Ojoto goes agog with Ufiejioku festival
By Uzo Ugwunze, Ojoto
It was pomp and pageantry over the weekend at Ojoto-Obofia in Idemili South local government
area (IDSLGA) of Anambra state as they celebrated their new yam festival popularly known as Ufiejioku.
To this end, the Regent of Ojoto Akanasato community, High Chief Gerald Mbamalu (Asato III of Ojoto) described the festival as a period of
thanksgiving to God for al- ways providing food crops to mankind despite their frail- ties, adding that yam was regarded as the king of the crops in Igboland and any- time it was harvested it rep- resents the ushering in of all other fresh food crops for man’s consumption.
He further revealed that ufiejioku festival was a period of celebrating peace and harmony in the community which has two major divides as a result of the Idemili River (Mmili John) that passes through the middle of the town resulting in the nomen- clature, Ojoto Obofia made up of six major villages and Ojo- to Uno, made up of two major villages.
“There are seedtime and harvest time. This is when to know God loves us by al- lowing yam seedlings to have good yield. That means Ojoto people will never go hungry. We thank God for his blessings. We hope that next year would be greater. We ask for peace in the entire Ojoto Akanasato because without peace and love there is no progress”, he prayed.
While performing the traditional rites at his palace, High Chief Mbamalu said that if the Igwe or his representative eats yams the entire Ojoto people have eaten it saying that the festival would last three days.
“According to our customs and traditions, Ojoto is eating yam today. The regency council, on behalf of the Igwe that embarked on a journey, has to eat first before the whole Ojoto people. The Regency council, traditionalists, town union and entire Ojoto Akanasato is here today to celebrate the Ufiejioku festival”, he said.
Moreover, High Chief Mbamalu eulogised the achievements of Governor Obiano of Anambra state which include Security, Ag- ricultural prowess, remuner- ation of workers and pen- sioners as and when due, attracting both foreign and indigenous investors to the state among others, adding that government should not overlook Ojoto people since they support and respect the laws of the land.
Similarly, cabinet members and titled men in Ojoto, Chief Michael Okigbo, Chief Anumba Joe Obimma, the palace secretary, High Chief Donatus Ezemadike, Chief Okey Obi- ugo and Prof Victor Anosa, all said they were happy to be celebrating the new yam with their Regent, saying that the Igbo, as hardworking people, were always happy wheneverGodblessedtheir handwork with increase in farm produce.
Highlights of the occasion included performances by cultural dance troupes, masquerades, traditional drums and wooden gongs. The occasion ended on the third day at Oye market square where ordinary masquerades and young men displayed their prowess in different corporal challenges.