Outrage as Masquerades Assault Female Nurse in Enugu, Leave Her Half-dead

There has been a surge of public indignation in the Nsukka Local Government Area of Enugu State following a horrifying incident where a group of masquerades, known as Oriokpa Nsukka, brutally attacked a female nurse.

The victim, Miss Blessing Ogbonna, employed at a private hospital, was beaten to near-death, sparking widespread calls for justice and a review of masquerade activities in the area.

According to reports, the incident occurred while Miss Ogbonna was en route to the hospital. A tipper obstructed her view, and by the time she noticed the masquerades, it was too late to escape. The nurse was riding her motorcycle when the masked assailants knocked her down, continuing to beat her even as she fell into a drainage, trying desperately to flee.

The assault has left Miss Ogbonna severely traumatized, prompting her to demand justice not only for herself but for others who might have suffered similarly. The distressing nature of the attack was further emphasized by a video circulating online, which captured the ruthless beating.

In response, local and national groups have voiced their condemnation and demanded action. The Heroine Women Foundation, through its Executive Director, Amb. Onyi Mama, expressed deep concern over the attack, describing it as an unacceptable act of brutality that tarnishes the cultural significance of masquerades. The Foundation is pushing for a thorough investigation and the imposition of stringent penalties on those responsible.

Moreover, the Otobo Nsukka Cultural Zone Community Developmental Initiative, led by Prince Chibeze Onah and Agu Chineme, has stepped in to assist. They visited Miss Ogbonna at the hospital where she was recuperating and have been instrumental in facilitating her dialogue with state authorities to ensure that justice is served.

This incident has also caught the attention of academic circles, with Professor Damina Opata of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, commenting on the deteriorating nature of the Oriokpa phenomenon. Prof. Opata noted that while masquerades are a part of cultural heritage, their transformation into a threat must be addressed to restore their traditional esteem.


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