Home Opinion Featured Articles Ooni’s Statement that Women are Witches Is Unfortunate

Ooni’s Statement that Women are Witches Is Unfortunate

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Alleged Witches

The Advocacy for Alleged Witches condemns the recent statement by the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, that all women are witches. Ooni made this statement when some members of a reality show, the Real Housewives of Lagos, visited him at his palace in Ile Ife.

During his interaction with them, Ooni reportedly said “Every woman has that witchcraft spirit in them, but you know people just think it is a negative thing, but witchcraft is all about manipulation”. He further said: “If you know how to manipulate very well. And that’s that power of a woman. You have a natural manipulative spirit, and you should manipulate in a positive way”.

The report says that when a delegate sought clarification, Ooni said that women were good witches. But Ooni’s clarification does not diminish the outrageous nature of this pronouncement. It further attests to his superstitious mindset. The Advocacy for Alleged Witches regards it as strange that an educated traditional ruler like Ooni would speak about women in such an ignorant and disrespectful manner, identifying them as witches. Witches in this 21st century!

At a time when this mistaken idea is being used to sanction and sanctify the persecution of women in the communities, Ooni should retract his statement and apologize. At a time when this prejudice is being used to attack, abuse, banish, and murder innocent women across the country, it is insensitive and horrifying that Ooni is using his position to reinforce this vicious stereotype and incite hatred and violence against women. Ooni should understand that his pronouncements matter; that he should not use his position to demean or degrade women and other human beings. Ooni should know that his words have an impact and consequences.

What he says has some weight, and influences what people believe and how people behave towards each other, women in this case. Ooni should realize that he cannot afford to be reckless, and irresponsible in his utterances. The Advocacy for Alleged Witches declares that no woman has any good, or bad witchcraft spirit to manipulate positively or negatively. Witchcraft is a form of superstition. AfAW urges Ooni to be thoughtful and gender-sensitive in his statements and pronouncements.

Leo Igwe directs the Advocacy for Alleged Witches.

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