Orji Kalu sends message to Obi of Onitsha

Orji kalu

Orji Kalu greets Obi of Onitsha over 2021 Ofala festival

The Chief Whip of the Senate, Sen. Orji Kalu, has congratulated the Obi of Onitsha, Nnaemeka Achebe on the occasion of the 2021 Ofala festival.

Kalu in a statement issued in Abuja described the age-long historic celebration as a platform for the sustenance of peace and unity in Onitsha and Anambra state in general.

The former governor of Abia also extended his greetings to the people of Onitsha and stressed that the Obi of Onitsha remains a rallying point for sons and daughters of Onitsha.

Kalu, while pointing out that the festival is symbolic, noted that the cultural heritage of the people of Onitsha is remarkable, historic, and commendable.

He urged the Obi of Onitsha to sustain his peace advocacy across the country, adding that the traditional ruler is a highly detribalized Nigerian with a passion for a united and prosperous Nigeria.

Kalu wished the monarch a fulfilling Ofala festival while praying for longer life in sound health for the Obi of Onitsha.

He said, “On behalf of the people of Abia North Senatorial District, I felicitate with the Obi of Onitsha, His Royal Majesty, Nnaemeka Achebe Agbogidi as he celebrates Ofala festival.

“The annual festival provides a platform for sons and daughters to come together under one roof to offer prayers for peace and progress of Onitsha and environs.

“The Obi of Onitsha has continually sustained the cultural and historic heritage of his people.

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“The annual event is an opportunity to showcase the rich and unbeatable culture of the South East, especially the people of Onitsha.

“The Obi of Onitsha has over the years used the festival as an avenue to foster peace and harmony across the South East and Nigeria in general’’.

Kalu wished the people of Onitsha a joyous Ofala festival.

Ofala festival

The Ofala Festival is an annual ceremony practiced by Igbo people, particularly the indigenes of Onitsha, Umueri, and Umuoji and other neighboring communities such as Aguleri, Nnewi, and Ukpo in Dunukofia Local Government Area.

It serves as a rite of renewal of the king or Igwe or Obi and it is similar to the Igue Festival in Benin and the Ine, Osi, or Ogbanigbe Festival in many mid-West Igbo communities of Nigeria.

The term Ofala was derived from two Igbo words – ọfọ (authority) and ala (land).

The festival is celebrated within two days mostly in October by the Obi (king) and is a customary obligation that must be performed every couple of years.