Igede Agba Festival 2020: Why It Might End In Perfunctory.

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Igede Agba Festival 2020- Over the decades we have witnessed a tremendous Igede Agba celebration, but the case of this year is still in question and might come in another dimension. The pandemic being one of the reason and the low rainfall which haven’t in its best state boost maximum harvest of yam and generally farm product this year so far.

Igede Agba Festival

By this time last year, the Igede people of benue state all over the world has begun to glamorizing the celebration of their new yam festival which by GOD grace holds in colors.

Many traveled while others were invited for the celebration. Wishes all over and Sons and Daughters of Igede land or people were in great harmony. However, before we discuss whether 2020 yam festival celebration might end in perfunctory let us first understand the meaning of Igede Agba .

What Is Igede Agba

Igede Agba festival is a colorful annual celebration that marks the yam harvest season in September. The Igede are predominantly farmers cultivating maize, cassava, groundnut and yams. Igede is the  home of the popular Igede-Agba festival.

The New Yam Festival is therefore a celebration depicting the prominence of yam in the social-cultural life of the Igede people and all Agba Descendants such as the Obudu and Bekwara people.

The emphasis being placed on yam by the Agba sons is not out of place as research has shown that yam has a lot of health and economic benefits.

The Igede Agba Festival is not just a tag for celebration, dancing and eating, it has a rational attestation and ethical connotation.

It is a period which encourages the feeling of appreciation by Igede people to their maker (God). And also to show regards for others by devoting to the interest of others such as brotherly kindness and selflessness.

The Igede Agba Festival serves as the most important day to a typical Igede man and Agba Descendants as it is the only celebration that creates a sense of nationalism in the descendants of Agba.

Why Yam Festival 2020 Might End In Perfunctory.

Have you been wondering what would be the case of this year annual celebration of Igede Agba {Yam Festival}? How this year Igede Agba will be celebrated, is it just to be fashioned in perfunctory or in colors as it has always been?

Well, our aim is not really to give answer to all the curiosity revolving around 2020 yam festival but we glad to appeal to all the sons and daughters of Igede land that new yam festival celebration cannot be deprived under any circumstances because this one way or other to which we make our land stay happy, share love and appreciate Almighty God at large.

It not out of our knowledge the outbreaks of the pandemic in Nigeria had forced most merited activities into sudden break. Notwithstanding, it shouldn’t in any way hinder our annual cultural embracement if all the staying safe measure for  COVID 19 is practically  observed individually such as Washing your hands regularly, use of face mask, and hand sanitizer.

Every Igede man is therefore expected to celebrate the festival with yams, This is the time families are expected to eat pounded yam and not the usual fermented cassava, popularly called Akpu (fufu).

This show of strength and belief in tradition is typical of all Benue people and to a large extent goes to demonstrate the strong character of Benue man, especially the Igede tribe.

 School Drillers Interview Response on 2020 Igede Agba Festival:

As part of our inquiry concerning 2020 yam festival, we interviews three Igede elders who share some light to this discussion above. Let’s see;

1. Mr John Ode:

We asked: Do you have special plan for 2020  Igede Agba Festival?

Response:  Well, no special plan, just the usual way even though the country is not friendly at this time and there was little rain falls, soils dry out and our plants dies. When rainfall is less than normal for several weeks, months, what do you expect? But in all we give glory to God. My family and I will celebrate as usual.

3. Mr Paul Ede:

We Asked: The federal governments say, no social gathering and yam festival is quite approaching, what will you do?

Response: We understand Coronavirus is everywhere and it wouldn’t limit our happiness. We would stay safe and still have our culture celebrated. Things are tough in this period but we thank God for another yam festival celebration.

3. Mrs Adoga Jannet:

We asked: September is already here, the month the Igede people love to embrace. What is your preparation for the 2020?

Response: No preparation, none of my family will celebrate it. My family and I stopped celebrating Igede Agba three years ago. The root of Igede Agaba tradition is not of God likes. We celebrate Easter, Christmas and New Year festival. Igede Agba is no longer in our dictionary.

Now, what is your intake on this topic? Share what you feel about the new yam celebration by Igede people and would be glad to have your opinion acknowledged.

What Date is Igede Agba (New Yam Festival)?

The Igede Agba is a celebration of the new yam by the Igede people of the state. It is usually held during the first week of September every year.

It is a cyclic festival that comes up every first Ihigile market day in the month of September as mentioned earlier. According to the Igede calendar, September is her seventh “moon”, a very special number at that.

The activities at Igede Agba include eating of pounded yam, cultural music, dancing and other forms of cultural displays.

The occasion also witnesses the drinking of locally brewed drinks from millet and guinea corn called Apio, Ogbete, Oburukutu, Ogene and others.

History OF  Igede Tribe And Language:

The igede tribe and language is one the official tribe in Benue State Nigeria. The Igede community covers two local government in Benue State,  Oju and Obi local government. The Igede people are a Nigerian ethnic group in Benue State. They are native to the Oju and Obi local government area.

Research shows the Igede trace their origin to Sabon Gida Ora in present-day Edo state. They are said to be the descendants of Agba, a high chief in Sabon Gida Ora.

A skirmish between the Igede and the natives of Ora led to their migration from that region to present-day Benue state through Nsukka in Enugu state.

This historical event in Igede history is commonly recounted in song and drama, for instance the record and drama piece “Ego ny’Igede.

One of the most enduring and elaborately celebrated cultural festivals in the year is the Igede Agba, New Yam Festival, observed by the Igede people who live in Oju, Obi and Gwer East Local Government Areas of Benue State and Yala in Cross River state.

History Of Igede Agba (New Yam Festival)

Igede Agba Festival

The history of Igede Agba (New Yam Festival) dates back to the arrival of the Igede at their present place of abode.

The Igede origin according to oral tradition can be traced to a great ancestral father called Agba, the progenitor of all Igede people. It is after this man that the Igede New Yam Festival is named.

According to the paramount ruler of Ora, HRH Chief Matthew Ehijagong Imuna, the Ohain 1, Oje of Orah Land, Agba is the ancestral father of the Igede people, Agba and his descendants are of the royal throne of the popular Benin Kingdom, and that Agba was a renowned native doctor who traveled widely.

Agba was also said to be fond of a musical instrument called “Ogede”. From there the name Igede probably came from.

The Igede people are believed to have been led by one Irumanyi as they traveled east ward until they came to the bank of Oyongo River with seven tributaries.

The river parted ways for the people to cross after they performed some rituals as demanded by the oracle.

They crossed to the other side of the river called “Utukenge”, where the Igabu, Opirikwu, Anyogbe and Ikwuro people of the present Ogoja in Cross River State, who were part of this migration, parted from their Igede kith.

The Igede continued their journey to Ipinu Igede, their present abode from where each clan moved to its present location.The reawakening of this age long tradition is attributed to the formation of the group, Igede Youths Association (IYA).

This group introduced the Igede Day to celebrate the goodness of God for a good harvest and the beginning of the planting season.

This is because the major preoccupation of the Igede people is the cultivation of food crops such as yams, cassava, rice and cereals.

The size of an Igede man’s yam farm is a manifestation of his wealth and a widely acclaimed farmer in Igede is called an Ogreji.

Igede Agba festival is a special period for praising God, it celebrates hard work and dignity of labour. Moral values such as honesty, goodness, social justice as well as respect for the cultural of the people are celebrated.

Yam, the king of all farm produce, is used to mark the occasion of harvest and the new plating season.

As such, harvesting of new yams before it is declared free for harvesting is a taboo. Every Igede man is expected to celebrate the festival with yams from his farm, not bought from the market. There is nothing fetish in the celebration of Igede Agba.

The Akpang deity in Igede ensures the suppression of the activities of witches and wizards. It is a deity that keeps people away from harvesting their yams prematurely; however, it is not considered as the god of yams.

This publication is made for good intention and information purpose, Now that you have read and understand,  what is your opinion on this topic? Share what you feel about the new yam celebration by Igede people in our email box below.

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