A concerned citizen from Enugu State, Mr Okwy Agbo, has called on the state government to intervene in the issue of outcast system and free born in his community.
Agbo, who hails from Obuno Akpugo in Nkanu West Local Government Area of Enugu State, made the call at a news conference on Tuesday in Enugu over the long standing issue of discrimination in Nkanu community.
According to him, the issue has remain a long standing one which has continually fueled discrimination among members of the community.
“In Obuno community, there are 30 kindreds, 12 of the 30 kindreds went and wrote a constitution excluding 18 others, claiming that they were outcast.
“I am not a stranger in my father’s land and so it is out of place for the so called kingmakers who wrote the constitution to recognise 12 communities as free born and 18 seen as outcast,” he said.
He said that some persons had latched onto this development to create disunity and instability in the community.
“The obnoxious constitution is almost in the five major communities of Akpugo because before 1999, Akpugo had five major autonomous communities which Obuno was one of them.
“This constitution has been contested in the court, and there was a judgment that set the same constitution aside saying that it was inhuman.
“One Mr Nwatu and his colleagues who never wanted Akpugo to progress with this story of free born and outcast have kept moving round destroying our image and that of our children before the public.
“The state governor, Mr Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi did something marvelous in Umuode and Oroko community which was commendable,” Agbo said.
“When we contested against the act of practicing obnoxious constitution in the community, the governor said that injustice will never survive in his tenure and we appreciated the governor for the statement.
“We are still hoping that he will do the needful over this issue, as we are very happy with him for inaugurating the committee for Chieftaincy Matters that will facilitate the resolution of the issue.
“We have already written to the Ministry of Chieftaincy Matters that we have a reconciliation meeting with the town union president and the president-general of the community.”
According to him, there is need for all involved to respect the wish of government and the rights of every man for peace and progress to reign in the state.
“The question one will like to ask is, where on earth is this free born and outcast issue still beeing practiced?
“The recent reconciliation meeting convened in our community to resolve this issue, saw some of members of the community who still believe in this age long inhuman act staying away.
“This to a large extent will hinder unity as there will be no true representation of the community in the Igwe’s cabinet,” he said.
Agbo said that the meeting resolved that whoever emerges winner in the proposed election for represenatives in the cabinet would write a people’s friendly constitution that would carry everybody along.
(Editing by Chinyere Nwachukwu/Peter Ejiofor)