The Traditional Practitioners In Okon-Aku Community, Ohafia Local Government Area of Abia State, otherwise known as “Abiansi”, or ” Dibia”, have bared their minds on some salient issues regarding their art and their professional practices which have come under heavy criticism in recent times due to unconfirmed and unverified rumors of some members engaging in obnoxious practices that are inimical to the original rules of the profession, as well as threading the peace and image of the community.
In this detailed interview with OHAFIATV News, the intelligent fathers, rooted in the arts and tenets of the “Abiansi” traditional practice, the “DOs” and the “DON’Ts” of the profession, spoke with Comr Amos Kalu, on the possible approach to ensuring lasting peace in the community, going forward. They also revealed their position and readiness to work with the law of the land, including law enforcement agents and the court to bring to book, any member and/or non-member that engaged in any wrong practice of any kind.
Thank you, my fathers, for introducing yourselves to our listeners. I am honored to be given the privilege to have this discussion with your revered selves. Let’s start with your leader, can you briefly tell us what Abiansi means, and what it stands for, who are you?
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My name is Chief Dr. Agwu Kalu Idika (Zere Uwa), I am a native of the Nde Ebin compound, and I am the current leader of Abiansi Okon-Aku. We are traditional medicine practitioners which you people always call Native Doctors. Our job and duty to the community are to ensure there is peace and mutual love in any place we find ourselves. That was the original arrangement that brought Dibia to Okon-Aku to settle and there has been peace. Another role of Abiansi is to ensure that people are healthy because health is wealth. When someone is sick, we combine herbs and heal the person of any type of sickness. It has always worked well because we believe in the law of nature, we eschew and stand against any kind of evil in any form, the same reason we call on God before we embark on any healing process.
Anything beyond what I have told you now is contrary to the practices of Abiansi and we do not take it likely with such offense. We have strict rules to keep our members in check because you are not allowed to do evil to fellow man, and you are not allowed to covet your neighbor’s property or sleep with his wife. Using your act to intimidate a member of the community is frowned upon and treated with strict punishment. We are peacemakers and stand for peace at all times.
Significantly, when there is any issue among members of our community beyond human comprehension, the leadership of the community always invite Abiansi to unravel and settle such complication for the people to be in peace. But unfortunately, some people believe that we have become outdated or for whatever reason best known to them seek to push us to extinct, that is where we are not accepting because we stand for “Live and let live”.
You mentioned your belief in peace and standing against evil practices. But you have been in the spotlight recently for your younger ones being accused of kidnapping, OBT, and recently of Killing. What is your reaction to that?
My name is Chief Dr. Udensi Onwuchekwa. I am from Ndi Ekea Compound and I am the assistant leader of the Abiansi leadership called “Aja Abali’. Before you attain the level of Aja Abili as a Native Doctor, you must be upright in your ways, you must not engage in any practice that is against the laws of nature and the most sacred of all is that you can not kill a fellow human being for any reason. If you look at us, you will see that we go around bare-footed. Let me tell you why it is so. Any man or woman on earth is subject and subjective to the sand (Aja Ali Okon), we believe in the laws of nature Chief Zere Uwa has already said that practice is so sacred that if you go against the natural laws to offend any human being, the sand you stand on will work against you (including sending you to an early grave). You see how sacred human life is to us and why we can never involve ourselves in evil practices? If a member goes out of his way to practice evil of any sort, even after you are gone, your family will not experience peace and progress, and will never enjoy whatever wealth you might have gathered for them.
However, just like any other religion, we may have converted from people who were not originally born into this tradition, and we also welcome them. Such people may be trying to work outside the tenets of the profession, which is why we have a strong rule that has kept our practice whole for generations.
But a situation where people wake up on daily basis, possibly have a bad dream, and come o level allegations as stiff as claiming a human being was murdered for sacrifice to the extent that soldiers will come to harass us is very unfortunate. We believe in justice and we work with the laws of the land. We are saying that anyone with such evidence should not use it to destroy our image and that of the community. Abiansi has a lot of effective ways to punish such people and our present resolve is that when we finish dealing with such persons, we will hand them over to the court to finish its work and bring you to justice. A situation where you wake us and say someone was killed but you could bring the proof to the extent that we carried out our investigation and found the allegation to be false is way too wicked and must stop.
What is your thought on ways to achieve peace and move Okon-Aku forward?
Live and let live is a popular adage among Okon-Aku people. My name is Chief Dr. Uche Okenga from Ndi Idika Okoro. As traditional practitioners, we believe Okon-Aku can move forward when we begin to respect and tolerate each other as the brothers that we are. We must know as a people that “Owu Ikwu Amaghi Onwowo an ogo akpari uka”. The idea of discussing every Okon-Aku matter on social media is getting out of hand and must be addressed.
Okon-Aku people should take our progress beyond ” Palm Trees” and look ahead to know that while we are here fighting over palm fruits that God blessed us with, other Ohafia communities we are on the same level with have moved ahead of us in politics, education, etc. We must remove envy and tolerate each other.
When you spread false rumors, you are shooting yourself in the leg because, at the end of the day, it will be the name of Okon-Aku as a community that you are throwing in hand, not the person you target.
The earlier speakers have said that we stand for truth at all times and will never support evil practices among us. We respect and cherish church people, they should reciprocate and let us live in peace as in the days of old.
We are sounding a note of warning that those people fighting Abianai and using us for petty politics should stop and rest. The Church people that wish to destroy us should know that our forefathers coexisted with their forefathers that founded the Churches and there was peace in the land. Okon-Aku always settles internal matters in Okon, if social media has become Nde Eche or Obunta where Okon-Aku now discuss matters of security and sensitive issues, let them leave Abiansi out of it, we know how to settle any type of matter within. Once we get hold of any native Doctor engaging in any sort of evil practice, ‘born or bought’, we will set an unforgettable example.
From my findings, your fight seems to be mostly with ‘Church People’, what is the remote cause? What can be done to restore peaceful coexistence?
My name is Chief Dr. Emele Okon. I am a native of Ndi Idika Okoro. From the time of our forefathers, there was peaceful coexistence between Abiansi Okon and Nde Church because we respected each other and minded our businesses, they understood that we all needed each other to survive. Unfortunately, as time passes, the people of today think we need to go extinct before they can live, and that is unacceptable.
The problem we are having in Okon-Aku today is nothing but the product of envy and jealousy from the people who believe a Native Doctor can not prosper to buy a car or build a new house unless he is practicing evil. But inside our houses, we have our children that rejected our practices and decided to be church people, we don’t hate them, we accommodate them and still give them our total support and training like all our children. So I don’t understand why they should be attacking us.
It is a known fact that any pastor posted to Okon-Aku hardly wishes to leave because he/she enjoys the hospitality and peace in the land, only those that come from here get threatened by our existence for reasons best known to them. But let me tell you the truth, we understand each other, we help their business to move. God gave us the wisdom to mix herbs to form power, and the same Church people come to us to borrow the power to boost their churches’ membership, if we have anything against them, would we freely give to them to prosper? No! We stand for peace and progress, they should stop fighting to pull us down and allow our mutual existence to continue as it has been from the old. They should go ahead with their politics and allow us to remain in our corner and have peace. We don’t wrestle for political power with them, we don’t frown at their progress. We heel them when they are sick, we help the get promoted in their offices and barren once get fertile and produce through the power of herbs that God gave us wisdom in. So what is the fight about?
Talking of politics, what do you think can restore trust and peace in Okon-Aku, especially considering the level of power wrestling that has happened in recent times?
My name is Chief Dr. Kalu Ume Agwu, I am a native of Nde Edem Compound. One of the problems of Okon-Aku as the people hypocritically wish to believe is not Abiansi, but a power tussle that has introduced hatred, jealousy, and envy among the people. It has become so toxic that siblings fight each other to stay on top. Ironically, it is not the Abiansi people that are ruling Okon-Aku, but the church people. It is surprising then why they blame us for the monster they created. It is their politics that has divided Okon-Aku and even the Abiansi is not spared.
In the past, people do not fight to lead Okon-Aku because it was a selfless service. The people would look at your pedigree and antecedents and call you to lead them for 3 years and the next person will come up. But today, since ” Palm Tree” money became a trend, everyone wants to lead at the same time because there are rewards for them. Somehow, for many years, nobody can boast of tangible results from the proceeds of the palm sales except investing in settling problems caused by in-house fighting. My advice is for the “Akwu Politicians” to leave us alone and learn how to wait for one person to come down before taking over because when you succeed in pulling one person down when you climb, other people will be fighting to pull you down. Okon-Aku can have peace if her leaders stop pointing their fingers in the wrong direction and unite to push the community forward.
…o be continued>>>