By Emmanuel Egbuchinem
The traditional ruler of Akumazi Kingdom in Ika North East Local Government Area of Delta State, His Royal Majesty Obi Henry Ezeagwukpo Jegbefume, the Obi of Akumazi Kingdom has on Thursday, September 24, 2020, celebrated his New yam festival.
The colourful ceremony which took place at the royal palace hall had several guests in attendance that came from far and near to felicitate with the revered royal father.
The celebration of the new yam festival by the Obi was the grand finale of the one week activities for the 2020 New yam festival by the community.
The day is for the royal father to thank God for what he has done for them in the past one year and praying that the Lord will do more good things for them in the coming year. The day was for the king to receive his title chiefs, well wishers and kindred so that they will feast and seat together in merriment.
Speaking on the significance of the new yam festival, Chief Enuji Peter, The Obawunje of Akumazi Kingdom, who is the Principal Officer in charge of celebration; stated that the festival is to thank God for what he has done and being farmers, Yam is a major instrument when one talks of farming. Continuing, he stated that the day’s event was the last stage of the celebration which began on Sunday, September 20, 2020, were all the people of Akumazi commenced the eating of the new yam; while on Monday, the following day; the community had their cultural day display which is called ikgbu-Nkpesi; flogging competition involving the youths and the elderly; he stated that the flogging competition which is the endurance training, has a major significance because it is based on their tradition which began when they were having affiliation with Mbiri Kingdom.
Speaking further, he stated that the essence of the celebration is that they are happy haven survived the planting season and are hopeful and praying that they will survive that of the coming year. He noted that the benefit of yam cannot be overemphasized; saying that in their locality the blessings of every household are usually counted by the numbers of the tubers of yams that the family has or the lines of yams in their barn.
Chief Enuji Peter, while thank God for the peace that had reign supreme in the Kingdom, Prayed God to grant the royal father so many more years on the throne of his forefathers. He further appreciated the traditional ruler for his virtue of generosity which has endeared him greatly to the people of Akumazi; and wished him a wonderful celebration.
His Royal Majesty Obi Henry Ezeagwukpo Jegbefume with some Palace Chiefs during the celebration