Woman fled her community for fear of traditional ritual performance

“Only remedy is to banish herself from the community and never to return otherwise there is no alternative to her excuses”

By Folarin Olajide

A young woman named Mrs. Hannah Nwankwo from a community in Ohaozara L.G.A. named Okposi Ukwu community in Ebonyi State, has fled her home from fear of forceful admittance of traditional rite of passage for female members of the community.

It is said that the people of Okposi Ukwu according to customary rites holds traditional reverence to a deity known as the Mmahi Ezi river goddess . Every female indigene of the community is, by rite of passage into womanhood compelled to swear an oath of allegiance and perform other rituals the young woman considers diabolic and against her Christian faith.

Unfortunately, citing Christianity as her reasons for not bowing to shrines and idols associated with the deity and other performances including a midnight bath in the open space with water laced with concoctions she could not ascertain the source infuriated elders in the community who claimed this is an age long cultural practice that has nothing to do with foreign religious beliefs.
Speaking with a member of the community, an elderly woman who does not want her name in prints, she insisted that Mrs. Nwankwo’s only remedy is to banish herself from the community and never to return otherwise there is no alternative to her excuses.

According to Mrs. Nwankwo’s narration, she thought all has been put to rest since she has made clear her beliefs and position on the matter only to be subjected to all manners of diabolism including threats to life.
In a paper obtained from her lawyers, the woman had submitted statements that describes occasion where she had woken up to see dangerous snakes in numbers crawling around her house unperturbed, other times traditional clay pots containing ritual sacrifices of animal heads, red oil and other sorts of diabolical substances are dropped at her door posts occasionally perhaps to instill fears.

All her efforts to seek help from elders in the community including pastors she claimed to have ran to for deliverance continue to prove abortive.

In an interview she had granted to a local tabloid, she narrated how the incidence has subjected her to continuous psychological trauma so much that she resolved to run away or switch residential communities, perhaps it will deter the scary occurrences.
Unfortunately for her, the only option as advised by family members and elders in the community is to banish herself from the community if she so desires since she claimed to be more religious than the pope.

Speaking to her husband who appears confused in the whole matter, he said, tradition remains but his love for his wife supersedes every other tradition that are mere occasional practices designed by men. “Traditions are set by humans, once it becomes a burden to anyone, I do not see the need for its enforcement, we met in the city and it was only customary to travel to the village to her families to observe and conduct necessary marital rites only to be confronted by these stories of one deity and feminist initiations. I do not buy into such bizarre stories and I have resolved to find my way out of the country if that will keep the strange occurrences that has constituted into psychological threat to my wife.
All efforts to reach the parents of Mrs. Nwankwo to speak on the matter proved futile as they declined to go public in a matter they consider ancient traditions that do not require any foreign interventions. 

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