Message By His Majesty, Nnaemeka Alfred Ugochukwu Achebe, CFR, mni, Obi of Onitsha, Agbogidi, at the 2022 Ofala, Saturday, October 22.2022
A Twenty-Year Reflection.
It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to the 2022 Ofala Onitsha festival. We give all gratitude and glory to God that we are again able to celebrate Ofala in our usual manner. Ofala is the apogee of our annual ceremonial cycle. But, due to the Covid-19 Pandemic in 2020 and 2021, we had to fulfill this traditional and ritual obligation in a modest way in full compliance with the national Covid -19 safety and hygiene protocols. Our decision took account of the general mood of the country and was a mark of respect for all persons in Onitsha and around the world who were adversely affected by the pandemic.
This year’s Ofala is unique in two significant ways. Firstly, it is the return of the festival in its full form, after a two-year hiatus, with the usual display of royal dances, tributes, parades, music, art and other events, which have come to characterize the festival’s beauty and elegance. We can now continue our objective of attracting considerable national, and international attention to the festival, and sustain it as a major event in the Nigerian and West African cultural/tourism calendars. Our objective has been further enhanced by the endorsement of the Ofala by the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) as a major Nigerian festival, thus boosting our plans of bringing the world to Onitsha to experience our rich cultural heritage and enhancing the growth and development of our community.
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