The oral presentation of an editorial by Umuaka Times on whatsapp broadcast that went viral last week, which focused on the abuse of Oghu culture by the youths, has attracted the attention of Chief Goddy Amadike, the Ogbuluo of Ibele and the President General, Ibele Autonomous Community. In the editorial, Umuaka Times condemned in outright terms, the involvement, conspicuous display of juju and acts capable of inciting public disorder as well as the cult-like attire, and foreign masquerades known as mmanwu brought into the Oghu culture by some Umuaka youths from several villages. The Umuaka Times editorial condemned the open display of weapons such as cutlasses, axes and other dangerous weapons by the youths in question while celebrating the culture. The editorial went further and questioned the whereabouts of Ndi Isi Oghu as this cultural rascality flourished.
In a press statement Chief Amadike authored last week and made a copy available to Umuaka Times, he sadly admitted that “It’s true that our youths have so much abused the Oghu culture,” and went further to lament that the task to correct the wrongs of the culture should not be left for Oghu Elders alone. “And the truth is there’s nothing Ndisiowu alone can do about it without the collaboration of traditional rulers! Gone are the days when masquerades (nwokwa or egudo) only go out with the consent and permission of onyesiowu of that jurisdiction.”
Chief Amadike who was visibly shaking with anger when he met an Umuaka Times reporter last week over this development, went further to disclose other social ills the youths have also imported into the oghu culture. “The other reason & most importantly is because this is a societal issue. As we speak now, the display of fetish/juju practices is no longer done in hidden places. Use of ‘agbara’ to settle even the least misunderstanding amongst brothers, kinsmen, even parents has reached alarming extent. Suddenly this practice has become the order of the day.”
The issue of teenage cultism was another concern Chief Amadike raised in his press statement. “What about the issue of the little boys around town who have virtually constituted themselves to a cult. Have you not seen or heard that sometimes these boys use their little cub motorcycles numbering about 20 or 30 and block traffic as long as they wish, even the police see them and look away.”
Umuaka Times can authoritatively stress that the display of juju, acts suggestive of extreme violence, social disorganization and cultural rascality by the youths in question, really came as a shock to many Akalites, especially those who have businesses in the Ime Afor area. Most of the business men and women in Ime Afor were seen talking and whispering in groups and asking no one in particular if the juju displays by the youths really connoted oghu or mmanwu festivals.
In his conclusion, Chief Amadike who is also the President of PGs (POP), Umuaka & Njaba LGA, promised to seriously intervene into the matter. “I’ll try once more to engage our Ezes to see if together with Ndisiowu we can redeem the Oghu Festival. Otherwise, nsogbu no nwannem!”