OBI OF ONITSHA MARKS 20 YEARS OF REIGN, AS HE CELEBRATES OFALA FESTIVAL

Excitement overload in Onisha Anamabra State during the weekend, as the 2022 edition of the colourful Ofala Festival took place 

The Iru Ofala is primarily a celebration of the monarch’s annual emergence from seclusion, during this period, the future of the kingdom is negotiated and an occasion to fulfil certain obligations. It was a colorful display of art and culture at the palace of the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka Alfred Achebe.

The Ofala festival is a display of royal dances, parades, and music, attended by Ndichie (redcap chiefs). Igwe Nnaemeka Alfred Achebe was seen in his full regalia in three different occasions parading the arena of his palace.

He then dance to traditional war drums before his subjects, interest groups, and visitors who paid him their respects.

The 2022 Ofala Festival coincided with the commemoration of the 20th anniversary of His Royal Majesty, IgweAchebe’s ascent to the throne of Ezechima. He became king on 14 May 2002 which was his 61st birthday.

‘’Thus, I have chosen to formally mark this milestone anniversary with the 2022 Ofala Festival as the pedestal for thanksgiving and celebration.

“This milestone provides an opportunity for some reflection,” he said.

The 2022 edition of the Ofala Festival was attended by Anambra State governor, Chukwuma Soludo, Senator Ben Obi, traditional rulers, the Ndichie, top government officials, illustrious sons and daughters of Onitsha.

In his address, The 81-year-old monarch said his rulership has been used to redevelop the palace as a symbol of change. Igwe Achebe described his 20-year reign as a journey of leadership charged with the sole purpose of fast-forwarding an ancient traditional society to the 21st century.

According to him, “we have shaped a vision of re-inventing and re-positioning the Onicha Ado N’Idu kingdom.

‘’We have applied modern management and leadership principles to traditional governance and the progressive evolution of the culture of our people.”

The monarch, who is the Chairman of Traditional Rulers in the South East and Anambra State said a reinvention and repositioning strategy has helped in rebuilding trust with the people and resolving disputes among families, kindreds, and villages.

Governor Soludo, in his remarks at the palace congratulated Igwe Achebe on the Ofala Festival, saying that his leadership had “impacted positively” towards the growth and development of Onitsha and Anambra State at large.

“Our culture is our identity and our identity is what we are, and Igwe Achebe is promoting our culture well.

“We should go back to our values of hardworking, honesty, and discipline,” Governor Soludo said.

Okey Mike Areh, chairman of the Ofala steering committee, said: “The Onicha Ado N’Idu community is looking forward to celebrating the 2022 Ofala in the normal way after two years in which the Covid19 Pandemic has meant that the ceremonies have had to hold devoid of the usual fanfare.

The event which is supported by Globacom and International Breweries Plc will also feature a royal banquet in honour of the Obi of Onitsha on Wednesday, October 26. 

The representative of Globacom said it will be empowering the people of Onitsha with gifts and lucky subscribers will have an opportunity to win two tricycles, five sewing machines and five grinding mills in a special Ofala promo.

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