Sunday, 13 October 2013

Igbo Day Celebration: Showcasing A Rich Cultural Heritage

Recently, the Igbo communities in Abuja and Diaspora converged on the Old Parade ground Abuja to celebrate this year’s Igbo Day. It was indeed a colourful event targeted at showcasing the cultural ingenuity of Ndigbo to the world

The 29th of every September is slated in the Igbo calendar to mark the annual Igbo Day celebration . It is also a day to showcase the rich cultural heritage of Ndigbo to the world.

This year’s event was a beehive of activities as members of Igbo communities residing in different parts of FCT and Niger State assembled in different canopies designated for each community such as Lugbe, Suleja, Durumi, Apo, among others to familiarise and commune with one another amidst entertain.

Also, different women associations, Igbo (South East) states, Rivers State and political parties convened in different canopies but not without enjoying varieties of Igbo delicacies and drinks.

The children were not left out of the celebration as a good number of them were colourfully adorned in cultural attires. They left the audience thrilled by their awe-inspiring performances. Prior to the various performances, the representatives of the different communities and women associations as well as the children filled out and paid the traditional homage to the Ezeigbo 1 of Abuja.

It also provided another opportunity for traders to make brisk business as they sold wares ranging from food, water, mineral drinks, clothing, jewelries, bags, shoes, mobile phones, etc.

SAP-EV Makes Case For Ndigbo In Diaspora

The Special Adviser to the President on Ethics and Values, Dr Sarah Jibril has expressed dissatisfaction over the alarming rate of Ndigbo in Diaspora even as she solicited the support of Igbo elders towards curtailing the influx of Igbo people into foreign countries.

“We also have the problem of our young people increasing in Diaspora. We would like the Igbo elders to have a committee that will continue to discuss with my office as well as other government agencies to see how we will deal with the issue so that we will have less of Igbo young people leaving the country.

She was optimistic that the Igbo day celebration was an avenue to assure the Igbos in Diaspora that Nigeria can tread the path of ethical and godly principles and enjoined other ethnic groups to emulate the Igbos by celebrating their tradition.

“We are hopeful that after this meeting (Igbo day), the way forward is to appeal with our children in Diaspora and assure them that we can clean up this country on ethical principles and godly cultural principles.

“It is a thing to be emulated because what the Igbo’s do every year reminds them of their root, right, responsibility and contribution to nation building.”

Ezeife Calls For Peaceful Coexistence

The former governor of Anambra State, Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife noted that the celebration was set aside for Ndigbo to reflect on their position in nation building and advised Nigerians to tread the path of peace in the interest of the country.

“Today is the day designated in the year for Igbos to meet, give thanks to God, say hello to their friends and pray further to God and examine their position in the scheme of things.

“We must be very loud in praying to God and I am advising my fellow Nigerians to give peace a chance so that our country can survive.”

We Should Keep Reinforcing Unity– Former Deputy Gov

The Former Deputy Governor of Anambra State, Barrister Stella Odife called on Igbo’s at home and in Diaspora to continually enforce unity with each other, stressing that the forum would afford youngsters the privilege to learn the tenets of Igbo tradition.

“We are celebrating our unity; that strong bond that unites the Igbo’s, so we are using this forum to call on our children that there is something called Igboness and that Igboness has a lot to do with respect, ethnicity and cultural values.

“We should keep reinforcing the Igboness in us because that is what made us unique and we started loosing track of it after the war. So, there is need for this type of forum so that our children will be learning from the elders what existed before they were born.”

Ezeigbo Cautions Ndigbo Against Power Struggle

The Ezeigbo 1 of Abuja, HRH Eze Nwosu cautioned Ndigbo against struggling power with already constituted authorities even as he advocated for peaceful coexistence between different ethnic groups.

“I will advice Ndigbo not to put their hands on unnecessary challenges. Whoever is in government and his time has not expired, nobody should challenge the person. If the person engages in wrongdoing, you can give information and not to fight him or rather say he is ‘not a man of integrity’. I am against that.

“If other ethnic groups indulge in that, Igbo’s should desist from such action. We must allow whoever is in government to finish his tenure before any other thing can come up, so we are preaching peace and advocating that people should live in unity.

“Every 29th of September, Igbos celebrate their Igbo Day to showcase their cultural heritage and preach for peace among other ethnic groups. This is why there are a lot of people playing around because today is a happy day.” The Chief reminded.

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