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June 20, 2018

Year 2016 Iri-Ji Mbaise celebration

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The Iri-Ji Mbaise cultural festival, an annual event which cuts across the clans of Mbaise nation namely: Ezinihitte, Ekwereazu, Agbaja, Ahiara AND Oke-Uvuru was celebrated at Aboh Mbaise LGA Headquarters Secondary School field, August 15th 2016, the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary’s body and soul into heaven; because of the commemoration of our Lady’s Asumption, the festival begins with celebration of the Holy Eucharist in catholic parishes in Ahiara Mbaise diocese.
At St. John the Apostle Church Umuokwuru Ihitte, Rev. Fr. Marcel Asika Okafor thanked the faithful in Mbaise for matching their annual festival with the solemnity of the BVM’s Assumption, adding that, to honor the Mother of Christ is to give due respect to God because she’s the instrument of man’s salvation.
At the Aboh Mbaise headquarters Secondary school field the festival began with fun fare, cultural dances such as Abigbo, Ekereavu, Ogbengelenge, Nkwaji, Ekpe dance, women group dance like Nkwa- Omurunwa, Agbachaa-Ekerunwa etc. the yearly event attracted sons and daughters of Mbaise  home and abroad, including dignitaries from far and near to bear witness to the rich cultural heritage of the Mbaise nation where they thank God for enriching their soil with main crops like yam and cassava and for making them sustainable agrarians. Many guests expressed their desire for Iriji cultural festival promising to introduce it in their own areas of jurisdiction. Many spoke to journalists among them is HRH Eze Leo Nwokocha.
The highpoint of the event lies in the slicing of roasted yams and dipping the pieces into well prepared pepper oil (Ngu), then chewed with the mouth; a display only demonstrated by ‘Ndi-Eze-Ji’, the Royal Fathers, Ezes’ cabinet members, Ndi Opara and distinguished guests such as governors etc.
In his maiden speech, the executive governor of Imo State Chief Rochas Okorocha (OON) assured that work will start on Mbaise roads soon as the rains stop. He identified the Mbaise nation as an agrarian area which is in contrivance with his agricultural policy; hence no governor can separate himself from them, let alone he himself. He excited the people with the promise of reinstating some of the original industries in the place and praised the people for upholding their traditional culture and enjoined them not to relent. These messages were released by his deputy governor who represented him at the occasion, Prince Eze Madumere (MFR) who also expressed much enthusiasm in attending the festival, postulating that he’s an Mbaise son, by schooling here, interacting with his mates here; pointing out that the foundation of his education here, made him what he’s today.
Presenting a reception address, the 19th chairman of Mbaise council of traditional rulers, HRM Eze Chidume Okoro, thanked the governor of Iri-Ji Mbaise, a tradition inherited from their forefathers that encouraged them to invest in agriculture. He appreciated the governor’s goodwill for the people in his sitting Mbaise Ngor Okpuala University campus in Mbaise, for the more than 25% number of students from Mbaise benefitting from the free education programme and for commissioning Aboh Mbaise Electrical goods factory which was formerly the Imo State Raisen and Paint industry.
Eze Chidume noted that Iri-Ji Mbaise is the Flagship Cultural Festival of Mbaise people adopted by the Federal govt. He appealed to the governor to consider the rehabilitation of their roads by engaging reputable contractors, the modernization of Afor Ogbe abattoir that caters for the slaughter of about 120 cows daily distributed to all parts of Imo State and beyond,  whose turnover is over N200m weekly, acquisition of land Mbaise cultural centre, the opening of the Mbaise Ngor Okpala University of Agriculture, the reintegration of Mbaise nation into the mainstream governance at the State and National levels as it is the most densely populated ethnic nationality in Africa, by appointing their sons and daughters into the seven flagship positions to give them a sense of belonging, etc.
The chairman of Ezurueze Mbaise Chief Cajethan Nnamdi presented similar addren. The chairman of the occasion chief Dr Pat Ekeji thanked the governor and all the guests and the executive organizers for their goodwill. The guests appreciated the ceremony with various donations. Among the dignitaries include senator Sam Anyanwu, Hon Nnanna Igbokwe House of Rep, Rt. Hon Acho Ihim, Hon Chidi Ibe, Hon Uche Nwosu, Hon Mrs. Esther Eburuche, Hon Mrs. Chioma Iyeoon Onwumere, Prof I. Ahaneku, Chief Mike Ahamba SAN, HRH Eze Mike Dimgba, HRH Eze Julius Amaefule, HRH Eze K.E. Odus, Prof Fabian Osuji and Mrs. Patricia Uchenna Ekennia, to mention a few.


 

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