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His Royal Majesty, Bernard Awarieta with his subjects celebrating Odudu festival
His Royal Majesty, Bernard Awarieta with his subjects celebrating Odudu festival

Tradition

HRM Awarieta Preaches Peace as Ewu Kingdom celebrates Odudu Festival


His Royal Majesty, Benard I. Awarieta, Ovie of Ewu Kingdom, Ughelli South local government area of Delta state, has advocated for peace and love among the people of Ewu-Urhobo Kingdom.

The monarch who made this statement while performing the traditional rituals across the various streets of Ewu Urhobo-Kingdom in line with the Odudu annual festival, has used this period to extend hands of fellowship to those who contested with him to join him in the development of the kingdom.

HRM Awarieta said the Odudu festival is a unique celebration that has always brought blessings to the land and young females that is attaining the age of marriage.

The Osuivie and Ahavwa kingmaker family, Olorogun Michael Ohwofaria, NNPC retiree and the oldest man of the Ahavwa kingmakers, Olorogun (Barr.) Akpephre Egalase, former Permanent Secretary, warned any impostor parading himself as the king of Ewu kingdom to desist from it or will face the wrought of the land.

The Osuivie, Olorogun Michael Ohwofaria and Olorogun (Barr.) Akpephre Egalase gave the warning while preforming an act of farming for HRM Awarieta for returning successfully from the river after performing the ritual of the Eharikpo festival.

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The duo said the festival they celebrating today is one of its kind, pointing out that in every community as enshrines in the 1979 constitution, only the kingmakers have the right to elect a king and that they have done following the due process of election, which has brought His Royal Majesty, Bernard Awarieta as Ewu traditional ruler on the 30th of May 2021.

They said the festival is dedicated for the period of circumcising their young ladies and as the king of Ewu kingdom, HRM Bernard Awarieta, has important role to play and that is what they have all witnessed.

Speaking further, they said, “This is a period for circumcised ladies and the ladies have to come out and dance and the name of the music with which they dance is called Odudu.

“The duration of this festival is normally seven days each year and it falls between the month of May and June. It is an annual event but the moon position determined the time of celebration. Our kingship is from the water, hence during the festival our king has to go and make presentation to the gods of the water.

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“The king will enter the water up to the level of his chest to perform the rituals to the gods. There are stories in the old days if the king that the people elected by the kingdom enters that water and is not accepted by the gods of the water, such king will not come back, so while we were waiting for him our hearts were beating.

“After presenting what he has to the gods of the water, the king goes to the palace and that’s the happiness you see in the people. And anybody who is not elected and given the tusk by the Ahavwa kingmaker’s family cannot do the rituals and cannot dare go to the water.

“Only the Ahavwa kingmaker’s family are the people who empower the traditional ruler to perform this ritual, so anyone who chooses to perform the rituals will not succeed, not just going to pages of newspaper to parade oneself as king of Ewu kingdom, let him come and perform the rituals and wait to tell the story.

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“There’s no way anyone will come to this community to do anything concerning the enthronement of a king, hence we are referring to anyone parading himself as king of Ewu kingdom and his cohorts, with publications everywhere are not known to Ahavwa kingmakers and Ewu kingdom.

“The women on white garments are called emeba (King’s Maids), going to different streets of Ewu community, making sacrifices of appreciation to the gods for their protection and also don’t forget that the Tusk was given by the king of the water, so this are women, agents representing the king of the water in our community.

“While the festival lasts, all sons and daughters have to be at home relaxing and enjoying their harvest with all their stores closed for the celebration of the festival.”


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