Stand Up for Human Rights
Let’s Stop the Outcast System!
By the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights … and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.” Mutual respect is therefore key to it. Where a group of people are set aside and brazenly discriminated against is therefore unacceptable. Such is the case being practised in a part of Nigeria where humans are classed as Freeborn and Outcasts, with the outcasts considered as lower class. The Outcast System is found in many other places across the world.
The woes of the outcasts are many folds resulting in stigma and discrimination. They still live apart in the traditional communities. There are no inter-marriages between the freeborn and the outcasts. No Community will appoint them their Traditional Ruler no matter how wealthy or educated they may be. There are many other similar woes. These persisting aspects will hardly die without a deliberate effort to eliminate them. All the foregoing clearly demonstrates man’s inhumanity to man, designed in ignorance and being perpetuated in ignorance.
Looking at the processes by which people became outcasts, it is very clear that they have nothing to do with human genetics or anything that is inborn in man. They were completely artificial and man-made, driven by ignorance and superstition, hence there is fear factor associated with it also. What we know today makes us believe that those superstitions and fears are baseless and of no consequence. In this day and age, we cannot afford to watch and do nothing.
Through a thought process that spanned fifty years, I have made efforts to try to find any acceptable bases for the discrimination against the Outcasts without success. From Science, Religion and Sociology, one could only find incontrovertible similarities between the Freeborn and the Outcasts and no visible differences at all in what makes both of them man. This fact has to be taken to the people in a form they will clearly understand. By that, the Outcast System can be brought to an end in a very short time.
Government laws and pronouncements from Church pulpits did not stop the Outcast System and, if nothing is done differently, are not likely to ever stop it. The book, The Outcast System, is just the way forward to end that primitive system through education of the people on what it is and what it is not.
Although the outcast has moved from looking like this:
To looking like this …
… the stigma and discrimination that set them aside from their freeborn neighbours still remain intact. More therefore needs to be done so that both sides of the divide can merge without any visible trace of the former line of partition. This enlightenment book is my first step in that direction. Following it, the Outcast System Elimination Project was initiated to stop the Outcast System wherever it exists. We are enlightened enough and cannot continue to live with the mistakes of our forefathers.
Our understanding and present belief as it concerns the Outcast System is a new light. We need to show that light to the world! This Project is a good avenue to do so.
OUR MODUS OPERANDI
HOW TO ACHIEVE THE OBJECTIVE
The objective of this outreach, The Outcast System Elimination Project, is to end the Outcast System anywhere it exists in the world. The reach-out processes will therefore involve taking the message, via the book Love and Stigma: The Outcast System, to those places where people gather in the regions where the System is practised. Advertisements in the print and electronic media will be given prominence and for a long time. Serious efforts will be made to educate teachers, religious leaders, town union officials, village heads and even some relevant government agencies on the truth behind the issues discussed in this book and the expected impact if understood. Seminars will therefore be organized to enhance the awareness of those who are privileged to have contacts with a large gathering of people on a regular basis.
Extensive presentation tours of schools, churches, communities, market squares, Youth Centres and any places where people gather will be embarked upon. Sponsorship of aspects of the logistics and other resources, especially copies of the book, required for these presentations will be helpful to the project. There will be acknowledgements in the copies of the book a sponsor buys for our children and youths.
In carrying out the reach-out processes, donors’ wishes will be respected at all times. A full description of the implementation of the donor’s wish will be written out. Directions to locations where donated books are distributed will be given so that any interested donor can independently verify it. Any variation of a donor’s wish, especially resulting from multiple donations to a particular destination, MUST be cleared with the donor before being implemented. The Friends-In-Need Foundation, in pursuing the cause of the Outcast System Elimination Project, will publish an Annual Report of progress of the activities serving the cause. Full disclosure will be made of the utilization of donated books, funds and logistics support resources. Issues and challenges encountered in the line of duty will be reported accordingly. Any support activities by donors and collaborating Charities and Organisations will equally be fully reported.
A summary of the account statements will be included in the Annual Reports. Deliberate measures will be put in place, in collaboration with our bankers, to ensure there will not be any chance for the abuse of funds donated towards the cause. For instance, no one person will be able to draw money from the Foundation’s bank account. Any withdrawal above certain limit will require the approval of the Board of Trustees.
Evidence of the Chairman of the Board, Sir. Adolphus Ekejiuba, KSJI, being trustworthy can be seen in the following positions of trust given to him by some of the Communities he belongs to:
He was appointed to lead the Inauguration Committee of the St. Anthony’s Catholic Parish, Umunachi Osuama. After the inauguration, he was elected the Vice-Chairman of the Parish Council to assist the Parish Priest.
He was appointed Chairman, Okigwe Diocesan Fund Raising Committee in Rivers State, Nigeria.
He was also appointed to lead the Planning Committee for the Silver Jubilee Celebration of his Alma Mater, the Aquinas Secondary School, Osu, in Imo State, Nigeria.
Currently, he is the Chairman of the Projects Committee at the Holy Family Catholic Parish, Woji, Port Harcourt, Nigeria, where a major structure, The Parish Centre, was recently completed.
In each of the above projects, transactions involved significant amount of funds which were accounted for to the last dime. Of course, he must have done well in previous assignments to warrant to be asked to do similar assignments again and again. The Chairman pledges not to betray what he stands for either in his name or as a Knight of the Catholic Church or as the Traditional Chief of his Native Community.
WHO SHOULD GET INVOLVED
To achieve the foregoing, good spirited individuals, companies, associations, groups and philanthropists are requested to identify with this project. The herculean task before the Foundation is to get the book to the youths who are the ones to implement the abolition of the outcast system. Most of them, in the areas where this System is prevalent, cannot afford the book from the shelves. Our plea, therefore, is for support to sponsor the distribution of copies of this book to the youths through their Schools, Churches, Town Unions and Youth Centres. Mankind stands to benefit a lot from it. Imagine the world without discrimination and you can beat your chest and say: “I contributed to it!”
HOW YOU CAN HELP
- Buy copies of The Outcast System for yourself, family and friends.
- Help to let other people know about this Project and the associated book by passing on the word.
- Buy copies of the book, from a single copy to even a million copies, for children and youths in those areas of the world where the System is practised. Many of them can’t afford it by themselves. You will be acknowledged in the copies of the books to be so distributed.
- Help us place advertisements to create awareness across the globe, with emphasis in areas where the various discriminatory systems are practised.
- Assist us to organise Local and International Symposia on subject matter.
- Assist with logistics resources such as Laptops, Projectors, Public Address Systems, Portable Generators, Transportation support systems – cars, buses, etc. These needs arise because to reach the many places anticipated, many field teams will be set up.
- Remember us and the Project in your prayers.
- Any other way you deem fit.
Please use this as an opportunity to touch the lives of people you have not met personally and may never meet, but whose gratitude and prayers will reach heaven. Join us!
Please get copies of the book, Love and Stigma: The Outcast System. Check our website *www.AdolphusEkejiubaFoundation.org for online purchases. Or still, make a direct donation to Friends-In-Need Foundation. Every action taken to support this cause will be acknowledged, unless otherwise indicated.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST DECLARATION
In pursuing the cause of the Outcast System Elimination Project, the book Love and Stigma: The Outcast System will be the major instrument of propagation of the ideas being pushed. The book was deliberately written to achieve the elimination of the Outcast System as its primary objective. I declare that, as the author of the book, I stand to benefit from royalties and/or other forms of reward for my intellectual work which will arise from the sale and/or use of the book. In any case, a significant part of the proceeds from the book will be used to push the cause of the Outcast System Elimination Project which I am leading as well as to run the Friends-In-Need Foundation on a continuous basis.
Sir (Chief) Adolphus Ekejiuba, KSJI.