Isu Assembly aspirant, Nnaji sponsors Amurie Omanze Oghu festival

It was celebration galore in Amurie Omanze Community in Isu Local government Area of Imo State as the House of Assembly Aaspirant for Isu state Constituency, Arc. Chinonso Nnaji sponsored the 2018 Oghu Festival in the community.
Oghu Festival is a major cultural celebration in Amurie Omanze comminuty in Isu LGA and some other communities like in the neighbouring Njaba, Mbaitoli and Oru East LGAs in Imo State.
The festival which saw dignitaries such as the deputy speaker of the Imo State House of Assembly, Ugonna Ozuruigbo; state vice chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC) amongst others grace the occasion, saw the people of the community coming in their numbers to celebrate the once dying culture that is fast coming back to life.
Speaking with journalists about the festival, the former Accountant-General of Imo State Chief Vincent Nnanna Nnaji, who is the head of the Oghu traditional festival in the community, explained that Oghu is the traditional dance or festival by the male which is usually performed after the planting season and to mark the beginning of a resting period.
“Oghu starts from the month of May and ends in July. It starts from a village in Awo Omamma in Oru East LGA known as Okwuoji which starts with notice vigil known as ‘itupu nkwa’ that will last for 15 days before the festival itself commences. This means that Oghu is around the corner and if you’re fighting with your brother, you go and make peace and if you have matter in court you go and close it. During the period, you rarely hear of any death. I’m 85 years now and I’ve seen this festival for about 83 years.
“Immediately the festival period commences, nobody will be sick, nobody will die, nobody will go to court and nobody will visit any deity for complaint or for whatever reason except for meriment and thanksgiving to God. During Oghu period, nobody quarels with one another and no fight. In fact there are over 70 laws of Oghu all of which are geared towards promoting peace and love. Oghu is as old as time”, Chief Nnaji said.
Chief Nnaji lamented that lack of seriousness with the festival by the people had led to untold consequences, urging the people to continue to embrace the festival as they have done this year because it is their culture.
“Since our people are no more serious with Oghu and other cultural activities in Igboland, that is why there is a lot of deaths.
“When the white men were priests in our communities, we enjoyed the Oghu more. These days that small boys have been ordained as priests, they have desecrated everything about our tradition. So, since the whitemen left, everything particularly culture in Igboland has been competing with the church.
“I’m the Noble Commander of Knight of St. John International and after the death of Justice Chukwudifu Oputa, I became the most senior Papal Knight under St. Gregory the Great. In those days, Rev. Fr. Herkens, Father Dennis and others will be in this village square to celebrate the Oghu festival with us. My father was baptised in 1912, so he brought the church down here.
“But nawadays this young boys operating as reverend fathers and pastors have destroyed everything. But I’m among the few who say the Oghu must not die.
“Most of us very strong in church still believe much in Oghu because it has better laws than the church and geared towards promoting peace and love within the community. I’ve made my position known to the bishop because Igbos want to destroy their identity to embrace that of the whiteman in the name of Christianity
“I served this nation for 46 years almost all on top level and currently I’m the Vice National President of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (ALFAN) under the leadership of Senator Murtala Nyako. So, I cannot deceive my people and they know it”, he said.
Also speaking, the APC House of Assembly aspirant, Arc. Nnaji expressed happiness that the people are beginning to embrace their culture and tradition.
He promised to use his position as the House of Assembly member to uplift and upgrade the festival to give it more national outlook as it is done in other towns in the country.

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