–As Okposi Celebrates New Yam Festival
By Amuche Agbo, Abakaliki
Ebonyi State Governor, Engr. David Umahi has called on the people to imbibe on the preservation of their cultural values and norms so as to build healthier society.
Umahi made the call during the 2021 Iriji Okposi cultural festival held at Amechi Primary School in Ohaozara Local Government Area of the State.
Governor Umahi who was represented at the event by his Deputy, Barr. Kelechi Igwe said that culture as the totality of people’s way of life need to be completely maintained both in Ebonyi State and other Igbo speaking States.
He charged all and sundry in Igbo land to always maintain their cultural heritage where necessary, even as, he observed that foreign religious activities had taken over traditional way of life, but pointed out that tradition needs not to be kept aside as both of them had its different roles.
He admonished commissioner for Culture and Tourism to as a matter of outmost importance organize a cultural carnival before the end of his adminstration, hence, invite friends, neighboring states to come and see culture in action in the State
He noted that culture had its own unification factor than politics, as such, should be promoted by the people.
Speaking further, Governor Umahi congratulated the people of Okposi for their support in his adminstration, and advised them to come together irrespective of their political differences to achieve a greater society.
He assured them of Government continuous support to ensure peace and development in the Community.
On his part, the former Minister of State for Power and Steel, Chief Goddy Ogbaga, thanked the traditional ruler and elders of the Community for revival and strict appearance to those rich cultural values that promote decency and peace in the society.
Chief Ogbaga who was visibly happy, called on the people and entire Ebonyians to continue promoting and propagating cultural norms and values everywhere they go, hence, it is not fetish activity.
In their separate speeches, Chief of Staff Government House, Barr. Samuel Okoronkwo and the State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Mr Donatus Njoku, described culture as a veritable tool for unity, peace and development.
The duo who also came from the area, said Okposi festival is a unifying festival that unite Okposi Sons and daughters both home and in diaspora despite of ones religious belief, position and educational background and vowed to sustain the tempo for the interest of all.
Earlier in his remark, the traditional ruler of Okposi Kingdom, His Royal Highness, Eze Onyiba Cosmas Agwu who is a crusader in restoring custom and tradition noted that anybody opposing the restoration of tradition is indirectly killing their children, adding that tradition must be accorded with a due respect.
The monarch applauded Governor Umahi for reviving Okposi culture, as well as, his leadership prowess, which he noted that it has transformed the State to the International standard.
The traditional ruler assured his peoples’ support to his administration to enable him achieve more development in the State.
The celebration attracted distinguished personalities including the Member representing Ezza North/ Ishielu Federal Constituency, Hon. Anayo Nwonu, former National PDP Vice Chairman, Chief Austin Umahi, Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Barr. Elizabeth Ogbaga as well as the Chairman of Ohaozara Local Government Area and many other notable stakeholders.
The climax of the event were the traditional rulers eaten roasted new yams according to their kindred and cultural display by groups.