Nigerian man seeks asylum in Republic of Ireland over crude traditional practices 

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Asylum

A promising Nigerian man is currently seeking an asylum in the Republic of Ireland over an alleged traditional practices in his home town that go against his religious belief and that of his immediate family.

 

According to a WhatsApp call to our reporter, the victim, Mr Chijioke Michael Nnanna, from Obunulo Ngodo, Isuochi, in Abia State, said his troubles started when he came back to his home town, Isuochi, to pay for the bride price of his wife to be. 

He said that on the night of his coming home for the traditional bride price ceremony of his wife to be, some youths in his village nearly circumcised him forcefully, and also initiate him into some barbaric practices that are against his religious belief, but for the intervention of a well-known pastor in in the locality, whom he got to know through an elderly widower. 

South East zone of Nigeria is replete with some obscure traditional practices that are harmful not only to individuals but as well to the development of the region.

Forceful circumcision is part of such bad traditional practices, which, if not fully initiated one wouldn’t be allowed to get married or benefit from other cultural activities. 

According to Mr Chijioke Nnanna, he was not circumcised by his parents when he was born. This may be connected to the strong Christian background he was raised with, as his mother was strong born again Christian and a head of women meeting in church. 

“But for not being circumcised by my parents, many threats that include stoning and forceful circumcision, were heaped on my mother, as she was solely blamed for not allowing me to go through the ritual of circumcision, as the customs and traditions of our villages demand.  

“These threats to my mother by our kinsmen and other villagers, made her not to visit our village again. 

Chijioke disclosed that things took a different turn in his life, when he was age enough to get married.

“One faithful day, I came to my village to pay for the bride price of my wife to be, (Chiamaka Jessica Chukwu). When my kinsmen learnt that I was around to pay for the bride price, they gathered in my father’s compound and threatened to kill me unless I will perform the traditional circumcision ritual. 

“The most horrifying aspect of the sordid incident is that they even threatened to rape the lady I wanted to marry, and give her to another man to marry, if I didn’t partake in circumcision ritual. This made me to put a stop to the marriage rites, to safe the lady from falling into the hands of these barbarians.

“As they (the villagers and youth) besieged my house with all sorts of weapons including some concoctions I believe would be used to torment my mental well-being, I knew then that if I don’t leave the village by what so ever means, I may not live again to tell the story. 

“Around midnight of the same day, as they still besieged on my house, I made an alternative route within the back wall of our compound, and sneaked out. I ran as my legs could carry me, for over twenty kilometers, before I could reach a neighbouring community, where I sort refuge in the house of widower.”   

Chijioke said that later in the morning, after narrating his ordeal to the widower, who incidentally was a community leader on his own right, he took me to one Reverend gentleman, who also runs an non-governmental organization(NGO). 

According to him, the man of God welcomed him after hearing his pathetic story and promised to help to relocate to another country, as staying in Nigeria will still put his life in danger. 

“My coming in contact with the Pastor was a saving grace in my life, as he had planned to travel to United Kingdom in few weeks’ time in his private jet. He used his contacts to secure papers, which belonged to another man, for me as a travelling documents. These papers were what I used in travelling to Republic of Ireland, on the 16th January, 2024. Arriving at Republic of Ireland, I slept in the street, for I had no place to stay.  

“Thereafter, from the personal enquiries I made, I was told on how to get a taxi to Dublin. From Dublin, I met someone who gave me the address of International Protection Office (IPO), where I arrived on the 17th of January 2024.”

Mr Chijioke pleaded with the federal and state governments in Nigeria, to abolish all the obnoxious laws that seem to take the country backwards. He particularly called on the state governments in the south-eastern part of the country where comes from to take the initiative to stamp out all the retrogressive laws and practices that have contributed to the backwardness of the region.

 

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