By Nwabueze Okonkwo
ONITSHA – It was a display of cultural heritage, such as charms, shrines, masquerades as all roads led to Nando community, Anambra East Local Government Area, Anambra State for this year’s Onwa Nge annual cultural fiesta by the indigenes.
The organisers had prepared the masquerades, charms and shrines in a special way as to thrill the audience, with most of the displays championed by the chief celebrant, Native doctor Igwe Onyeachonam Ofomba, (a.k.a Udenegbaona, Alusi Iyi isiojii nine).
The one-day event which commenced as early as 5 a.m., attracted relations, friends and well wishers from far and near as it was organised in such a way that indigenes would return en masse. This would serve as an opportunity for interactions and pleasant reunion with relations, friends and well-wishers.
Speaking on the festival, Igwe Ofomba explained that it is a yearly festival which usually takes place in June, adding: “It is a period to welcome new things coming into Nando such as agricultural produce like pears, corn, among others.”
According to Ufomba: “During the celebration, we have various masquerades, dance troupes and traditional medicine practitioners like myself, display our stock in trade/cultural heritage.
“In Nando, two villages, (Ezi and Ifite) out of three villages, celebrate this Onwa Nge festival and you need to see the masquerades display the stuff they are made of, (mmanwu otu mkpala na umunwoke okpobili na umu nwoke Nando na awa-awuwa)”
On how he became so popular that he stole this year’s Onwa Nge Nando festival, Ufomba said: “Traditional medicine practice runs in my family. Presently, my father who is still into the practice, though aged, was born a native doctor, it is inherited, we did not get or learn it from anybody and whatever traditional medical protection we give you, nobody can harm or kill you unless your hands are not clean.
“My father and I together practice it now. From my primary to post-primary school days, I was being disturbed to leave my education and focus on the traditional medical practice spiritually and I had to obey. I was a good artist then and could draw very well.
“These days, the church has disappointed God and until the church turns a new leaf, people will continue to believe more in the traditional medical practice because only the truth is told there and if you go contrary, it results in immediate unpleasant consequences.”
On how he sees President Muhammadu Buhari’s second tenure in office, he said: “the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has been destined by God to be the President of Nigeria in this 2019, via the election petition court currently going on and if he is not declared the winner, I will resign my traditional madicine practice. I will resign as a native .
He disclosed that Atiku’s presidency was revealed to him by God through the 1777 spirits he deals with adding that he (Atiku) is unstoppable in clinching the presidency this year.
Addressing a mammoth crowd who thronged the venue where he was personally celebrating the Onwa Nge festival from his throne at Ezi Nando, he said: “I am the new servant of the new covenant, I deal with 1777 spirits. Alhaji Atiku Abubakar will be president of Nigeria this year via the presidential election matter currently going on in the court and to assure you that he will emerge victorious and be declared winner, I will resign my traditional medicine practice if what I am saying fails.
“I will make it known to the world through the electronic and print media that I have resigned if this prophecy is not fulfiled. I said it before the election that Atiku will be president of Nigeria and he must be the president this year.