Ahead this year’s Echori Festival, Members of Ochiga Descendants Union (ODU) have advised the organizers to initiate a competition among Ebira yam farmers to encourage hard work.
This was contained in a Press Release made available to Journalists in Akure on Friday which was signed by the Assistant National Secretary and Actg. Director of Public Communications, Mr. Moses Ojo.
To them, it is time to celebrate Echori like the Argungu Fishing festival in Kebbi State when a fisherman with the biggest fish is celebrated and rewarded with a prize award yearly and emphasized the advantages in using the event for yam farmers to compete annually among themselves.
The group opined that such a move will make the festival more attractive to people from far and near as well as promote diligence among Ebira yam farmers nationwide.
The annual festival which is the Ebira peoples’ version of yam festival often signals the yearly commencement of the consumption of new yams by Ebira people of Kogi Central Senatorial District.
According to them, the festival is another golden opportunity for Ebira people of Ihima in Okehi Local Government Area of Kogi State to showcase their cherished cultural heritage.
“Echori festival from time immemorial attracts people from all walks of life. Amid pomp and pageantry the celebrants entertain their guests by the latest fashion and palm wine while the youngsters amuse themselves and the audiences by caning one on other. While the farmers use to display their new yams, traditional musicians of different groups showcase their singing and dancing skills to the reverberation of rhythms of drums which is the crescendo of the festival proper.
Generally, the social interaction accruing from this event often result into relationships and marriages” the statement added.
The group enjoined the Celebrants to eschew all forms of violence and embrace peace throughout the three-day ceremony.
They appreciated the tireless efforts of The Obobanyi of Ihima and his team of Elders of Ihima for the existing peaceful co-existence among the people of the town and Ebira land at large.
This year’s edition of the festival is scheduled to begin on June 4th and will be rounded up on June 6th, 2023.