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Friday 7 April 2017

Biafra: Odo Festival: Ohebe-Dim Community Calls For Return To Culture And Tradition, Surrenders Self For Biafra

April 7, 2017

ENUGU— FOR the people of Ohebe-Dim community and other neighbouring villages in Igbo-etiti Local government Area of Enugu state, the Odo festival is a sacred age-long tradition revered by all. The festival is more like a religion and a culture to them.

During this auspicious moment, cultural dancers, masquerades and all kinds of artistry and acrobatic show are being displayed. An orange leaf in a powdery form, which they refer to as Odo(peace), is applied on the forehead by all. And to say the least, the festival has been able to unite the people of the community in such a way that those living both far and wide, occasionally return back to their home to observe the event which comes up on every two years interval. It is considered as a big event in Igbo-etiti LGA.

And so, members of the national media Writers’ team in company of others from the Indigenous People of Biafra resident in Enugu, seized the opportunity to evangelize and sensitize the community to join the Biafra restoration project currently championed by the detained IPOB leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.

Quite overwhelming, the issue of Biafra is not in anyway a new thing for the villagers, particularly the village chiefs and traditional title holders of the community who warmly welcomed us with open arms and allowed us to hoist Biafra flag to every corners of the place of the event.
The inhabitants of the community were all in support and commendation of the present efforts being targeted at restoring Biafra, while on the other hand, calling for the return of our sacred norms, cultures and traditions as our pride and way of life.

Read Also: Biafra: KANU'S COURT UPDATE: Justice Nyako Expresses Dissatisfaction On Application To Vary Witnesses’ Order, Adjourns Case To April 25

Addressing the people of the community, one of the media agent, Mazi Francis Anih, urged them to come out en masse to defend their rights and support the Biafra struggle under the leadership of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu while at the same time, upholding their revered culture and tradition.
According to Anih, “In Biafra our hope stands. We are using this opportunity to seek for you people’s support in our struggle for freedom. The flag we are displaying right here is what Biafra is known for.

“If you have paid attention to the condition of our people in Nigeria, you would need nobody to tell you that we are deliberately exempted from the scheme of things in this country and so when we get Biafra, things will begin to augur well for us. “We all have witnessed the violent invasion of Fulani herdsmen in our communities, killing our mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters. Hardly will they launch an attack without leaving behind, many number of victims and casualties. And so, we want all these to stop; they’ll all leave our lands when we get Biafra.

“We’re also supporting you all for organizing this Odo festival, because we don’t want our tradition to be dead, buried and forgotten. We’re going back to our culture, our heritage and tradition for that is our pride.”


One of the village leaders, Mazi Kelvin Ugwuanyi, the Atama Okeikpe, who spoke to Biafra Writers’ Correspondent talked more about the festival which he said can never be abandoned by the community.

Ugwuanyi said: “Today, our people came together so that we celebrate the Odo festival. Odo can never stop in our land, it’s a good thing, it means peace. It brings our people living in different parts of the world together. Omenala(tradition), will never leave our lands. We can never and have no power to abandon our culture and tradition.

“The white people and Queen Elizabeth brought Christianity and Church to us, they’re our former colonial masters. But Odo is has been part of our tradition right from time immemorial. Our ancestors has been observing it before we came. It has been our god, police and protection from the beginning. It is also our local court where disputes between two people or families is being settled.”

The village leader also supported the current call for the restoration of Biafra, saying that “Kanu will make Biafra stand again. His detention portends evil and death for Nigeria. Biafra is alive again.”
Also speaking, another traditional title holder, Enyiduru Hyginus said that the Odo festival is a festival of peace and as a form of religion for them.


According to him, “We seize this opportunity to exchange pleasantries and goodwill on the arrival of our people living outside this village. Women are not allowed to go near the Odo when it is preparing to coming out, they can only do that when it is already out. The orange substance applied on our faces symbolizes peace.”

Commenting on Biafra, he said, “I have been a member of MASSOB in Enugu, going to their meetings but afterwards, Uwazuruike deceived us and looted our monies and that dragged us back but now that Nnamdi Kanu has sprang up to tell us about Biafra, I am very happy.
“The other day, I was coming back from Nsukka and saw some IPOB members marching along the road, it gave me so much joy. We have suffered enough. If they want us to die today, we are ready but we want our freedom.

“We heard that our brother(Nnamdi Kanu), will be going to court on 25th. There’s no other information we get here, it is hard for us to receive information here but our ears are on ground to hear the outcome of the court. We have been asking, is there any crime our brother committed, he is only advocating for the freedom of our people. Let them give us freedom, Hausa/Fulani has maltreated us.”


Also Mr. James Ugwuoke; a traditional chief who condemned in all ramifications, the killings by rampaging herdsmen said, “They said they’ll give us Adada state and so many other things they promised us, but at the end, nothing has been done.

“Buhari allowed these herdsmen to continue to kill us and we must stop that from happening all the time.
“We pray to God everyday to grant us freedom and we will support Biafra anyway we can and join the IPOB family when established here.”

Written By Chukwuemeka Chimerue
Published By Chijindu Benjamin Ukah
For Biafra Writers

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