By Patrick Eze
Mr Chinedu Mmirikwe, a 30 year-old native of Umunna in Orlu council area of Imo state, South East Nigeria has abandoned his homeland in search of freedom and safety of his life since 2013.
Mmirikwe’s life is in danger because his father Late Chief John Mmirikwe who was the chief priest of Arusi (Ogbunigwe), a powerful deity in the community was pressurising him to takeover as the their Chief Priest whenever he died.
The tradition is that when a member dies, his first son is automatically conscripted to replace him so that the religion can continue to perpetuate in their families and for Chinedu, his new role is to assume the position of the Chief Priest.
Arusi (Ogbunigwe), a powerful deity like most African deities and is part traditional belief system.
But Chinedu said he cannot join in worshiping through Arusi Orie because he is a strong Christian and wants to worship God in the way he wants and taking up the position implies dedicating his entire life to worshiping through Arusi (Ogbunigwe).
The tragedy is that when if refuses to join the Cult group by suasion members go after his life. History has it that some young men have lost their lives for refusing to join and staying in a place where they could be traced.
That was why Chinedu fled Nigeria and is looking for an environment where he can exercise his freedom of worship and live a normal life.
Part of the handicap there cannot be government intervention because Nigeria is a script country where freedom respected.
Chinedu has not lived a settled since his ordeal started and he left Nigeria. Nobody is aware of his whereabouts and his kinsmen have made reports to security to help track him down.