I. THE BRIDE-PRICE LAW
The Bride-price Law of Eastern
Nigeria 1956 also set the Marriageable Age at 16 years of age. It also fixed
the amount of money to be paid as bride-price. The people did not like this Law and ignored
it because they like to bargain for the bride-price as if for a commodity or
II. PROHIBITION OF
CHILDHOOD MARRIAGE LAW
Prohibition of Childhood Marriage Law prohibits Childhood Marriage in Nigeria. Because this Law is totally
ignored by both the parents and the men who want to betroth young girls,
Childhood Marriage is still condoned, not only in Igbo land but in the whole of
Nigeria, in this day and age. But to make
a very bad case worse, Nigerian Family Law regards any girl who is said to be
“married”, no matter her age, as an adult. This is regardless of the fact that
the age for adult suffrage or the right to vote in Nigeria is 18 years. See 136. The Legal
Status of Women In Nigeria by Bisi Olateru-Olagbegi and Biola Akiyode-Afolabi (Bisi
Olateru-Olagbegi, WILDAF Nigeria National Co-ordinator, & Biola
Akiyode Afolabi, Executive Director WARDC.
Most of the young girls betrothed this way become pregnant
at the very onset of their puberty, and are left to carry the pregnancies.
Above all, they are left to bear the babies without proper medical attention
and without Caesarean Section.
On account of child marriage, many of such girls and their
babies die from fistulas and other complications. This is a measure of the
callousness with which the men who are said to have married them and the
society treat these young girls. That the Igbo allow the practice of Childhood
Marriage to go on when the girls are not physically and biologically developed
for procreation is a crime committed against Igbo women and against humanity.
Here The Aka Ikenga Ndi Igbo and the Oha Na Eze Ndi Igbo should show their
relevance in Igbo land, Igbo culture and Igbo civilization by seeing to it that
these Laws are obeyed.
PROHIBITING OSU AND ORU CASTE SYSTEM AND THEIR STIGMA
The Osu and Oru caste system is found mostly in the
Southeastern and South-central Nigeria called Igboland or Igbo society. This affects women very
much in that it is a descent-based discrimination which seriously affects the
choice of partners for marriage. It is similar to that faced by the Dalit of
India, Nepal and Sri Lanka, the Burakumin of Japan,
minorities in the US, Apartheid in South Africa (before 1994) and the color-caste
system in Guyana. There are many versions of oral
history (and little information) on the origins of the Osu and Oru caste system
in Igboland. The paucity of information in this area is, in part, due to the
fact that some people erroneously believe that one cannot change the attitude
of the society toward the Osu and Oru system, and on another part, because the
issue is not politically palatable. In other words, nobody wants to be
associated with it for fear of being ostracized by their community (Isaiah Ilo
1992; Obi 1994; Dike 2003).
The Osu is a person sacrificed or dedicated to the gods in
the Igbo community to appease the gods. Thus, an Osu and Oru is a sacrificial
lamb (except that they are not slaughtered; they are kept for service to the
deity). (Anoka 1991; Dike 1999, August 8-12, 2002, & 2002), a child, slave
or property of a god or a deity (Obi 1994). However, in Chinua Achebe’s popular
Things Fall Apart, the plights of an Osu and Oru (an outcast) in Igboland are
vividly and pitifully portrayed. He notes that an Osu and Oru is: a person
dedicated to a god, a thing set apart - a taboo forever, and his children after
him. He could neither marry nor be married by the freeborn. He was in fact an
outcast, living in a special area of the village, close to the Great
The Osu and Oru Caste System affects the man as well as
the woman equally in the society. This is the major reason why Ndi Igbo make
extensive inquiries about the young man or young woman and their families,
initially, before ever any negotiations for marriage is undertaken. If any
links to the Osu and Oru Caste is found, even remotely, the idea of marriage is
called off completely. But if the man and woman concerned would decide to go
ahead with it, they would be doing so completely at their own risk. The risks
in such cases is ostracism by the non-Osu and non-Oru families and kindred.
Even though a free-born, he and she and their descendants, would become Osu and
Oru wholly and entirely by that marriage. Some of such people either do not marry,
or they marry people of the same caste.
Some young men are known to have committed suicide on
account of the stigma, which status can be acquired by Birth, Marriage and
Inheritance. The act of discrimination violates people’s human rights by
dehumanizing them through the practices of discrimination and segregation. Certain
parts of Igbo land, such as those of the Mid-West, do not have the Osu and Oru
The Law passed in 1956 by the Eastern Nigeria Government
has been neglected and disregarded. The Law Enforcement Agencies operators are
themselves afraid of becoming tinted with the caste system and therefore, steer
clear of it. It becomes a question of: Who will bell the cat? This means that
the people affected and the society in general are not being protected by the
rule of law. The challenge of finding ways and means for eradicating the Osu
and Oru caste system and their stigma is another one that is starring the Aka
Ikenga Ndi Igbo and the Oha Na Eze Ndi Igbo starkly in the face.
IV. LAW PROHIBITING
FEMALE GENITAL CIRCUMCISION
This Law which was passed by the Federal Government in 2002
prohibits Female Genital Circumcision. There is no earthly reason why the
girl-child should be circumcised in Igbo land or anywhere. The practice is
carried on only for the reason of the self-aggrandizement of men; for the
sadistic reasons of curbing the sexual appetites of women; and from keeping
them from imagined promiscuousness. I wonder how the excessive sexual appetites
of men, Igbo men inclusive, and their promiscuousness are curbed? Do women
become promiscuous or prostitute by themselves or with themselves? Is it not
obvious, as Ndi Igbo say, that wherever a Masquerade is talking that there is a
human being (a man) there?
This only goes to say that wherever there is a promiscuous
or prostitute woman, that there are men there also! Igbo men should, therefore,
stop piling all their faults on the girl-child and women and oppressing them
for those reasons. Female Genital Circumcision or Female Genital Cutting or
Mutilation, as it is described sometimes, comes in about four different forms.
To say the least, female circumcision in whichever form is wicked; sadistic;
unsympathetic; non-empathetic; non-compassionate; oppressive, suppressive and a crime against
womanhood and humanity, which should be stopped with immediate effect. This should
be done, if for no other reasons, for the fact that it is deadly in the
child-bearing life of such women; and also in obedience to the Federal Law
prohibiting and abrogating the practice in Nigeria. Period!
This is another wide-spread practice in Igbo land, which
should be stopped with immediate alacrity, to borrow a leaf from Zebrudaya,
Okoroigwe Nwogbo, alias 4:30. Why should a woman be made to suffer so much and
some die as a result of such punishments, because she lost her husband by
death? This is a time when she deserves much sympathy and empathy and
co-operation. But men are not made to suffer like that when their wives die.
Why should it be assumed that the woman killed her husband, while the same
assumption is not extended to men when their wives die? Why should it be
assumed that a woman would want to kill the man she married, and with whom she
has children and is building a family and home, and the same suspicion is never
extended to men when their wives die?
Some of such acts of punishments and atrocities committed
on widows include:
making the woman drink some of the water used in bathing
the body of her dead husband;
sit on the bare floor or, at best, on a straw-mat or
sit in a position where she would be looking at the body
of her husband laid in state, overnight, until it is taken away for burial;
not to sleep on a bed throughout the mourning period of
six months to one year;
shave off her hair, wear rags, eat, drink and bathe in
eat and drink and bather only from old and broken vessels;
not to eat from food items provided for her husband’s
to accept a substitute husband, if still of child-bearing
age, and not to become pregnant otherwise, during the period of mourning;
not to look out to see what is going on for the funeral
ceremonies of her husband;
not to talk aloud or travel beyond a certain distance
during the mourning period;
to know that her own monies and properties belong to her
to hands-off all monies, moveable and immovable properties
of hers and her husband’s; The woman, if
she unfortunately does not have a child, is sent away as soon as her husband
breathes last. Some of such women are not even allowed to participate in the
funeral of their husbands.
If the woman has only girl-children and does not have a
male child, she could be allowed to stay in the worst type of shelter, and at
the pain of losing all the family possessions;
she would also be starving with her daughters; there is also
the danger of
having her daughters married away very young, with or
without her or their consent.
SILENCE BY MEN: A
CONSPIRACY AND CONNIVANCE
These discriminatory practices are not applied to men at
all. In fact men have it very easy. They have a field-day. Some men have
actually confessed of spotting their subsequent wives from among the girls who
came to sympathize with them on their bereavement of their wives. The men also
have a choice as to what to do to mourn their wives, if any. They are even comforted
for losing their wives and are pampered by the same Umuokpu ma obu Umuada who punish the widows. I know that the retort
to this statement would be that it is the Umuokpu ma obu Umuada who perpetrate those atrocities on their fellow
women. But that is not altogether true, because men are behind the Umuokpu ma obu Umuada who carry on the
practices, even if by remote control. After all, the Umuokpu ma obu Umuada are
the kindred-sisters of the men – dead and living. Therefore, the kindred
brothers use their kindred sisters as willing tools to carry out their
nefarious acts of violence on their wives and widows.
Besides, the silence of men in these circumstances means
connivance. After all, it is men who are being mourned. If the living men do
not like what was happening to the wives of their dead relations and friends,
they should have protested and spoken out, loud and clear. Ndi Igwe, Ndi Igwe-na-Ndi Ichie, and the Town Unions should
abrogate these practices and call the Umuokpu
ma obu Umuada to order at attention. These local and cultural legislative
bodies should do this. They can do it. To say that they cannot is, again, a
ruse, a deception and the passing of the buck! Ndi Igbo have a saying that: Nwam akalia-m bu aghugho, that is to say
that: the expression that my child is beyond my control is a trick or a
connivance! I am not looking forward only to the State Governments of Igbo land
to enact the laws prohibiting Punitive Widowhood Practices, but I lay the onus
for the practices on the men, and the responsibility to persuade Ndi Igbo to
obey the existing laws and to have new and progressive ones enacted, on Aka Ikenga Ndi Igbo na Oha Na Eze Ndi Igbo to
abrogate these and other such obnoxious practices in Igbo land, and really make
it happen and work. Some States, like Enugu State, have already enacted the
progressive law, and they are, hereby, congratulated. Let the other States of
Igbo land follow suit and place themselves squarely on the path of the
emancipation of women.
OF WIVES AND DAUGHTERS IN IGBO CULTURE
The Disinheritance of the Girl-child And Women In Igbo
Culture is, in effect, the disinheritance of Daughters and Wives, who are the
very people that should be considered first. The case against the Omenana of disinheriting daughters and
wives, more so widows in Igbo Culture, cannot be more succinctly put than by Justice
Niki Tobi, in his lead judgment in the Anambra State Appellate Court, on 10th
This was when he showed a change of heart and leadership, by taking the bull by
the horns. He came up with a pioneer and landmark decision, in the Mojekwu vs Mojekwu Case, in the Nnewi Oli-Ekpe Appeal Case, appealed
from the lower Court. In the judgment, which was clearly in favor of the
girl-child and women, he wrote:
“All human beings – male and
female - are born freely, without any inhibition on grounds of sex; and that is
constitutional. Any form of societal
discrimination on ground of sex, apart from being unconstitutional, is
antithetic to a civil society built on the tenets of democracy, which we have
freely chosen as a people. We need not travel all the way to Beijing to know
that some of our customs, including the Nnewi
“Oli-Ekpe” custom, relied upon by
the appellant, are not consistent with
our civilized world in which we all live today, including the appellant. In my humble view, it is the monopoly of God
to determine the sex of a baby and not the parents. Although the scientific world disagrees with
the divine truth, I believe that God, the Creator of human beings, is also the
final authority of who should be male or female. Accordingly, for a customary law to
discriminate against a particular sex is to say the least an affront to the
Almighty God Himself. Let nobody do such
a thing. On my part, I have no
difficulty in holding that “Oli-Ekpe”
custom of Nnewi is repugnant to
natural justice, equity and good conscience”.
The judgment has been acclaimed
everywhere as a landmark decision. Some other such judgments followed. See Law
And Practice Relating to Women’s Inheritance Rights In Nigeria: An Overview by
Joy Ezeilo, University of Nigeria Nsukka, Enugu Campus.
APPLICATION OF THE
REPUGNANCY TEST CLAUSE
British colonials saw the oppressive ways of the Customary and Traditional Practices,
and instituted the Repugnancy Test Clause, as part of the Nigerian Legal System
in 1900. It provides for the overriding of any Customary and Traditional Law
and Practice in the Courts if it is in conflict with natural justice and
equity. Also Customary and Traditional Law should be overridden if they were in
conflict with the written and official law, and the rights of women and
children. Unfortunately, the Test Clause was left by the Law Courts and Law
Enforcement Agencies to lie dormant for one whole century until Justice Niki
Tobi’s landmark Decision in 1997, and just before it was re-introduced in the
1999 Constitution. The Repugnancy Test Clause, of course, applies only to cases
appealed from the lower Courts to the higher Courts.
COURT DECISIONS: THE
should learn to take the matters that concern them to the Courts, and refuse
any kind of pressure to withdraw the matter from the Court for adjudication at
home. This is because any kind of adjudication out of Court would be according
to Omenana, by the Elders and the Umuokpu ma obu Umuada. Women should seek
for bloodless and discrimination-free revolution in decisions in matters
concerning them. The spirit of the new bloodless revolutionary initiatives for
women emancipation always should be for women to take matters concerning them
to the Courts of Justice everywhere in Igbo land and in Nigeria. Many more of
such favourable decisions by Justice Niki Tobi have followed and, in all of the
cases, the judges denounced such disinheritance practices as repugnant to
natural justice, equity and good conscience.
WAR AGAINST TRAFFICKING
OF CHILDREN AT HOME AND ABROAD
The fanning out of children locally as house help by their
parents, through middle-men, has escalated to children being collected from
their parents and guardians, kidnapped, bought, sold and indentured at home or
shipped abroad for trafficking as domestic and menial job workers or for
prostitution. It is at very young ages
that some children of poor parents are let out to wealthier families in the
villages and especially in urban areas, as baby-sitters and house-helps. It
would be alright if these children were given work they could do and treated as
children. But that is not the case. The moment they got into the new homes,
most of the women they came to live with totally forget that they were infants,
invariably younger than their own children, and treat them as grown-up servants.
In fact, some women treat them almost as slaves: with little clothing, little
food, which is also less nourishing than what they feed to their own children.
These children are let to go to sleep late and are awakened very early to start
with the chores. They receive little or no physical or medical attention, even
when they were sick. All this for a little money paid to the parents annually,
for one or two years of service, renewable at the pleasure of the parents or
the middleman. The economic barrenness and misery in the country has worsened
The children start as house-helps and, later, in most
cases, the girls stay home minding the babies and/or working with the madam of
the house in whatever she does while the boys go for apprenticeship training in
one trade or the other - carpentry, welding, motor mechanic, air-conditioning, commodity
trading, hawking goods, etc. The girls could also be apprenticed for sewing,
dressmaking and designing, hairdressing, bakery, typing and shorthand as well
as in hawking goods, etc. Some of the girls are also lured into prostitution. Only
in very few cases are these children sent to school at all or allowed to go
beyond primary school.
Last year 2004, a man suspected of trafficking in child
labour was arrested with 97 children in Southeast Nigeria, Police informed. The
man was intercepted with the children, aged between 12 and 17, in a lorry at
Awka in Nigeria’s Southeast Anambra State on their way to the commercial
capital Lagos. He intended to sell the children to neighbouring West African
countries. The children told the police that they were conveyed from Ozara,
Ebonyi State to Lagos enroute Benin Republic and Cote d’Ivoire to work as
house-help and other menial jobs. The driver was being interrogated and would
soon be charged in court. This, not being an isolated case, Mr. Allan Little,
BBC Correspondent for Nigeria, had written in BBC World News Edition, about:
“Nigeria’s Respectable Slave Trade, in which both the Government and the
Society look the other way”.
The latest was a story in the Vanguard Online of Saturday,
19th March 2005, captioned: Container kids: 10 suspects arraigned.
The Report is that:
Ten suspects, eight of them women, were yesterday
arraigned at Igbosere Chief Magistrate Court for alleged involvement in
trafficking more than 50 children but charges against them were not formally
read out due to their counsel’s objection, court officials said.
When the first suspect, Fatimah Ibrahim, 30, was called so
that the charges could be put to her, their lawyer, Ajiya Ebenezer Ganjuwa,
objected and challenged the jurisdiction of the magistrate’s court to hear the
Ganjuwa also argued that the court could not make a remand
order because that would be tantamount to preferring a holden charge against
the suspect and “a holden charge is not known to the Nigerian law.”
On the charge sheet, Ibrahim’s alleged offence read that
“she unlawfully procured from their (children’s) parents for the purpose of
trafficking... thereby committing an offence punishable” under the legislation
The other nine suspects in court yesterday were Hawawu
Issah, 20, Aisha Shaba, 25, Aishat Ibrahim, 20, Fatima Baba, 30, Tunde Lawal,
45, Kamoli Yakubu, 27, Fatimo Shaba, 20, Aisat Ibrahim 20, and Zainab
A police surveillance team last March 5 intercepted a
truck in Amukoko district of Lagos and found 64 people, including 52 children,
aged between one and 14, stowed away in the container normally used for
carrying frozen fish, police officials said.
All the 64 occupants of the truck, including a woman
suspected to be the main suspect, the driver of the truck and his conductor
were held in the office of the federal police’s criminal investigation
department, Alagbon, Lagos, pending conclusion of investigations”.
The police prosecutor, Goodluck Adanlawo, yesterday argued
in court that under the Criminal Procedure Act of Lagos State, a magistrate
(lower) court had power to order the remand of anybody brought before it for
allegedly committing an indictable offence, such as child trafficking.
Judge I.O. Adelaja adjourned her ruling till Monday on the challenge to the
jurisdiction of her court to hear the case.
“In order to assist these children to get
immediate welfare needs, France has decided to grant 30,000 euros for the
clothing, feeding, first aid kits and transportation of the victims back to their
families,” French Ambassador to Nigeria Yves Gaudeul said, when he handed over a cheque of 30,000 euros
to officials of the state-run National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in
“Let me express
my deep disgust on this horrible event. French people, who saw on TV the
reports, have been really shocked by what the criminals have done to these
children,” the French ambassador said." France strongly condemns such practices. France is determined to continue to give its support in
the fight against human trafficking. We have to pursue our endeavour against
the roots of human trafficking in order to eradicate this scourge,” he said.
If these are some of the signs of the end times that
Christians talk about, I do not know. But it is outrageous that women, who are
mothers or would-be mothers themselves, are involved in this sordid criminal
act. It would also appear that the Governments of other countries are outraged,
except that of Nigeria. It would also appear that these
cases of trafficking of children are too much for the Governments – Federal,
State and Local- to handle. I believe that the time has come for the
organizations of Ndi Igbo and the general citizenry to take interest and take
charge at the grassroots to assist Government. After all, these children are
kidnapped and taken away from our homes, neighbourhoods and localities to earn
“blood money”. If these numbers of children are carted away from Igbo land and
elsewhere in Nigeria ever so often, where is the hope
for the survival of the people for tomorrow?
The fanning out of their children by parents and
guardians; the collecting, kidnapping, buying and selling of children by
predators at home and abroad for menial domestic and other jobs and for sex
trade and prostitution, the dehumanization of the children and deprivation to
them of purposeful lives, has got to stop. This is probably the greatest
challenge facing the Aka Ikenga Ndi Igbo na Oha Na Eze Ndi Igbo Organizations,
as well as the other ethnic nationalities NOW!
DISCRIMINATIONS, ABUSES AND VIOLENCE
AGAINST WOMEN AND CHILDREN: AN AFFRONT TO GOD
Igbo men and the Christian Church should stop the affront
to God by discriminating, abusing, segregating, and suppressing women who also are
created in God’s own image as themselves. See the Story of Creation in Genesis
One, which activity preceded the story in Genesis Two, which is really an
after-thought. The story in Genesis Two should not have any relevance at all,
without the first and original story in Genesis One cancelled. However, there
is no record anywhere that the first Story of the Creation of human beings, Man
and Woman in God’s Own Image, was ever cancelled or abrogated by God.
If the second story should have any relevance at all, does
it mean that two women were created, one in each story, while only one man was
created, and who was featured in the two stories? It is the story in Genesis
Two that Christian men - Christian leaders and Church hierarchies - prefer and
that is the one they push to the fore, read and quote in the Churches, That is
the one they rely on to oppress and subjugate women. However, all we know is
that, as Christian women recapitulate in one of the Choruses they sing at
funerals, it is: “Adam ebuteli anyi onwu!
Obu mmehie Adam! Adam egbu-go-kwa-ni-anyi-o! Obu mmehie Adam! (Adam has
brought us death! It is the transgressions of Adam! Adam bas killed us! It is
the sins of Adam!
They should also stop the affront to God by bringing
violence on children, oppressing and suppressing them and depriving them of
proper childhood and growing up slowly as they should in the care and nurture
of their proper parents and guardians. After all, God gave them to parents to
care for, nurture and bring up in the love and fear of Him.
See the Gospel according to St. John 20: 1-18. Prejudices against women
in Jewish culture and under the Roman Government extended to the Church
hierarchies by their suppressing the stories of the presence and roles of women
as Disciples of Jesus. They also minimized the relevance and importance of the
fact that it was a woman, the most outstanding one among them, who they have
branded a prostitute, that saw two Angels in The Tomb after Christ had risen;
and that it was to her that the Risen Christ showed Himself first; that it was
she that the Risen Lord made His Emissary, whom He sent to go tell the cowardly
and cowering Men Disciples, in their hiding place, that He had risen; and that
he would meet them in their hiding place in Galilee. The hiding place was the
Upper Room, which was the Room of the Last Supper. Though Peter ran to the Tomb
with John and other Disciples when they heard the Good News, yet the Risen Lord
did not let them, not even Peter, see Him until He met them in their hiding
The facts that there were women among the number that were
present at the ascension; who received the flame of the Holy Spirit at
Pentecost in the Upper Room; and among the three thousand that were baptized by
Peter afterwards. Therefore, women were very much in the stream of grace. But
all these were suppressed and obliterated from the Scriptures.
The Upper Room is the Room of the Last Supper. The Holy
Men of God, in their spotless white, crimson red and purple robes and golden
crowns, were very busy celebrating the Last Supper and baptizing believers
without women, as well as in suppressing women in every other way, while the
Upper Room was taken by Moslems. All the Crusades of the Middle Ages, which
they deny included women, could not secure the Upper Room for Christians. It is
still in the hands and control of Moslems to this day, while the Holy Men of
God are busy suppressing women!
If it had been to a man that the Risen Christ showed
Himself first, only God knows that women would not be allowed into the Churches
at all by men. The story of the appearance of the Risen Christ first to a woman
could not be obliterate or suppressed by the Holy Church Men leaders and
hierarchies. Thereafter, the presence and activities of women were obliterated
from the Scriptures by the early Roman Church. They have edited the Scriptures
out of its originality, have continued to do so, resulting in what we know now
as the Bible. They have also continued to tell incomplete Bible stories and to
give wrong interpretations to the Scriptures.
To cap it all up, Saul of Tarsus, who received a dramatic
and miraculous conversion, and become St. Paul afterwards, instituted his own
Gospel while playing up to the galleries of the Jewish and Roman Authorities.
He said and wrote more to damage the existence of women and their image as
human beings, who are also created by God in His own Image, in Jesus’ own
For instance, in One Corinthians 14: 34ff, he wrote:
Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not
permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as
also saith the law.
And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their
husbands at home; for it is a shame for a woman to speak in the church. That
anybody who ignores his word will be ignored. (There was no mention of the
situation where women are not married or do not have husbands or no longer have
husbands. He did not also say who will ignore the people who ignore his words).
And in I Corinthians 11: 4ff, he wrote that:
Any man who prays or prophesies with his head covered
dishonours his head
A woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered
dishonours her head.
A man is the image of God.
A woman is the glory of man.
Woman is created for man.
For this reason, a woman ought to have a sign of authority
on her head.
The sign of authority is her hair or hair covering.
In the Lord, woman is not independent.
Woman came from man, and man is born of woman.
Long hair is a curse on a man.
Long hair is a glory to woman.
St. Paul forbade women to show their hair,
which he said is their glory, in Church. That is why women of Nigeria, especially Igbo women are
condemned to wearing head-ties on their heads, in the Church and elsewhere, at
all times. This drudgery is also extended to little girls by overzealous and
misguided Church Wardens and Ushers. The covering of hair has also been extended
to women in the Courts in Nigeria. According to St. Paul, the sign of the authority of men
over women is her long hair and the covering of her hair. The only saving grace
is that, in Igbo culture, as indeed in all the ethnic groups of Nigeria, women have come to regard long
hair as a way of beautification of themselves. Head-ties have also come to be
regarded as part of their outfits.
The foregoing are the portions of the scriptures commonly
read in the Churches and preached with on ceremonial occasions, especially at
the ones that concern women the most, such as on Mothering Sundays.
But when the same St. Paul had another dramatic and
miraculous conversion, which brought him to a change of heart and new
statements, such as the one in Galatians 3: 26-29 thus:
“For in Christ
Jesus you are all children of God through faith
As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed
yourselves with Christ
There is no longer Jew or Greek; there is no longer slave
There is no longer male or female; for all of you are one
in Christ Jesus
And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s
offspring, heirs according to the promise, it does not seem to have any meaning
or effect on most of the Holy Christian Churchmen and the Church hierarchies,
who ignore it, while considering the appropriateness of priestly ordination of
And the other pronouncement is in his Epistle to the
Philippians 4:8-9, St. Paul stated thus:
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever
things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure,
whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be
any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Most of the Holy
Churchmen, leaders and hierarchies did
not take it from him or believe him.
Also when James, the brother of Jesus, was eventually
converted and believed in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, he wrote in his Epistle
to all the Jews scattered all over the world, in James 1: 27 thus: Pure
religion and undefiled before God is this: To visit the fatherless and widows
in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world, the Holy
Churchmen and Church hierarchies did not also take it from him or believe him.
Rather, right before their eyes and under their noses and in their charges,
widows are being oppressed and punished, and orphans are neglected and abused,
children kidnapped and sold into slavery without the Holy Men of God running to
ORIGINS OF DISCRIMINATORY
PRACTICES AGAINST WOMEN AND CHILDREN IN IGBO CULTURE: UNKNOWN!
It is not known when the oppression and subjection of
women and children in Igbo Culture started because there was no written record.
But it would do the Nation of Ndi Igbo and Christianity a world of good if they
would stop oppressing and suppressing women – their mothers, sisters, wives, and
daughters. It would also create new life in them if they would stop
disrespecting and segregating women for the reason of their monthly cycles of
Menstruation. If for no other reason, for the fact that it is the one single
reason why women should be respected and honoured for, without it, humankind
would simply be extinct.
Besides, a woman’s menstruation is not any dirtier or more
sordid than a man’s daily production and spilling of semen. Women are hygienic
with their own biological discharges but men are not. For the woman it is a
four-day lunar-monthly cycle only for the child-bearing period of her life. If
biological discharges are a curse, for a man it is a daily occurrence as long
as he lives. Now, which is a greater curse that demands discrimination,
segregation and cleanliness? In this regard of biological discharges, women
have been treated by men as a dog, given a bad name by men, and have been hung
by men, in the Omenana practices as well as in the Christian Church, with No One to run to their
AN APOLOGY OR A CONFESSION
BY THE POPE TO WOMEN?
The damage to the Church, the Scriptures and women done by
the Roman Church by the resolutions of the Council of Trent 1545-1564,
especially those of the third Session, which could not be amended even by the
subsequent Councils, and which were affirmed by Pope John XXlll, in its entirety,
at the beginning of Vatican II and signed by all the Bishops, cannot be shoved
aside by the present Pope with a wave of the hand and his simplest apology of
But if the Biblical errors of omission were to be
rectified, and the injunctions in the New Testament in favor of women, widows
and orphans acknowledged and implemented, only such an action would give
relevance to the apology of the Pope in the year 2000 to women for the
responsibility of the Roman Catholic Church in the suppression, oppression and
the deprivation of women of their human rights. So far what we have heard is
only a confession of wrong-doing. The much needed restitution to give body and
meaning to the ap0logy for the oppression, suppression, subjugation and
deprivation of women is still, conspicuously, absent. Otherwise, the apology is
meaningless. Only such an action as suggested would, no doubt, restore dignity
and respect to women in every nation and culture.
Only such a change of heart and policy by Christian men
and the Church hierarchies will save women from facing the stone wall and
kicking against it and against the pricks, to which they have been condemned
for ages. This is in their efforts to gain recognition and a respectable place
alongside men in the Church of Jesus Christ and elsewhere in God’s world. The
subjugation of women was neither the intention of God, the Almighty Creator at
the Creation, nor of Jesus the Christ in His life, ministry and resurrection.
But it has been the purpose of His Holy Men Servants, who claim to represent
Him, but who are very arrogant, selfish and chauvinistic in their disobedience
to His Will and Purpose for women!