An American mission worker, and hymn writer, Fanny Crosby; in recognition of the amazing and unprecedented wonders of God, called for thanksgiving and praises unto the Lord in her hymnal, published in 1875;-
“To God Be the Glory for the Great things, He had done.” And the Song’s Refrain, further requested, we;
“…the people; to rejoice;… And give Him the glory; for the great things, He hath done.”
Indeed, great things were done at “Obi” Ebubemba Ikeduru, last Thusday! And, I strongly hold that Uzoagba-Ikeduru, should certainly rejoice for the Lord has done great things unto them through Ebubemba Ikeduru.
Obviously, it was a super trado-cultural convocation last Thursday December 30, 2021, at the serene, ancient Kingdom of Uzoagba, in Ikeduru Local Government Area of Imo State, where an oracle, a boundary-less philanthropist, and a colossus of no mean feat; Clan Chief (Prof) Sir Chimezie Anosike Kingsley (Ebubemba Ikeduru, Ahumara Eze Mma na Umuguma, Akanasu-ucha-Ubiam na Ichida) and his kind-hearted wife; Chief Lady Maureen Nneka Kingsley (Odi-ukonamba Amaimo) held a monumentous crowd of guests to a 48-hour high-stake festivity, in celebration of his newly instituted annual Ofala festival; ofcourse, this year’s Ofala marks the second anniversary of his conferment, investiture and coronation as Ebubemba Ikeduru.
An event that welcomed the high and the low, the rich and the poor, the mighty and the vulnerable in equal reception drill.
Journeys to and fro Uzoagba were hitch-free as all the roads leading to and out of Uzoagba, were given face-lift with smooth grading to enable stress-free movements of persons and vehicles in and out of the community, courtesy of the untiring philanthropist, Ebubemba Ikeduru.
A peep into his opulent and stunningly furnished Chieftancy palace named ‘OBI EBUBEMBA’ projects great cultural heritage and artistic historical values and can only be compared with Imperial Palace, Tokyo,Japan and Buckingham Palace, London, United Kingdim.
Declaring the ceremony open, Ebubemba Ikeduru and his amiable wife, Chief Lady Odi-ukonamba, gorgeously dressed in expensively made trado-cultural regalia, decorated with gold fittings and silver linings; pulled out from their exquisite palace, in the like and form of a benevolent angel, seeking to bless the weak, the weary, the poor and the vulnerable and he did.
Ebubemba, reeled in straight terms the significance of Ofala, which he said means (Ofo Ala), as a time of counting blessings and a time of giving back to the society, he futher informed, he loaned the Ofala festival from Anambra, his in-law State.
Blessing the four (4) market days of the Igbo week, for his people; he held a “solid whitish substance” said to be “Nzu” which is known for its high traditional and cultural significance in a typical Igbo parlance: And Ebubemba Ikeduru decreed;
Eke, ga eketere anyi ihe oma!
Nkwo ga-akwotara anyi ihe oma!!
Afo ga-afotara anyi ihe oma!!
Orie, ga-ariotara anyi ihe oma oo!!!
Meaning, it shall be well with his people all through, the four (4) market days of the week.
And the mammoth crowd thundered; “Iseeee” followed by staccato shouts of Ebubemba Ikeduru! Ebubemba Ikeduru!! And the event switch on with high spirit gear and in full moderation of the day’s Chairman, High Chief Geirge Whyte Iwuamadi (Oshimiri Ikeduru)
The soul of the festival was the great traditional ritual performed by the powerful, Eze Uzu na Ichida, to establish Ofala Festival celebrations in the soil of Uzoagba and as well empower Ebubemba Ikeduru, spiritually, traditionally and culturally as the Ofala Custodian and host in Uzoagba and Ikeduru LGA and by extension Imo State, even in the coming years.
Eze Uzu’s, unique attire, aura and dispositions explained the trado-cultural significance and dignity of the event and its celebrant.
Royal Fathers from Ikeduru LGA, were led by HRH Eze Peter Nnamdi Njoku, Urii II of Umuri-Amaimo, (Chairman, Ikeduru Traditional Institution) and HRH Eze Marcel Ejemonu; (Ebi of Ebikoro Gburugburu) former Chairman of Ikeduru Traditional Institution.
Also in attendance was His Royal Highness Eze Oliver Njoku of Abazu, among many others from Orlu and Okigwe zones of Imo State including their Anambra State Counterparts.
Other Traditional Rulers present included Ndi Nze na Ozo title holders, High Chiefs and Clan Chiefs; including Chief Tony Ifeanyi Ndu, (Omekagu 1 of Abazu) National President, Uzoagba Stars Club; and Chiief Sir Okechukwu Uche Ukah (Secretary, Uzoagba Stars Club); who led other members of the club.. Clan Chief Ugo Sly and other reknowned Ambassadors were ably recognised.
The festival also recognised Ebubemba’s very good friends and compatriots from far and near especially Solemento and some others who honoured the invitation from Australia, Chiefs Ahunanya and Akuchinyere were also spotted in frenzy mood.
Members of Ebubemba’s immediate family, his in-laws from Anambra State and other towns, Staff members of Deking group of Companies Nig. Limited,(housing News Echo, News Insider and Deking Printing Hub), top government officials and high-flying businessmen and women were also spotted in celebration spirits.
In his regular philanthropic spirit, Ebubemba doled out empowerment for various categories of deserving recipients to mark the second year Ofala Celebration.
Guests were evenly treated to various delicacies ranging from intercontinental dishes to local foods, and as well exposed to open choice brands of drinks; including Whiskies, Ice, Red and White wines; such as French, Italian, and Australian brewed, bottled and corked types and shapes; roasted, baked and cooked meat and stockfish were also served to run as composite dishes.
Renowned cultural dance groups, masquerades of all sizes, shapes, height and built, from all parts of Igboland and beyond, surged into the compound to grace the occasion. Celebrated music artists, such as Igwe Credo, Anyi Dons nwa Mbano, Nfenfe Pericomo, Ikegod And, prolific stand-up comedians that included MC Elegam Face, Nonsokwa among many others were vibrantly active.
The celebration which started the previous night had Thursday Dec. 30th, as its peak and yet rolled into the next day, Friday, Dec 31 with Uzoagba residents and Ebubemba’s kinsmen having a free-for-all merriment.
Happy New Year, Fans