3 people in court for using masquerade to banish widow from community
The 53-year-old widow was banished from her community over an allegation that she was a witch.
The trio were on Monday, May 22, 2023, arraigned on five counts for banishing a widow, Nneka Uzor, from the Umunankwo community in the Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra, with a masquerade.
It was gathered that the suspects’ arrest was facilitated by the state’s Commissioner for Women and Social Welfare, Ify Obinabo, in collaboration with Anambra Police Command.
Narrating her ordeal in the office of the Ministry of Women and Social Welfare in Awka, Uzor explained that she started living in her parents’ house in Umunankwo nine years ago after her husband’s death, adding that she has since been met with all kinds of abuse by her brothers and other family members.
Her words, “This particular issue started when someone died in our neighbourhood and like other members of the community, I was invited to the burial which made me sleep over at our family compound, but I was surprised to be called upon around 5:30 am the next morning by my uncle and brothers with masquerades.
“I got dressed and was accompanied by everyone in attendance alongside the masquerade and was marched out of the community with my brothers and other relations warning me never to step foot in Umunankwo again.”
Reacting to the incident, the state’s Commissioner for Women and Social Welfare, promised to get justice for the widow and all Anambra widows going through such ill-treatment.
She further warned residents to desist from any form of harmful traditional practices against widows in the state as such would not be tolerated, stating that the government of Prof. Chukwuma Soludo had zero tolerance for such inhumane acts.
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