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 The Adah festival is a yearly festival observed by the people of Aguleri in Anambra state,Nigeria. It is called 'Igba adah' in Igbo dialect meaning to observe adah festival. At the break of dawn little children dressed in different costumes, grouped into the numerous viiages, are paraded around the town to the Ama Igwe square the centre of occasion. They chant in unison as they match on.


Let's travel down memory lane...

In 1893 and 1894 Aguleri was attacked by the Adas (Edda) and the Royal Niger Company respectively, the cause of the conflict between Adas and Aguleri is obscure but the Adas like the Abams and Ohofias , were generally hired as mercenary soldiers who capture people and sell them into slavery,It was also a common practice for any town which desire some assistance to employ this bands of fighting men. The Adas were feared by both the old and young alike, the old because they knew what to expect from the invaders and to the young it was a mental fear.

The Adas attacked Aguleri on the 10th of august 1893 but were beaten off by the Aguleri an leader called  Odili at the battle of Nteje(Ntedje), on the 16th of August 1893 the Adas were beaten and forced to retreat, though It’s true that Aguleri has defeated their invaders but the possibilities and fear of future attack was not removed, the missionaries used their influence and powers to prevail upon the Adas to give up any further aggression against Aguleri.

In 1894 the Adah convoys passed through the Catholic mission on their way to the royal Niger company to settle some disputes, the missionaries used the opportunity to arrange for peace and harmony between the Adas and Aguleri, the envoys were entertained and gifts were presented to their Chiefs. In return the chief Promise not wage any future wars against Aguleri and an agreement was signed with Aguleri and Adas, The catholic missionary on their part were able through this means to establish good relationship with the Adas thus peace was restored between the two warring parties.

In 1901 when Aguleri celebrated its first ofala festival by Eze Nwanne idigo to mark his kingship over Aguleri, the Ada festival was however adopted as an integral part of the ofala and was celebrated a day before the main ofala  to mark the victory of the defeat of the Adas by Aguleri on the 16th of August 1893.

The Ada festival is been celebrated every morning of the  first Nkwo market day of every year from 1901 till date  and its attracts dignitaries as young men and women troop out in solidarity and joy to celebrate Aguleri victory against the Adas , kids are been dressed with  different colors of masquerades as both the old and young follows them singing and dancing of war and victory songs  heading to Amaigwe (Kings palace ), the king would in turn wish his subordinates a happy new year and pray for prosperity, peace and blessings to the people of Aguleri .

Culled from Inspektor Ben

How has it helped the Aguleri town?

Multitude of people

Each year, people from all works of life visit the ancient town to witness this festival. 

It promotes tourism.

It has attracted investors to the town: people build hotels and recreational sites to accommodate and entertain guests,

A good means to build network.

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