By Agbo Amuche, Abakaliki
The national president Oha Izhi Nnodo and traditional ruler Nkaleke Echara autonomous Community, His Royal Highness Eze Sunday Oketa has said that the ojiji Izhi (new yam) festival has been recognized as one of the national festivals in the country.
They traditional ruler made this known during the familiarization and advocacy visit to Ndiebor Ishieke Autonomous Community at Odomoke Secondary School in Ebonyi Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.
While addressing the people, the President general of Oha Izhi Nnodo, Eze Oketa charged the people to embrace the culture of Izhi clan and never allowed it to go into extinction as it is not fetish, and added that tradition did not contravene religious activities.
Eze Oketa who was visibly happy over the large turnout of people of the Community hinted that Ojiji Izhi as one of the revered festivals of the people has gained national recognition, and appreciated the community for their unity and love especially in training of their children in the education of higher learning.
He stressed the need for the people to shun kindred dicotomy which according to him has done great harm than good, calling all and sundry to desist from it.
The Oha Izhi national president further urged traditional rulers and community leaders to persistently work in synergy in their various communities and charged communities without traditional ruler to as a matter of urgency produce them in unanimous agreement with the members of the particular community to ensure peace and development of their area.
Lending his voice, the Vice chairman of Oha Izhi, Barr. Boniface Ezeagu represented at the event by Prince Andrew Ekpe, the Assistant Secretary noted that all the Izhi Nnodo cultural activities, including (Ojiji, Otutara) among others should be re-embraced, as total abandonment of some of the cultural activities have contributed to the major problems confronting the society, noting that culture if embrace would promote unity, peace and harmony among members of the clan and beyond.
On his part, the national Secretary,Dr. John Nkwuda while given an overview of Izhi constitution said all issues bordering Izhi clan were incorporated in the constitution and called on the people of Ishieke Autonomous Community to always be law abiding as Oha Izhi clan would not hesitate to sanction anybody found going against the law irrespective of his place in the society.
Corraborating the national secretary, the public Relation Officer Oha Izhi, Apostle Benjamin Obeji admonished People of the area to make the constitution a working document.
He added that the proper use of it would help promote understanding among leaders and their subjects.
Meanwhile, the chairman of Oha Izhi Lawyers Forum, Barr Hycient Uguru hinted that Oha Izhi clan has prohibited selling of land outrightly especially in the rural areas, as the clan only supported the leasing capacity while calling on the land sellers to desist from such.
Mrs. Charity Ikebe and Dr. Friday Nkwede, advocated for all the Izhians to be a respecter of law and champion the course of oneness and peaceful coexistence among neighboring Communities as well as embrace the culture and ensure sustainance of them.
In their response, a stakeholder from the area and chieftain of All Progressives Congress, APC, in Ebonyi State, Chief Mathias Adum lauded the state Governor, Engr. David Umahi for given room for Ebonyi residents to showcase their cultural heritage through the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
He enjoined people of the State and the entire South East Geopolitical zone to fully participate on the ongoing INEC voters card registration to enable the people of the zone to achieve their dream of producing Nigeria President of Igbo extraction come 2023 and advised Izhi Nnodo clan to remain united and continue to be supportive to the policies and programmes of the state government.
The former Speaker of Ebonyi State House of Assembly, Hon. Ikechukwu Nwankwo, the President General of Ndiebor Ishieke Autonomous Community, Chief Louis Nwamgbo and other members of the Community, including, Prince Kenneth Nwiboko Obodo, Chief Chinedu Adum as well as Chief Boniface Okpete, all applauded Ebonyi State Governor for the construction of Nwiboko Obodo road and his monumental projects in the State, describing the visit of Oha Izhi Nnodo as a welcome development and pledged to take the message to the grass roots.
They visit drew the presence of youths, stakeholders among others.