Ebonyi approves white paper on Egbela cult

Abakaliki, Nigeria - Ebonyi State Government has approved the draft of white paper on the report of the relationship between Ogo/ Egbela cult and other religious groups in the Afikpo local government area.

The state Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Hon. Abia Onyike, said this while briefing newsmen after the state weekly executive council meeting in Abakaliki on Thursday.

The report followed the setting up of a harmonization committee by the state government to find ways for developing religious harmony and peaceful co-existence between Christians and worshippers of traditional religions, especially the Ogo/Egbela Cult in the Old Afikpo Local Government Area.

He said Government accepted that the Ogo/Egbela ceremonies should take place in secluded environments and not in public places just as non -initiates are not expected to enter those secluded areas.

Onyeike said Government approved that adherents or worshippers are forbidden from beating non- initiates or members of other religious bodies neither should they force themselves into their places of worship for any reason.

He said Christians are advised by government not to enter into the “EKO” to pull out any intending initiates if the parents and the initiate himself have consented to the initiation rites.

He said that all religions should use polite words in the propagation of their religions.

Speaking on the development levies and communal labour, the commissioner said the draft white paper directed that religious groups and their members should contribute their shares of levies and participate in environmental cleaning exercises provided that those communal labours or environmental exercises have nothing to do with fetish activities.

The resolutions according to the commissioner condemned the “IKWU OMU” tradition, which it stated, offends the basic rights of the people as provided for in the Nigerian constitution and directed that it should be discontinued.

He explained that white paper explained that parties to social conflicts in the traditional communities should not be coerced against their will, it however, cautioned that the traditional rulership institution being a recognised body should equally be treated with respect and decorum.