Traditional rite forces Osifo’s family members to exile

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Two family members are on the run over imposed traditional rite by extended family.

According to Osifo Jennifer, born May 5, 1979, in Benin city, the family had mandated them to join in the tradition their parents are known for or face severe punishment.

Jenifer with her younger brother, Osifo Efe, born February 1984 in Benin city escaped from the family residence in Benin at night when the pressure was unbearable.

In the petition, the chiefs in March this year raised other offences, which include non- performance of traditional rites, harassment with police, among others.

According to  Jennifer, “When our parents died in a car accident some years back, the extended family wanted us to join their secret cult.

“We had pleaded with them to give us some time to think about it as we were Christian, a member of Mountain of Fire in Benin. The family insisted that we join them as our parents therefore their untimely death were Anglican members.

“The family stood their ground and vowed with their lives that we must join the tradition or face punishment.”

She explained further that the extended family threaten them with Voodoo placed at the front of their house occasionally.

“From our self-exile, we constituted a peace committee to pacify the aggrieved subjects and chiefs in May 2019, but his people shunned the committee and insist we vacate the community, “she said.

A community member, who spoke on condition of anonymity with our correspondent, said the crux of the matter was the Osifo’s refusal to perform necessary and important rites and customs, as well as the violation of taboo in the community, which he claimed have been practised for over 400 years.

He said the only condition that could guarantee peace was for the monarch to retrace his step and take up his role as the custodian of the community’s tradition.

“If they accept to participate in this age-long traditional worship, there will be peace. Nobody has said the Osifo’s must not go to Church. They can worship God, but they must make themselves available whenever the need arises to perform certain ritual for the town’s progress and development,” he said

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