.
The Osu Caste system is an ancient practice in the Igboland that discourages social interaction and marriage with a group of persons called the ‘outcasts’ (OSU). Osus are dedicated to the deity (Alusi) of Igboland; they are considered as inferior beings and are usually separated from the Nwadiala or diala (Igbo:real born)
Sally Mbanefo, The State Commissioner for Diaspora Affairs, Indigenous Artwork, Culture and Tourism, wrote to the Celebacy International Initiatives (original initiators of the abolishment campaign) to intimate them of the Anambra State government’s approval.
In her words:
“The ministry of Diaspora Affairs Indigenous Artwork, Culture and Tourism has been inundated with your efforts in raising awareness on the traumatic stigma of Osu/Ohu/Ume caste system. As a ministry, we also commend your selfless and bold commitment to the abolition of this demanding caste system in the land. Consequently, we wish to express our unflinching support for abolishing the scourge of this unfortunate practice in Igboland. We, therefore, have no reservation whatsoever in endorsing your project to abolish the Osu practice”