By Simon Ebegbulem
BENIN—Edo State Government has described the 228 years old Aba festival held once every six years by the people of Igarra in Akoko-Edo Local Government Area of the state, as one of the oldest festivals in the country.
Mrs Kate Ibe, a Director in the state Ministry of Arts, Culture and Tourism, disclosed this at a press conference organised by Etuno Youth Association, EYA, saying that the state government will ensure that the festival, scheduled to hold in August, was given its desired recognition.
She said that the festival has already been documented and forwarded to the National Council of Arts and Culture, NCAC, for official recognition and endorsement.
“The Aba festival is the first festival in our list. We have forwarded the list to NCAC for proper identification. Every festival in Edo State was submitted. They have been documented and will be sent to the international bodies. We are not leaving you people alone,” she assured.
On activities to herald the cultural festival, Chairman, Central Organising Committee, Obed Alli, said the festival had long been rated by Total E & T in 2006 as the sixth most indigenous cultural festival in West Africa.
Tracing the origin of the festival, Alli said it was celebrated as a victory by hunters over the initial settlers of the land now known as Etuno (Igarra).