Challenges Of The Ogo Festival In The Villages Of Akaeze And Edda Communitiesadmin
Every year from September to December the villages within Akaeze (5 villages) and Edda (72 villages), observe the Ogo festival. During this periods Youths are subjected to their initiation ceremonies, where they are given to strange dressings, make ups and chanting of various initiation songs. By night they are involved in the loud chanting of the songs in order to invoke the gods of the land to be with them and spiritually fill them with their spirits During this periods, strangers are prohibited from entering into certain places in the villages .
It has a sentence of death penalty to offenders. It is a major festival carried out by youths who are grown up to show that they are ready for marriage and to inherit the fathers’ properties. This pose a lot of restrain to the few believers and churches within the community.
Church activities are obstructed and women are scarcely seen moving around in the evenings, several roads are closed. Through this festival, the gods of the land are invoked and the various alters are revived through various sacrifices that are made. Idolatry is so much pronounced in these villages. It is also noticed that, during the period and after the festival, various forms of diseases and sickness becomes prevalent and deaths are recorded.
This year one of TETMI Missionaries who was in the bid to rescue a woman who was very sick and almost dead
nearly fell victim to the rules of the festival. He (a stranger ) risked his life trying to rescue this woman during the night hours when the initiation was on. He saw the life of this woman (though not a believer yet) so precious before God that he desired to save her and give her an opportunity to give her life to Christ than to allow her die and go to hell.
He was able to pass through the large number of youths in a disguised manner with the help of Mr. Damian (an indigene and believer) who was on his way back to the village from the next village. He was not recognized by the group as he passed by but on his trying to get the woman out of the village for medical attension, the woman was detected by one of the participants who raised an alarm but was beckoned by Mr. Damian to withhold his speech for the woman is critically sick. God worked with such plea and the woman with her rescue team were saved from been killed and they branched into a nearby building where they stayed as the missionary prayed till morning when they had access to go for medical attension. Today the woman is alive and after sharing the gospel with her latter, she and her household gave their lives to Christ. This truly call for our sincere prayers to deliver the land from such Idolatory.