‘Women are witches’ comment sets Ooni of Ife, group on collision course

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BY TIMOTHY AGBOR, OSOGBO

A group, Advocacy for Alleged Witches has urged the Ooni of Ile-Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, to apologise to women following his statement declaring that all women are witches.

The group, through its Director, Leo Igwe, stressed the need for the traditional ruler to retract his statement.

In a statement, the group advised the traditional ruler to issue an apology to women and withdraw his comment that all women possess witchcraft.

Recall that at a meeting with a women’s group, the Real Housewives of Lagos, the Ooni asserted that all women possess a witchcraft spirit.

The monarch conveyed this viewpoint at his palace in Ile Ife.

But, Igwe disagreed with the monarch and maintained that no woman possesses either a benevolent or malevolent witchcraft spirit for positive or negative manipulation, emphasizing that witchcraft is a form of superstition.

The group further urged the Ooni to exercise thoughtfulness and gender sensitivity in all his statements and pronouncements. It emphasized the impact of his words, especially during a period when misconceptions about women are contributing to their persecution in communities.

The statement read, “At a time when this mistaken idea is being used to sanction and sanctify the persecution of women in 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.”