The biennial Oghoje and Okposo Masquerade Festivals of the ancient Urhobo Kingdom of Agbarha-Warri started on April 23 in Warri, Delta State.
It was gathered that Oghoje is the male deity, while Okposo is the female deity of the festival.
The four-day festival has two sessions: morning and evening – with celebrants putting on traditional attires, singing and dancing while the female participants clap behind the beautifully adorned masquerades.
The venue of the celebration of the festival is the traditional headquarters of Agbarha-Warri Kingdom in Otovwodo Agbassa community in the heart of the oil town of Warri.
The history of the festivals is as old as the history of Agbarha-Warri Kingdom itself, as it has continued to survive the incursion of the western culture and civilisation.
The chief priest of the festival, Chief Afuevu Ugborikoko, who spoke to the newsmen, explained that the Oghoje and Okposo are deities of peace, protection and prosperity.
The Unuovwodo (traditional representative of the Ovie of Agbarha-Warri Kingdom of Otovwodo community), Chief Julius Edafiadjebre, spoke in the same vein.
He urged indigenes of Agbarha-Warri Kingdom and Urhobos to be proud of their cultural deities and also celebrate them like other ethnic nationalities in the state and Nigeria do.
“The Bini, Yoruba and other ethnic groups are progressing today because they are proud of their deities and also celebrate their deities with festivals,” he admonished.