Nsukka Police Face Threats Over Arrested Masquerade

Some Oriokpa Nsukka masquerades threatened yesterday to send Agbarakata and Akrikpakpa to the Police in Nsukka town if their fellow Oriokpa, arrested three weeks ago, is not released immediately.

The Oriokpa Nsukka masquerade was arrested after violating a suspension order placed on Oriokpas and attacking a lady less than two weeks after a previous attack on a nurse.

The latter incident led to the suspension of Oriokpa masquerade parades in Nsukka town.

Speaking through a native doctor and traditional interpreter from Ede Oballa, the group of Oriokpa Nsukka gave the Police 48 hours to release the detained Oriokpa.

They also demanded 3 cows, 1 horse, 2 he-goats, 100 gallons of palm wine (Enugu Ezike), 50 kola nuts, 100 tubers of yam, 40 cocks, 10 bottles of aromatic schnapps, and 500 wraps of Okpa (cooked with ose Nsukka, uziza, and ehuru spices, wrapped in banana leaves or brown papers) as Nri-Ma to appease the gods over the arrest and perceived desecration of the Oriokpa masquerade.

These Ngwogri-Ma should be carefully arranged as Aria-Ma and carried as Ivu-Ma by Umu-Ma to be delivered at midnight to an agreed Ulo-Ma to the sound of Egwu-Ma music playing melodiously.

Meanwhile, some Ezenwanyis in Nsukka have also criticized the Police on the issue. One Ezenwanyi, speaking on condition of anonymity, said it was wrong for the Police to humiliate the Oriokpa by unmasking it and forcing it to kneel while making a video. According to her, the Police could have taken the masquerade away without infringing on the culture of the people.

Holding some talismans, the Ezenwanyi claimed she could use her esoteric powers to send bees to sting police officers at their station. She maintained that she could perform numerous incredible feats through her gris-gris.


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