Breaking: Planned Gang-Up To Disrupt Oru Owere Yam Cultural Festival Failed As Grand Finale Records Huge Success

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9News Nigeria

From Princely Onyenwe, Abuja

It was an embarrassing scenario on saturday 30-07-2022 when the Oru Owere Cultural Festival Grand Finale was halted by crowds of security agents that stormed the venue at the heat of event.

A restraining order was issued by the Deputy Commissioner of Police following the reports brought to the Imo state police command by some groups of Owerri people to stop the Cultural Festival.

Though the entrance gate to the Cultural Center was locked while police officers who were sighted dressed on terrifying attires and loaded with arms stopped the procession and scared the people away from the venue, the festival recorded a huge success.

However, the organizers of the year 2022 Oru Owere outing was hellbent to put some calls across the powers that be to avert the order which made the grand finale of the Oru Owere Cultural Festival continued in cheers and admirations and finally ended up recording huge success.

Federal House of representatives candidate for Owerri Federal Constituency, CDB Williams (L), flanked by Chief Paul Nnawuchi (Owe of Owere), Traditional Prime Minister of Owerri and others at the Oru festival

The misunderstanding and disagreements was caused by an internal Gang-Up of a factional interest group and Ezeship tussle that nearly tore the occasion apart but regrettedly to the oppositions, the Oru Owere Festival was successful as reported by 9News Nigeria.

The festival took place at the popular Ugwu Ekwema Civic cum Cultural centre, Egbu road Owerri, Imo state Nigeria having recorded fifty three age grades dressed on various colourful attires.

Several Masquerades and Dancing groups were spotted on different performances and display of cultural ambiance.

While presenting his address, the President General PG, Owerri Community Assembly, (OCA), Chief Felix Ngoka (KSJI) Akaraugo Owere, stated that Oru Owere Cultural Festival reminds the Owerri people of their ancestral movement from the aboriginal Uratta to Ugwu Ekwema (Owerri) for safety, survival and search for greener pasture.

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Onye ishi ala Owere, Chief Reginald Ejiogu Nwakom seated gallantly with the Owe of Owere while Oha Traditional Council (L) watches

He added that their ancestor Ekwem Arugo originally came from a small village called Umuorii, Uratta in the present Owerri North Local Government Area of Imo State.

From historical background, the migration started at the death of their father Arugo who left behind him many children among whom were the eldest Ekwem and Ndumoha the immediate younger brother.

Trouble started during the burial of their late father Arugo that led to disagreements when the first son failed to perform his responsibility to provide a cow to bury their father which the immediate did.

On sharing the parts of the burial cow, the Oha Uratta prevailed on Ndumoha the immediate younger brother even though the cow was provided by him as a man of means while his elder brother Ekewm was just a peasant hunter but has the heriditory right to take what bongs to him.

According, the name Owere was derived from the Uratta’s judgement which favoured Ekwem against his immediate younger that bought their father’s burial cow.

But later on, when pockets of resistance emerged against the decision of the Oha Uratta that ultimately resulted in the plot to exterminate Ekwema and his household, he flee to Umuorii Uratta to Egbu where one of his sister’s was married to.

Information reveales that the Owerri ancestor Ekwema continued his movement for safety of life crossing through a mashy area called Okokuru Apitti to settle in the present place called Ugwu Ekwema.

It may interest our readers to note that for the avoidance of doubt, Owerri people do not celebrate New Yam festival as done in other communities in Igboland rather recalling the first good their ancestor Ekwem eat (roasted old yam) when he settled at Ugwu Ekwema tired and hungry with his household. It is indeed the origin of Owerri Cultural heritage which is commemorative in nature and celebrated yearly.

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Display of Ekwema Arugo’s gallantry as a peasant hunter by Hon. Okay Emenyonu

Also, another significant factor in the 2022 grand finale of the Oru Owere Cultural Festival was the libation performed by Onye ishi ala Owere, Chief Priest Reginald Ejiogu Nwakom to appease the gods of the land while appreciating the efforts of their ancestors.

The Chairman, Oru Owere Cultural Festival 2022, Mr Hendrick Emerole expressed Happiness by the success story the event recorded and thanked all the sub committees for their wonderful efforts.

President General Owerri Community Assembly, Chief Felix Ngoka KSJI (Akaraugo Owere) in conversation with Miss Ugochi Ukaghaike (Ada Ekwema 2022) at the festival

Traditional prime minister of Owerri, Chief Paul Ogechi Nnawuchi, (Owe of Owere) further stated that this year’s oru Owere Cultural Festival featured alot of dignitaries across tribal difference and call on Ndi Owerri to remain in unity and live in peace as their forefathers have set in motion.

When rendering the vote of thanks, Chief (Dr) Barr SB Chikwe in-line with the words of Oha Shadrack Obicheozo, the secretary general of Oha Traditional Council Owere thanked the crowds of guests present at the grand finale.

From L-R, Alhaji Auwal Baba Suleiman, (Sarkin Hausawa Owere) Imo state,Chief Kolawole Ago Ogundipe of the Yoruba Community and SA to the Governor On Nothern Affairs Hon Suleiman at the event

He specially thanked the SA to the governor on Northern Affairs Hon. Suleiman, Chief Kolawole Ago Ogundipe of the Yoruba Community and the Sarkin Hausawa Owere, Alhaji Auwal Baba Suleiman for their show of love and presence to witness the Yam Cultural Festival.

In summary, House of Assembly member representing Owerri Municipal, Hon. Solomon Chinedu Anukam enjoined all Owerri people and the electorates to maintain peace and love for one another to prosper their area. He also adviced his people to make sure they secure their permanent voters cards PVC to vote the preferred candidates in the upcoming 2023 Elections.

While thanking the organizers of the festival, Hon Anukam told the people of the readiness of Imo state government under Governor Hope Uzodinma to improve Owerri and reposition Imo to a model state to the benefit of all. He however called for maximum support for the leadership of Governor Uzodinma.

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The Festival featured Fifty three indigenous age grades, prominent Owerri Sons and Daughters from home and dispora, Oha Traditional Council, Political appiontees, Community leaders, Dance groups, Masqurades, Youth groups, Women groups, Yoruba Community, Hausa community, Special citizens, Past/Present President Generals, Gentlemen of the Press, DJ Harmonix, DJ Hinger, MC Ushi na Aboshi, 9News Nigeria (Owerri) and other dignitaries too numerous to mention.

Traditional Prime Minister Chief Paul Ogechi Nnawuchi, Owe of Owere, Lady Tina Anyanwu, President Owerri Daughters, Hon Chris Oguoma, Chief and lolo Odinakachukwu Osuji, Chief Stanley Anabere, Chairman protocol and works, Ezinwa Ikechukwu Damian, Mr Ignatius Iwuji, Dr Peter Njamanze, Teddy Okam, Mrs Blessing Njoka, Lady Tina Anyanwu, Hon.Okay Emenyonu, Ada Ekwema 2022 Miss Ugochi Ukaghaike, Chief Sir Mela, Fmr Commissioner Chief Analyn Nwaneri, Hon.Chief CDB Williams, APC Federal House of Representatives candidate for Owerri Federal Constituency and his Williams campaign organization were in attendance.

Tubbers of yam was lifted from a traditional Yam ban (Oba-Ji) which was later roasted and served the general public in attendance.

The lifting of the old yam from the traditional yam ban will now creat space for its replacement with the New Yam proper that other communities in Igbo land will eat and celebrate their respective New yam Festivals. The name Owere was changed to Owerri for administrative convenience and easy pronounciation by the Englishman Douglas.

9News Nigeria (Owerri)
For inquiries on this news contact 9News Nigeria Imo State @08036856526

About Princely Onyenwe 1500 Articles
Princely Onyenwe A seasoned Investigative Journalist, Civil Rights Activist, and Political Analyst, Currently Editor and News reporter with 9News Nigeria

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