Omuma is the capital of Oru East, a local government area of Imo State in Southeastern Nigeria. It is one of the oldest towns in Imo State. Omuma is located at latitude 5.5594893° N and longitude 6.9720482° E. Its boundary to the north is Mgbidi, to the east is Amiri and Otulu, to the west is Nempi and Akatta. Omuma has four communities: Abia-Omuma, Ozuh-Omuma, Umuhu-Omuma, Etiti-Omuma. Christianity is the dominant religion in Omuma. The culture of Omuma is typical of Igbo cultures, being steeped in Igbo music.
Some cultural activities and festivals are associated with ancient tribal gods and rites, but since the spread of Christianity, many are no longer performed. The new yam festival is a solemn occasion and starts with the planting season in March when the chief priest and elders start the planting of yams. Before the first yam is planted, elders pay homage to their traditional ruler or chief, the Dede Igbo, the custodian of tradition and the ancestral father of the Omuma Igbo people. Top members of the Igbo people, such as high chiefs, respected elders, important personalities in the community, form an entourage to make the journey to the Dede.
When this entourage arrives at the Ezeonomobi Igbo, the members are received by the leader according to cultural tradition, by presenting them locally brewed palm wine, kola nut, white clay, first offered to the gods as supplication before the visitors. The group conducts brief prayers; the conventional calendar puts the planting season in January, while the Igbo calendar, agrarian, is called the first Eke and starts in February, known as Onwa Mmiri Nda Afo. In Igbo areas, yam is an important economic crop, a regular staple in most homes. The yam is considered the chief forerunner of other crops in the region. The planting season begins in the first week of February and the crop takes six months to mature, making the festival period between late July and early August when the valuable crop is harvested.
The schools in Omuma include: Divine Favour Secondary School, Omuma Technical College, Omuma Community School, Omuma Uche Stenography Academy, Umuhu-Omuma Holy Trinity Secondary School, Omuma Ozuh Primary School, Ozuh-Omuma Abia Central School, Abia-Omuma Community Primary School, Amaodum Etiti-Omuma Umuhu Primary School, Umuhu-Omuma Powerline Primary School, Abia-Omuma Omuma Central School, Omuma.
Omuma produces many agricultural products, such as yams, taro, maize and palm oil. Omuma has crude oil and natural gas reserves, like most of the Igbo regions. Notable industries in Omuma include bread factories, bottled water companies and palm oil mills. The Omuma market, popularly known as “Orie Omuma”, is the biggest in Oru East L. G. A. Attracting people from all over south eastern Nigeria and beyond.
Author: Okenze Sydney Ugochukwu
November 21, 2020
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