Customs&Tradition:”Obi Eziokwu” Palace celebrates 1yr Ofala Festival/Coronation of new cabinet chiefs.
By Onome Naomi
Mammoth crowd gathered at the Ofala(traditional thanksgiving ) of Ezendigbo Ijegun Ijeododo, HRH Chika Nwokedi 1yr on the throne celebration.
A number of high profiled traditional Rulers which includes the council of Ezes in Lagos, uniform chiefs, titled men, friends, well wishers and members of the press had come to celebrate with the digital Eze as he is fondly called by media personalities.
The program began with the coronation of new cabinet chiefs at Eze Chika’s palatial residence and they are: Ezewanyi Esther Ihechi O. C the Ngwu Kufere Mba of Ijegun Ijeododo palace and Chief Ndubuisi Eben Uru ka na Chukwu of Ijegun Ijeododo palace, thereafter guest proceeded to the prestigious and colorful event Centre for the commencement of the ofala celebration.
The new cabinet chiefs couldn’t but sing praises of Eze Chika Nwokedi for his kind and generous gesture which cuts across tribe and races. Ezewanyi Esther noted that with this new title bestowed upon her is a new achievements for her. She promised to live up to the task ahead of her to deliver her mandate accordingly while she extends more philanthropic gesture towards those in need. Chief Ndubuisi Edem also spoke about HRH as a selfless person who will always look out for the interest of others more than himself, he appreciates the new title and promises to live up to the new task ahead of him.
It was indeed a colorful occasion with rich igbo cultural displays in dances, songs, prayer and breaking of colanut as culture demands, cutting of cake, presentation of certificate awards, donations as well as other ceremonial activities.
Eze Chika Nwokedi told the press that the ofala celebration was created to give thanks for a successful 1yr of reign over the igbo people of Ijegun Ijeododo to deliver the mandate of leadership by fulfilling the people’s wish. As an igbo arrow head of Ijegun Ijeododo, he recounted his achievements upon his one year kingship as he expresses utmost gratitude to the Igbos for respecting his authority as well as the care and support he has given to over 100 widows and less privileged persons. He said he is deemed worthy of the throne due to his leadership qualities so far displayed in various circumstances where people needs a voice to speak for them and a hand to support them both financially, physically and mentally, he has a trade mark for his selfless act of giving, says his success depends on how much he gives.
Eze Chika also used the medium of the celebration to preach peace, described the little disagreements between the Igbos and Yoruba in the community where he presides as political, advises all to live in peace and brotherliness. He sited a situation which happened in Ijegun Ijeododo where the Igbos felt intimidated due to the destruction carried out with the instruction of the Yoruba traditional head in Ijegun market place and how he was able to douse the situation to create peace amongst the tribes.
Speaking with some traditional igbo Rulers, council of Ezes in attendance for the Ofala festival, all in one voice commends Eze Chika Nwokedi for his achievements in the last one year of kingship, says the Ofala is a way to thank God for a successful year so far as they wish him more successful years ahead. Says the general elections have come and gone, the rift between tribes is political, now all should live in peace and oneness.
Comrade Prince Saviour Iche, the president AMPEF, a human rights organization based in Lagos ably represented his association. He told the press that Eze Chika Nwokedi is a patron of the foundation, describing him as a non tribalistic leader who at every given time stood for the interest of the Igbos in his jurisdiction of leadership, often times Eze Nwokedi has displayed great leadership qualities as well as philanthropic prowess towards even non tribe. He said the general election outcome should not cause any form of tribalistic sentiments or violence as all should live in peace and togetherness.
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The ceremony ended with a closing speech from the spokesperson of the palace, Chief Ifeanyi Igwegbe, thanking all who attended the function as he promises to do more with the mandate of kingship given to foster peace and further explore the act of willful giving.
More photos from the event…