Thursday, 21 January 2016

How Neglect Of Culture And Tradition Causes Untimely Death



It is no more news that the once revered Igbo culture and Tradition is dwindling on daily basis. In the same vein, its people seemed to be dying like fowls. As a result, news48hrs.com CEO/Editor, Okechukwu Onuegbu encountered one of the respected traditionalists in Nteje, Oyi Local Government Area of Anambra state, who doubles as the Chairman of Umuazu village, Chief Lawrence Anyakorah in an exclusive interview during which he said that neglect of culture and tradition causes untimely death. The excerpt:

What is actually your specialty in traditional Practices?

My name is Traditional Doctor Lawrence Anyakorah (Chief). I use herbs to save life. I believed in the tradition as in the days of our ancestors. I heal sicknesses and diseases using herbs and spirituality. I fight spiritual battles of any realm, and restore any damaged things.
 I specialized in soothsaying, healing of all sorts of diseases and sickness especially the “Man-made ones”, everything connected to spiritual problems including business and witchcraft. Right now, there is a herbal medicine prepared from this herbal home called Otimgbodogbo which cure various diseases, sickness and prevents manifestations of witchcraft in all areas of live endeavours.

Chief, as a reputable traditionalist, what do think are the causes of premature death ravaging this generation?

Many things cause premature death but the most prominent among them include the negligence of our tradition and culture. People do not regard their tradition (Odibe ndi). Many things have been completely mixed up all in the name of foreign culture called Christianity. Majority who indulges in all sorts of evil act runs into the church, hoping to be protected while continue with their evil act. Can you image someone after stealing, confiscating communal property, having sexual intercourse with somebody's wife, receiving bribe and giving false witness, among others, run into the church for confession instead of restitution, could forgiveness be obtained in such manner?  Even you as a journalist, if you receive bribe and tarnish someone's image, there is a harsh consequence that follows it.
          Somebody can do all these things I mentioned and run into the church because; church absorbed such while tradition can give you instant judgment if you refused to do the right things. Just a tip of iceberg, how can someone confess to another person after stealing from you?
          Also, our ancestors consulted and dedicated their families to different deities for different reasons, ranging from protection against external aggressors, accumulation of wealth, procreations, leadership, among others. Remember, all these consultation and dedication was with sacrifices and reciprocating vows. Now in such families, generation has come and gone but the vows, which might be done with blood, remains alive. Today, in such families, pastors, Revered fathers, born again Christian, church workers, even the once claiming to be orthodox were born and those reciprocating vows were broken. What do you thinks that will be the consequences of such act, - premature death, hardship, barrenness, rise and fall, etc.
          To complicate the issues, some clergies dabbled into many homes, destroy their shrines without the fundamental knowledge of its establishment, the reaction becomes sudden death. Majority of homes has neglected soothsaying (Afa), embanks on modern divination baptized as vision. What a mess. It is tantamount to higgledy-piggledy on tradition and culture.

What then are the remedy to these things?

Let us start somewhere, which is to return to our heritage. Whether you like it or not, even the white people, I mean our colonial masters know that Africa has the best religion in the whole world. We are losing the track. Africa religion especially, the IGBO detest bloodshed and other inhuman treatment. You see, our colonial masters have deceived us; they took all our shrines, instead of destroy it here took it to their place. Watch their lives, development, and ours, your common sense can tell you the truth. They knew that with our tradition and culture intact, we could become world power. Therefore, my dear, my candid advice is for all to go back to tradition, it is our heritage and our source of live and prosperity.

Chief, many people believed that it is wrong to worship fabricated image just like the ones in your altar here instead of God, why then do you have them here?

As a journalist, is your pen your sense? The answer is no. likewise, the images you are seeing are not the power of tradition, and the purpose is to boost our faith, as other foreign cultures do. Let me educate you on the common thing about uses of statue in our tradition and foreign religion. Majority of church that uses tradition modernized tradition. If you investigate their origin, you will be shocked to discover that their principles and creed were generated from tradition and culture of a particular continent of empire. For instance, Church of England (Anglican Church) follows diligently the norms and tradition of England; Roman catholic (Catholic Church) observes the customs and tradition of Roman Empire including the use of image to boost their faith as traditionalists do. Christ received power from the water before starting up his ministry, likewise, traditionalist do go to water for same power because even Christ said, “You will do what I have done even more”. Watch carefully at the feet of Mary's statue, you will notice that there is serpent there, which is the same as what you are seeing here in my shrine.
What is your advice, especially to the youth concern traditions?
Youths should engage themselves in any meaningful productive activities because opportunities meet someone at his/her duty post. They should also try to immerse in tradition because there is live and prosperity in it. I was embarrassed the other when a young man was given a traditional chalk (Nzu) to pray, he first observed the sign of the cross (akara nke obe), it was a ridiculous to the tradition.

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