The sudden death of a 43-year-old woman, Grace, has thrown the sleepy Village of Oloko in Ikwuano Local Government (LG) of Abia state into confusion and commotion.
According to Grace’s family members who also hail from the village, their daughter’s death was connected to an alleged ritual cleansing and oath taking at the village shrine of Nkamanu.
Spokesman of the family and older brother to the deceased, Felix said Grace was forced to drink unidentified concoction and swore before the village shrine, two days before her death.
“The problem started some months ago when her husband’s kindred alleged that they caught my sister in bed with a female partner in her Aba apartment and insisted on taking her to the Nkamanu shrine for ritual cleansing,” said Felix.
However, Grace escaped to the western city of Ibadan before she was located and whisked back to the village shrine leaving her two children behind.
With the connivance of her husband, Felix said, she was traced to her new abode by the village youths and brought back to the village to go through spiritual cleansing and oath taking at the village shrine with village elders supervising.
Oloko elders viewed Grace’s lesbian act as taboo which must be cleansed by her physically performing rituals before village shrine to avert impending calamity to the community.
Grace died mysteriously two days after and her death has been allegedly put at the doorstep of the community.
“She was subjected to all manner of physical and mental abuse by her husband’s kindred and the villagers. We don’t even know what they gave her to drink and we are calling on the authoritis and Police to step in. Grace’s death must be investigated and perpetrators brought to book,” added Felix.