Ozo A. G. Amujiogu, the Ekwu Ito of Igboland, the traditional Prime Minister of Enugu, has lamented the disappearance of certain rituals associated with the Odo festival, pointing out that, the practice of women dancing around performing masquerades was an aberration.
Ozo Amujiogu was speaking to NICO News at Obu-Okwe village in Amankwo Autonomous Community in Udi Local Government Area of Enugu State, on Saturday, 11th of February, 2017, during the celebration of the famous Odo festival, a biennial event that attracted people from within and outside the country.
Ozo Amujiogu, who is also a Cultural Ambassador of National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Enugu State Office, and therefore called for partnership with the Institute in the area of research and documentation of the festival.
Like Oliver Twist, the monarch called on the Executive Secretary of National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Assoc. Prof. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma and his Management team to establish NICO Training School in the South-East Zone, so as to widen the scope for training cultural officers and administrators.
Reacting to the Prime Minister’s call, the Head of NICO Enugu State Office, Mr. Nnaemeka Nwajagu, promised to take the request to the NICO helmsman, whom he described as an administrator with unblemished love for culture.
Also speaking on the origin of the Odo festival, Ozo Vincent Aniwagu, the oldest man in the community noted that, the festival dates back to time immemorial with different masquerades representing their different kindred, informing that, apart from the initiation process for those up to eighteen years and above, the festival also serves as an opportunity for family re-union and cultivation of fresh relationships.
The programme, which had amongst other guests in attendance, Igwe Paul Ogbodo, the Acharaoma II of Obu-Okwe Kingdom, was climaxed with exhilarating masquerade performances to the admiration of all.
Frank Ariwera Otobo
NICO Enugu State Office