ENUGU, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA)- Former Imo Governor, Chief Emeka Ihedioha, has called for unity, love, peace and reconciliation, describing them as fundamental ingredients for national growth and development.
Ihedioha made the call on Wednesday at the 2022 Eyirieyi Obohia cultural festival, a cultural celebration of the Obohia Ekwerazu community, Ahiazu Mbaise council area of Imo, held in the community, on Wednesday.
The former Governor called on the people of the community, the state and Nigeria at large to embrace the tenets of love and unity for progressive development.
“As you celebrate this year’s event, it is my prayer that the age-long cultural festival will continue to provide and promote opportunities for peace and unity and usher in God’s blessings to the community, our dear Imo and Nigeria at large”, he said.
Speaking at the ceremony also, the traditional ruler of Amano Obohia community, His Royal Majesty, Eze Chidume Okoro, said the festival had existed for over 500 years, as a reminder of the history and cultural heritage of the people.
Chairman of the Local Organising Committee and Duke of Obohia, Mr Iyke Ezeh in his welcome address noted that the festival which always held on the second Nkwo Market Day in the month of August, was a way of equipping the youth with history and cultural knowledge for posterity.
He said fights, quarrels, violence and other anti-social acts were usually replaced with reconciliation and love during the period of the festival.
“The festival is a reminder of the need for peace and reconciliation. Individuals are called to purify their hearts and minds and chart the way for peaceful co-existence for sustainable development,” he added.
Rev. Fr Ben Chima, an indigenous cleric, also stated that the festival traversed religious and other backgrounds as some aspects of the culture had become christianized by the first indigenous Catholic priest of Obohia, Late Rev. Fr Donald Okoro.