By Chris Onuoha
The Omo-Egbe Group, a prayer and counseling social organisation last week gathered in their numbers to pray for Nigeria as the country is passing through difficult times.
In their 5th Annual World Egbe Festival held at Gberefu Seaside, in Badagry, the entire group comprising members from all walks of life celebrated their special day amidst fanfares, with special prayers for peace in the land, good farming season and economic and political stability.
The festival also saw a display of the groups special regalia, all white affair in the manner of their religious tradition, traditional music and dance.
Royal fathers who are members of Egbe society, traditional religious worshippers from various Yoruba extracts were also in attendance. And not left out were cultural performance of the Egun speaking people of Gberefun community in Badagry, Lagos State.
The special highlights of the festival include a ritual performance at the bank of the sea to appease the god of the water who controls all activities in the sea including fishing according to their belief. Also was a special dance parade by various female group of Egbe members who colorfully displayed the symbol of Egbe strength and values round the arena to the admiration of the audience.
Perhaps, the climax was the dropping of special offering in the high sea for the god’s acceptance for their supplication, by a swimmer. Under this condition, if the swimmer returns according to them, then their sacrifice has been accepted, but if doesn’t, the reverse is the case. He did, and there was jubilations and dance that sparked the real ceremony.
In his remarks at the ceremony, the President of Egbe Onisese Isembaye Cultural and Traditional Religious Worshippers Association, His Majesty, Dr. Asagbemi Temiadara Ariwajoye said, “Today is a special prayer day for all the Egbe- Omos all over the world. Every last Thursday in the month April is marked as Egbe Festival Day. The festival is in its 5th anniversary since inception. We are praying for the people of Nigeria and the entire Omo Egbes in dispora including the stability of Nigeria economy and politics. We also praying for ourselves to see the good of the land while appeasing the god of the sea for bumper harvest.
“For every nation or society to survive, economic and political stability are important including social and infrastructural needs of the people. However, no matter how essential all these are to a society, one vital cord that binds them is prayer which some people often times take for granted. This is why we are here today to mark the Egbe cultural Festival and to pray for the country,” he said.
Speaking further Oba Temiadara Ariwajoye said, “People face a lot challenges in life thinking that it is the handwork of enemies. No!, it is caused by Man’s undiscovered destiny. When you are privy of your destiny in time and adhere to its instructions, your challenges in life will be less. During creation, everybody belong to an ‘Egbe’ which means ‘spiritual mate’ in English language.
Spiritually, ‘Egbe Society’ is not an evil group or bad thing.
In Yoruba, we call it ‘Ise da ni’ creator of everybody. During man’s formation from heaven, there’s a place called ‘Orita ni’ meaning ‘Junction of Destiny.’ From there one chooses what he is going to be in life.
Ironically, when a man settles on earth, he will inadvertently forget his destiny and will eventually begin to search for it. If a man goes to the right source for information and revelations, he will succeed but if he seeks information from the wrong place, challenges will surmount without solution. So, it is always wise for one to discover his destiny and celebrate it alongside his mates.
That’s why we initiated the festival to celebrate ‘Egbe-Omos’ for unity and progress of mankind. Membership of this society cuts across high and mights in the society. Royal fathers and traditional rulers in the land are members because they are custodians of people’s culture and heritage. This is our culture, this is our heritage.
Egbe society is like a spiritual eye through which society sees the mysteries of life. Our prayers are so important because, we spiritually see the future and conditions of life.