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Aguleri marks 108th Ovala festival in style

Posted by From NWABUEZE OKONKWO, Onitsha on 2008/02/15 | Views: 1490 |

Aguleri marks 108th Ovala festival in style


The Aguleri people in the Anambra East council area have been marking their annual ‘Ovala’ Cultural Festival for ages. But this year's 108th Ovala Cultural Festival in the hitherto war-torn riverine community christened: "Ovala Ndozi Aguleri" appears to be the most outstanding in recent times.



The Aguleri people in the Anambra East council area have been marking their annual ‘Ovala’ Cultural Festival for ages. But this year's 108th Ovala Cultural Festival in the hitherto war-torn riverine community christened: "Ovala Ndozi Aguleri" appears to be the most outstanding in recent times.

The Ovala festival, which usually lasts for four days, features lectures, induction of new royal cabinet members, merit awards and cultural displays on day one called: "Ula Ovala," meaning (Ovala eve), and is followed on the second day by the Ovala main day, while the third and fourth days are for thanksgivings, masquerade displays and royal visit, as well as gifts donation to destitute.

This year's Ovala eve was dominated by a summit and lectures which took place at the Igwe's compound (Ama Igwe) with Prof (Mrs) Mercy Anigbogu and Mr. Emma Anikwensi delivering the lectures.
Anigbogu, head of Department of Guidance and Counselling, Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK), Awka, spoke on: "The imperative of the career and entrepreneurial education of the girl child as a way of stemming child abuse in Nigeria", while Anikwensi, a fish farming consultant, spoke on: "Step-by-step procedures for establishing and operating viable fish farm as a means of poverty alleviation in our nation".

During the Ovala main day, the chief celebrant and traditional ruler of Aguleri, His Royal Majesty (HRM), Igwe Christopher Idigo IV (Ogalagidi, Eze Aguleri), conferred various chieftaincy titles on some distinguished personalities, including the Executive Director of Fidelity Bank Plc, Chief Willie Obiano and his wife, Mrs. Obiano, a welfare officer in the Department of Welfare, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

Obiano was honoured with the chieftaincy title of "Akpokue Dike Aguleri", while his wife was conferred with "Osodieme Aguleri".

Other chieftaincy recipients were: Chief (Dr.) Paul Okonkwo, an industrial giant and chairman/chief executive officer of Pokobros Group (West Africa) Limited, who was conferred with "Oboli Igbo Aguleri"; Chief Pete Edochie, an astute movie actor, was conferred with "Agaba Iduu Aguleri"; Comrade Fidelis Ede, a labour leader was conferred with "Akpali Aguleri" and Mrs. Ngozi Nssien, the General Manager of NTA, Ogun State, was conferred with "Ada Diche Aguleri".

In their speeches, the chairman of the Ovala Planning Committee, Chief Paul Ubagu and his vice, Chief Isaac Ezechukwu, expressed satisfaction that the ceremonies were successful.

Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State who also attended the ceremony commended the community for promoting their cultural heritage and assured them that the Fr. Joseph Road would soon be tarred.
Obi who, also solicited their support and co-operation for his administration, assured that work would soon commence on the Enugu/Igbariam-Aguleri road, as part of his integrated development strategy.
Earlier, Igwe Idigo had called for peaceful atmosphere among his subjects and pledged to recognize both indigenes and non-indigenes who played one developmental role or the other for the progress of the community.

Igwe Idigo also commended those who had awarded various scholarships to some of their illustrious sons and daughters, urging others to emulate them, insisting that education is an integral part of human and material development at any given time.

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