By Alemma Aliu

BENIN CITY—EVEN with the influence of western civilisation, the Esogban of Benin, Chief David Edebiri yesterday said the over 1000 years old Igue festival would not go into extinction.

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Speaking yesterday shortly after he celebrated the annual Igue festival in his residence, Edebiri said “my fathers did it and I am doing it, our children will do it, those who will do it will continue to do it, those who will not will not do it.

“The festival is to thank God almighty for protecting us to the end of the year and then the beginning of another year”

Urhoghide said it was a time to felicitate with the traditional institution for  them  to  usher in blessings for the new year.

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Colonel Paul Ogbebor (retd), said the Igue is a time to chase evil away from the land and usher in a new year.

He said plans were on to commercialise the festival.

Each household is expected to slaughter animals and pray to God and the ancestors with coconut and native chalk.

The food cooked with the animal is eaten the next day while the ‘Ugie Ewere’ dance to drive away evil spirit is performed.

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Prominent Benin sons and politicians were in attendance including the Chief Judge of Edo State, Justice Esohe Ikponmwen and her husband, he predecessor in office, Justice Cromwell Idahosa (retd), former deputy governor of the state, Dr Pius Odubu, Sir Victor Uwaifo, Senator Matthew Uroghide, the All Progressives Congress, APC, Edo South senatorial candidate, Hon Patrick Obahiagbon, the Managing Director, Central Hospital, Benin city, Dr Philip Ugbodaga among others.

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