Irepa/ Aba festival Opportunity For Guests, Visitors To Invest wisely – Monarc

…As Over 500, 000 People Expected To Participate

By David Lawani, Abuja

The Otaru of Igarra/Akuku clan in Akoko-Edo local government area of Edo State, HRH Oba Adeche Saiki II has said that not less than 500,000 people including guests and visitors were expected to grace the 39th Edition of the Irepa/Aba drum festival which would be in its 294th year since it was officially documented.

In a press conference in his palace on Monday, July 14th, he noted that the festival which is an age grade promotion festival with the celebrants graduating into the council of elders in the community, is celebrated every seven years of lunar calender and six years of Gregorian calendar adding that the festival is to foster “peace, love, harmony, preservation of our cultural heritage and to nurture the values it upholds.”

He appluaded the state government for providing adequate security during the festival and solicits the cooperation of the community with the security agencies during the period and called for cooperation from the people.

“I am aware of the meticulous preparations that have gone into making the day extraordinary and memorable for each individual’.

Oba Saiki II said the beating of Aba drum which is the most prominent in the numerous ceremonies in the Irepa festival would be held on Friday this week noting that “This Irepa festival is one of the ceremonies that we hold in high esteem and it is a celebration all over especially the day that the Aba drum is beaten, all sons and daughters come to celebrate. It is a ceremony that covers everybody from Igarra and for this year’s ceremony; we are expecting not less than 500,000 people.

‘The traditional ruler congratulated the Opozes (Opa Osiewundo) who are graduating to Opirepa (council of elders) and urged them to continue to thrive in good health and serve the community with dedication.

Speaking on behalf of Elder Daniel Aiyede Ojo also known as Kennedy the custodian of the Aba drum who is the oldest man in the Onubeji Household of the Eziakuta Opoporiku family, Mr. Adumaza Okongo said the beating of Aba drum is a pivotal moment of the Irepa festival activities. “We are the owners of the Aba drum and its custody has been a reflection of our family’s ingenuity, strength and relevance from time immemorial.

“We didn’t come by this heritage by our making but by sheer dignity which has been a sacred endowment by God and our ancestors.”, he stated.

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