WRITTEN BY AMAKA CHIBUZOR OKOYE
People from all walks of life converged on Chenemeze Palace, Nteje, to witness the second ovala festival of the traditional ruler of the community, Igwe Ronlabnd Mmadukolu Odegbo.
The ovala, which started with a pontifical high mass at the Sacred Heart Parish, Nteje, officiated by the Auxiliary Bishop of Onitsha Metropolitan Archdiocese, Most Reverend Dennis Isizor, was attended by top government officials, traditional rulers, members of the academia, APGA faithful, friends and well wishers, including Ndi Nteje.
Igwe Odegbo was coroneted in 2009, recognized by the state government in 2011 and since then, has performed series of festivals including the ovala. He also used the period to thank God for His in the past years and pray for years ahead for peace, expansion, development and progress in the community.
In a homily during the pontifical high mass, Most Reverend Dennis Isizor sued for peace in Nteje and asked people of the community to support their traditional ruler, whom he described as God’s blessing to them.
He told them that with Igwe Odegbo’s wealth of experience, the community will attain enviable heights; praying God for more wisdom; vision and grace upon the Igwe to enable him lead his people aright.
The ovala got to its peak when the Igba-eze musical group led the traditional ruler, whose appearance at the arena was heralded with a twenty-one gun salute, round the arena, amidst cheers.
Igwe Odegbo later performed the traditional breaking of kolanut, praying for progress, peace and unity in Nteje , Anambra state and the entire society, while canvassing more support for Governor Willie Obiano.
Felicitating with the traditional ruler, the Commissioner for Road Construction, Furniture and Maintenance, Engineer Marcel Ifejiofor, described Igwe Odegbo as kind hearted, proactive, accommodating, calling on Ndi Nteje to stand by their Igwe for the collective interest of the community.
Speaking on behalf of the Anambra Broadcasting Service family, its Board Chairman, Mr. Nnaemeka Mmaduegbuna, a member, Dr. Pat Ndu and the MD/CEO, Nze Uche Nworah said ovala is a unique festival, stating that whosever God made a king deserves respect and support by his subjects, calling on Ndi Nteje to rally round Igwe Odegbo, who the said is ever ready to lead them to the promise land, even as they wished the Igwe a peaceful reign, good health and long life.
Others who spoke to the ABS, including the former Vice Chancellor, Chukwumeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Professor Fidelis Okafor and National President Anambra Association of Town Unions (ASATU) Chief Alex Onukwuka, said Igbo tradition is unique and should be embraced.
The event featured the award of chieftaincy titles on some deserving personalities, including the Commissioner for Transport, Rail and Water, Chief Uchenna Okafor.