Marriage is the only social pressure left, short of criminal conviction to forbid atrocities in most communities. The Igbo are no different from the British that sent rejected criminals to the evil forest across the ocean to the unknown America. The difference is while the Americans and the Osu have rehabilitated and prospered, a few communities in Ndi-Igbo still practiced a custom that is irrelevant and unproductive. Before you jump on the Igbo, look at the Americans today!
Since marriage is the beginning of family life and procreation of the next generation, avoiding abomination and corruption of the culture send the message of zero tolerance in our societies. It was supposed to instill good behavior and orderly conduct. If you knew that you would be banished or excommunicated with your next generations when found wanting in character, there was no greater incentive than to be of exceptional moral personality.
The fact that Osu fell from grace may not justify their treatment today, which has almost died down anyway. But it shows how powerful marriage was in checking corruption of the past. It did not stop at the foot of the transgressors; it extended to the family and kin. The sins of the father by abomination following the children must be prevented from infecting people from good homes. This by itself may not be fair, especially in cases of the innocent children.
The Igbo culture shares with the rest of the world marriage ceremony to check abnormalities. The form of discrimination itself was instituted to punish corruption of power by the Osu that abused their exalted position in the community. Osu fell from grace to abomination and were banished. Many uninformed people used the iniquitousness to condemn the whole Idi-Igbo. In today’s culture of corruption in Nigeria’s politics where only money counts; Osu is