The people of Ogba ethnic Nationality in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area (ONELGA) of Rivers State both at home and in Diaspora are now in festive mood following the unveiling of programme of activities marking the 2018 annual ancient Nchaka (Egwu Ogba) festival for the people by the Oba (Eze-Ogba) in council.
According to the Programme, the proclamation day (Ekwe-Nchaka) is Tuesday 13th November, 2018 (Nkwota).The Nchaka Market (Ahia Egwu), Wednesday 21st November, 2018. The Women festival (Nchaka ka Inyenwa) Saturday 24th November, 2108 while the climax of the ancient festival men (Nchaka Ka Ikenwa) is scheduled to hold on Wednesday 28th November, 2018 in all towns and villages in Ogba kingdom.
The 2018 Nchaka traditional Wrestling Contest is also scheduled as follows:
Obakata communities – Thursday 29th November, 2018 (Nkwota). Obieti communities – Saturday 1st December, 2018 (Orie). Usomini communities – Sunday 2nd December, 2018 (Awhor). Obosi communities – Monday 3rd December, 2018 (Nkwo). Obohia communities will wrestle on Wednesday 5th December, 2018 (Orie) all at their various play grounds in Omoku while the Egi, Igburu and Usomini groups will have their days for the wrestling contest as programmed by their Traditional Rulers, Chiefs, Elders and Community Leaders.
As Ogba tradition demands, during the period of the Nchaka (Egwu-Ogba) festival starting from the date of the proclamation, there would be no burial ceremony, mourning, enemity, quarreling or fighting rather there should be reconciliations, visitations, forgiveness, merriments, exchange of gifts etc. The festival will also feature cultural exhibitions, musical extravaganza, family carnivals among others.
Addressing a stake holders meeting made up of traditional Rulers, Chiefs, Village heads, Elders, Opinion leaders, the political class, youths and women leaders as well as security agencies in his palace at Omoku to kick start the 2018 Nchaka (Egwu-Ogba) festival, the Oba (Eze-Ogba) of Ogbaland, His Eminence, Sir (Dr) Chukumela Nnam Obi II (OON, DSSRS, AP, JP) said the festival which marks the end of the Ogba Traditional Calendar Year to herald the beginning of a new season, behoves Ogba people worldwide, its in-laws and neighbours to eschew greed, hatred, mischief, violence and self-destruction and warned against cultism and unruly behavior, including the display of harmful and diabolical objects during the festival period.
Oba Chukumela Nnam Obi II, a former Chairman, Rivers State Traditional Rulers Council noted that despite the people's individual imperfections, they must re-solve in the spirit of love and forgiveness, to avoid acts inimical to the dreams of their fore-fathers, adding that the difference between yesterday and tomorrow is the spirit to drive today's vision.
He urged the people to celebrate the festival with the pervading spirit of brotherliness, togetherness and charged traditional rulers, chiefs, village and community heads to ensure the maintenance of peace and order in their various communities during the ancient festival and warned youths against shooting of fire arms in realization of the inherent danger of such fireworks to life and property.
He appealed for peace and unity among the people as according to him, no Nation, State, City, Kingdom or Community ever experience enviable progress when in crisis and called on Companies, Banks, Institutions, Churches, Traders and persons who relocated from Omoku and other communities in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area (ONELGA) in general as a result of the unfortunate security challenges that befell the area in the past to return fully as ONELGA is now peaceful courtesy of Almighty God.
The Traditional ruler while calling on all sons and daughters of Ogba kingdom as well as their in-laws, friends and well wishers to return home for the ancient Nchaka (Egwu-Ogba) festival, warned that any person or group that ferments trouble before, during and after the festival would be dealt with accordingly noting that the festival is for all believers.
It would be recalled that chiefs and elders from the Umu-Ebe (Edihuru) Royal kindred in all the towns and villages in Ogba kingdom had earlier met at the Okoya Memorial Hall in the Oba's Palace Omoku a forth night ago where they fixed and forwarded the dates of the Nchaka festival to the Ogba Divisional Council of Traditional Rulers and Chiefs for ratification and formal proclamation.