The traditional ruler of Oligbo Kingdom, HRM Agbogidi Obi Nduka, the Obi of Issele-Uku, recently at the Oligbo Royal Palace announced activities marking this year’s Ine festival.
In addition, he invited the public to grace the Ine Aho festival on the 15th of September, which he described as a remarkable culture of Issele-Uku, worthy of being celebrated and experienced.
According to the monarch, “The glory of Issele-Uku lies in its unfettered adherence to its rich culture and traditions. One of the imperative cultures of Issele-Uku, is the Ine Aho Festival, which is the most revered festival in the ancient town of Issele-Uku.
“Ine Aho festival, (now christened Ine Onyimi) has been celebrated over the years by our people yearly, mostly from the month of August through September to October. The significance of the Ine Aho festival to the people of Issele-Uku is numerous.”
Obi Nduka promised to bring back the glory and viability of other traditional activities of the annual festival that had become silent.
He maintained that one of his cardinal objectives going forward is to engage the youths, not only in imbibing the cultural traits and norms of Issele-Uku community, but getting involved in their propagation.
The royal father posited that he intends to make the Ine Aho festival a tourist attraction, through the promotion of native Akwa Ocha, food, language, morals and hospitality.
The Agbogidi Oloe Omee listed a number of traditional festivals in Issele-Uku that could be leveraged to attract investment to the town. He talked about the “Izu Afiachi” which he does once every year to honour Queen Omu, the progenitor of the Omu dynasty in Oligbo Kingdom.
He equally highlighted various activities within this period, including his going into seclusion (Iba Nzu) five days to the Ine Aho festival, which is a period of spiritual cleansing and purification of the town from evil.
The chief custodian of Issele-Uku culture and traditions stated, “During the period of ‘Iba Nzu’, the people in the town would be refrained from noisemaking. Vigils are observed in this period at the palace. Our ancestors during this time are appeased by the prayers offered by the Obi who remains isolated and abstained from movements. Friends, well-wishers as well as visitors are given Nzu (white chalk) to rob on their bodies. It is believed that by so doing, it cleanses them of evil”.
The Obi commended the Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, for his developmental strides in Issele-Uku in particular and Aniocha North Local Government Area in general.
He said he was lucky to have ascended the throne of Oligbo Kingdom at a time when such an ordained and passionate leader like Okowa is on the saddle of leadership in the state.
The amiable Obi Nduka acknowledged that he was fortunate and proud to be the traditional ruler of Issele-Uku. “It is important that I tell you that my success so far is anchored on the unalloyed supports I have received from my subjects – the good people of Issele-Uku. My people are wonderful, and I tell you that I am fortunate and proud to be the traditional ruler of this beautiful, hospitable and lovable kingdom.”
The revered Agbogidi Obi Nduka was supported at the press briefing by by some of his chiefs and elders, including Chief Chidi (Onei-nwe-afia of Issele-Uku); Chief Ada Josephine Kachikwu (Ezinne of Oligbo Kingdom); Chief Uche Mgbanwa (Ashi Obi of Issele-Uku); Engr. Frank Mordi (Coordinator, Oligbo Consultative Forum); Mr. J.I. Adigwe (Chairman, Committee on Oligbo Culture and Traditions); Mr. Ofordile Ugeh (National President, Issele-Uku Development Union); Mr. Steve Moeteke (Chairman, Media and Publicity Committee); Engr. Azomani (Chairman, Works Committee) and Mr. Paul Issoh (OCF member).