Obosi’s ‘longevity festival’ at the verge of Int’l recognition

Obinwannem News Obosi's 'longevity festival' at the verge of Int'l recognition

ANAMBRA – The Longevity celebration popularly known as ‘ Ito Ogbo Obosi’ for the ELDERLY, aged 80, commonly celebrated at Obosi in Anambra state, would soon receive international recognition, sequel to the keen interest portrayed by the federal government in the triennal festival.

The festival has been celebrated for the past hundred (100) years, although the people of Obosi had sustained it and held it in high esteem, despite current trend in modernization.

The celebrant is not taken unawares; the family of the celebrant(s) begin to plan ahead of the festival as they approaching 80 years.

This year’s ‘Ito Ogbo Obosi,’ took a different dimension as the federal government graced the occasion, represented by permanent secretary in the Federal Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, Mrs Ifeoma Anyanwutaku, through the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed; after several attempt to get the attention of the federal government concerning the festival.

Anyanwutaku said, “Our visit is aimed at pushing the festival up to international level. We intend to conduct interviews from stake holders and document properly”.

Igwe Chidubem Iweka, Eze Iweka III, the traditional ruler of Obosi, said although the retirement age in the Civil Service is 60years, a lot of people are still strong at that age – their peak in life – arguing that experience and knowledge they had gathered over the years become relevant in their later years. To the monarch, Ito Ogbo Obosi is necessary to appreciate their contributions up to the age of 80.

The traditional ruler said: “This festival has been in place for hundreds of years and it is aimed at appreciating the wisdom of the octogenarian. We are happy that few communities in Anambra State have emulated us, and are now celebrating their octogenarians.”

In Obosi Kingdom, the festival is triennal, over 200 people who have turned 80years on the past three years participated. They belong to the Igwebuike age grade. Last three years Irugo age grade was celebrated.

The royal father said over the years the Obosi
Kingdom sought the attention of the federal government with regards to the festival. “We are elated that the government has shown interest at last by gracing the event.”

He added that his desire was that all other Igbo communities and even beyond should emulate the festival as it serves as a platform to show elders their due respect.

‘Ito Ogbo Obosi ‘ would enable youth understand the necessity of showing respect to their elderly relations. A research center for the aged has been established at the Nnamdi Azikwe University Awka as effort to promote Ito Ogbo festival to the next level. The research center is already at advance level construction.

Lolo Ijeoma Njoku reporting, Obinwannem News

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