New yam festival: Obi of Onitsha lauds Anambra indigenes in UNN for promoting Igbo culture

Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka Alfred Achebe

Obi of Onitsha, His Royal Majesty, Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe, has commended Anambra State indigenes at the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) for promoting Igbo culture and tradition.


Achebe, who is the Grand Patron, Anambra People’s Assembly (APA) in UNN, made the commendation in Nsukka on Tuesday during the first New Yam Festival organised by the indigenes.


The Obi of Onitsha said that the new yam festival is an important event in Igboland because of the respect and honour Ndigbo have for yam.


“Yam is an important crop, cultivated in every part of Igboland. It serves as food that can be eaten in different ways.


“During the time of our forefathers, wealth of a man was calculated and measured by the length of his yam barn and not today that money has become everything.


“It’s believed that a man’s yam barn shows his strength, wisdom, ability and wealth to feed his family members and kinsmen,” he said.


Achebe, who was represented by Prof Ifeanyichukwu Abada, Head of the Department of Political Science, UNN, urged other Anambra indigenes in various higher institutions in the country to emulate APA in promoting Igbo culture and tradition in their schools.


“I commend the Prof Florence Orabueze-led executive for their wisdom in organising the new yam festival as well as being good ambassadors of Anambra State and urged the assembly to make it a yearly event.


“I am happy about the huge attendance of Anambra indigenes as well their friends from other states which shows that APA in UNN is doing very well,” he said.


Speaking, Prof Orabueze, Department of English and Literary Studies, UNN, who is the Founding President of APA, said APA membership is open to staff and students working in UNN from 13 local government areas of Anambra State, that constituted the old Onitsha Area province.


“As we celebrate the new yam festival with our brothers, sisters, relations friends and members of the university community, it is a good occasion to call to mind the Igbo moral ethics and values of communalism, truthfulness, justice peace and unity.


“Today’s event will give us another opportunity to promote Igbo culture, language, traditions and our identity as Anambra people working in UNN.


“It’s good to join men and women of goodwill to ensure that the university, founded by our fathers, continues to enjoy its enviable position in academics as well as in promoting our various rich cultural heritages,” she said.


Orabueze, who was the former Director, Institute of African Studies UNN, urged members of the assembly to always remember the motto of Anambra State (The Light of the Nation) wherever they found themselves.


“In whatever we do and say, we shall remember that we are noble and princely people from Anambra State.


“Therefore, we should ensure that we shall never allow the light in us to go out, or for darkness to assail and overwhelm us, but we must strive to be the light for other people to see,” she said.


The president expressed special appreciation to the Obi of Onitsha who is the Grand Patron of APA for his fatherly advice and support to the assembly.


The president also expressed gratitude to Chief Andrew Oru, a philanthropist and former Global President, University of Nigeria Alumni Association, for his financial support for the event as well as all who come from far and near to grace the occasion.


Earlier, Prof Chuu Ikwuemesi, from the Department of Fine and Applied Arts, UNN, who chaired the occasion, said APA, in organising the new yam festival, had reaffirmed its belief, respect and love for Igbo cultures and traditions.


“What happened here today is an eloquent testimony that Anambra people love and cherish Igbo cultures and traditions.


“New yam festival is an important celebration in Igboland because it showcases the rich cultural heritage of Igbos,” he said.


He commended the Orabueze-led executive for being the first to organise new yam festival for Anambra indigenes in UNN and urged other Anambra groups in higher institutions across the country to emulate the good example.


NAN reports that David Okeke, President, Anambra State Students Union, and Uchenna Ifeanyi, Chairman, Anambra Postgraduate Association in UNN, respectively led hundreds of undergraduates and postgraduate students from the state to the festival.


Their entry into the venue of the new yam festival, with Anambra traditional music and dance added colour and excitement to the event (NAN)

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