It was yet another horrible incident as masquerades ostracized a woman from another community in Anambra State.
The incident, which happened at Umunankwo village in Ogbaru Local Government Area of the state, occurred barely one month after another woman was similarly dehumanized, molested and ostracized in another community in the State.
The recent victim, simply identified as Mrs. Nneka, was banished by two masquerades, accompanied by the villagers and an esoteric wooden gong player who played at intervals during the banishment.
According to a video trending on the social media, Mrs. Nneka was ostracized over an allegation that she ‘poisoned community food’.
A man who ran a commentary on the banishment was heard in the video, accusing the victim of poisoning the food of the community, and vowing that she would never step her foot into the community again throughout her lifetime.
He said, “Today marks the 30th of April, 2023. On this day, Nneka committed an atrocity. She poisoned the food of the community, and she refused to go for amendment.
“On that purpose, masquerades have arose to say a final goodbye to Nneka, to the boundary of no return. Nneka, thou shall not come again, thou shall not come again.
“She committed atrocity, and she has been ostracized. And today marks her last day. She has been ostracized by the masquerade. That’s the masquerade, escorting her to the boundary of no return. And, if you dare come back, whatever you see, you take.”
The unexpected, however, happened as the woman got to a place she said she could no longer continue the trekking due to tiredness, even as she also begged to be allowed to rest, having trekked a long distance already under the sun. Her complaint of tiredness fell deaf ears, as the villagers insisted that she must continue and complete the the journey, while the masquerades (known as Mmụọdisi) also continued to lash out cane on her, compelling her to continue trekking.
The lash-out continued to the point that the victim, Nneka, collapsed and fell on the tarred road.
It was then that the villagers and the masquerades, after muttering some few more words and accusing her of being responsible for her predicament, left her where she fell and turned back.
When contacted for his reaction on the incident, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) for Anambra State Police Command, DSP Ikenga Tochukwu said he didn’t have adequate information about the incident, but promised to contact the villagers to ascertain what actually transpired.
“I will make enquires on the video by contacting the villagers to ascertain what happened. Therefore, given the above, I am
constrained to make further comments, please,” he said.
On her own part, the State Commissioner for Women Affairs, Mrs. Ify Obinabo, who confirmed the incident, also condemned it as inhumane, illegal, and unacceptable.
While noting that her Ministry is on top of the matter and is already making the necessary consultations and enquires; the Commissioner decried the rising cases of molestation and dehumanization in the state now.
She also cited some cases of such dehumanizing acts still being handled by her Ministry, including a case of a widow who was recently forced to drink the water used to bathe corpse, over allegation that she killed the deceased.
“It is wrong, very wrong and unacceptable; you don’t do such rubbish, for the sake of allegation. In this modern world? Are they the law court?
“Seriously, it’s time people stopped taking laws into their hands. It is very wrong and unacceptable to do so,” she said.
This reporter gathered that Mrs. Nneka eventually regained her consciousness after she was abandoned on the lonely road by her banishers who threatened and warned her never to return or step her foot in the community again throughout her lifetime.
By Izunna Okafor, Awka