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Fanfare, Culture on Display as Obi of Onitsha Marks 20th Ofala

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Onitsha, the commercial nerve center of Anambra State was agog over the weekend with excitement as the 2022 edition of Ofala Festival took place.

It was a colorful display of art and culture at the palace of the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka Alfred Achebe

The Iru Ofala is primarily a celebration of the monarch’s annual emergence from seclusion, during which he negotiates the fortunes of the kingdom.

It is also an occasion to fulfill certain obligations.

The 2022 Ofala was a display of royal dances, parades, and music, attended by Ndichie (redcap chiefs).

Igwe Nnaemeka Alfred Achebe wore his full regalia and paraded the arena of his palace on three different occasions, in full view of all present.

He danced to war drums before his subjects, interest groups, and victors 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.

Ndichie Umuada Onitsha 

The Anambra State governor, Chukwuma Soludo, Senator Ben Obi, traditional rulers, the Ndichie, top government officials, illustrious sons and daughters of Onitsha, and candidates running for offices in the 2023General Election attended the Ofala Festival.

In his Ofala address, 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.

The 81-year-old monarch said his rulership has been used to redevelop the palace as a symbol of change.

In his address at the Obi's palace, Governor Soludo 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.

He emphasized that Onitsha has a rich culture, noted that the value of a people is embedded in their culture and language, and assured that his administration will encourage the thriving of Igbo culture.

“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.

"And let me say to Agbogidi, we must go back to our value, the value of hard work, the value of resilience, the value of discipline, that is what we are known for as Ndigbo.

“Onitsha is the largest city east of the Niger but my recent first-hand report of the road within and around Onitsha showed that a whole lot of roads have been dilapidated and abandoned.

“But we are putting efforts to make Onitsha great again. With a road from Fegge till Niger Street, Akpaka, and Woliwo area under the government radar for reconstruction, we can assure Ndi Onitsha that the solution is here."


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