Onitsha Monarch Igwe Achebe celebrates 18th Ofala Festival

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BY SUNNY A. DAVID

Onitsha, the Commercial Hub of Anambra State was on Oct. 11 agog with many cultural activities as its traditional ruler, Igwe Nnaemeka Alfred Achebe celebrated his 18th Ofala Festival.

The festival was preceded on Oct. 5, with Onitsha City Marathon and on Oct. 9, an Art Exhibition began; on Oct. 10 a youth carnival took the
centre stage.

The carnival depicted the different cultural heritage of the community
as well as those of settler communities with the town.

The event was also used to showcase the rich cultural heritage of the community.

Speaking during the ceremony, Igwe Achebe who noted that the annual event was aimed at appreciating God for his protection throughout the year.

He prayed for peace, unity and progress of Onitsha in particular and the Nation at large.

Igwe Achebe commended Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State for all his people-oriented programmes and policies, especially his effective
security, educational and agric development initiative had yielded
positive dividends to the people of the ancient kingdom.

In an interview, Onowu Onitsha, Chief Joseph Okey Ononye, said Ndi Ichie were solidly in support of the event and prayed God to grant Igwe Achebe more wisdom to lead his people.

He described Igwe Achebe as a Man with heart of Gold and enjoined called Ndi Onitsha to remain committed and supportive to the throne in the interest of the Ndi Onitsha.

According to Ajie Ukadiugwu, Chief Peter Osita Adibuah, a retired
Commissioner of Police, Onitsha Ofala was one of the highest festivals in Igboland.

He urged Ndi Igbo not to allow their rich cultural heritage to wane.

The President-General of Onitsha, Sir. Chike Ekweogwu, said Ofala was a yearly activity and an opportunity that people used to pay homage to their Igwe by thanking him for his good works.

He prayed God to grant all their invited guests journey mercies to and fro.

President, Agbalanze, Nnabuenyi Uchenna Mbanefo, enjoined the people of the community to be law-abiding, in addition to respecting constituted authority.

He thanked God for success of the event, urging members of the community to become apostles of peace and love.

Member representing Pension Transition Arrangement Directorate (PTAD), Abuja, Mrs. Olive Onono said they were in Onitsha to set up Complaint Desk, because of there were many pensioners from Onitsha community.

“Our coming will also help pensioners who missed the nationwide verification to come for theirs,’’ she emphasised.

She noted that in all communities in Igboland, I think Onitsha has more of pensioners than those of other communities; that is the reason for always coming to the Ofala.

Onitsha North Health Educator, Mrs Ogochukwu Mmaduabu said that Ofala gives them opportunity to come and sensitise and mobilise people on family planning.

Dignitaries at the occasion are Anambra State Deputy Governor Dr Nkem Okeke, minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr. Chris Ngige, who represented President Muhammadu Buhari, Minister of Information Lai Mohammed, Minister of State, Environment, Ms. Sharon Ikeazor, and traditional rulers from different communities in Anambra and beyond.

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