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August 17, 2018

Ikeduru celebrates 2017 Iwa-ji Cultural Festival

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The quiet Abazu Autonomous Community in the Ikeduru LGA of Imo State, was last weekend thrown into an orgy of cultural excitement as dignitaries from within and outside Ikeduru gathered at the Central School field Abazu to celebrate the 2017 Ikeduru New Yam Festival, also known as “Iri-Ji” or “Iwa-ji Cultural Festival.”

The event, which had been described as grand in all ramifications featured a wide range of activities which included, cultural dances, wrestling, proverbs competition, selected speeches, various addresses and others.

In a welcome address on behalf of the entire people of Ikeduru, the chairman of Ndi Eze Ikeduru, HRH Eze Festus O. Osuji thanked all who had endeavoured to be part of the event. He said that Iri-ji Ikeduru was an age-long cultural heritage bequeathed to the people by their ancestors, and has since remained a symbol of mutual love and neighborliness.

Eze Osuji said that the occasion was a home-coming for, sons and daughters of Ikeduru, as it offers them the opportunity to celebrate and interact with one another, and at the same time thanked God for the joy of bountiful harvest, adding that the annual event has projected the image of Ikeduru from local to international status.

The royal father, who lamented the deplorable state of roads in Ikeduru, used the forum to appeal to the Imo State governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha for assistance, adding that many communities in Ikeduru had been cut off from their kits and kin due to bad roads.

Also, addressing the august gathering, the chairman of the 2017 “iri-ji” Ikeduru Cultural Festival, Chief Dr. Uzoma Obiyo thanked all who took time out of their busy schedules to be part of the event. He described the annual outing as a pivot on which the unity of a people revolves.

Dr. Obiyo emphasized on the need to sustain the annual gathering, adding that a people without culture have lost their identity. He thanked all who contributed towards the success of the event and implored others to emulate them, adding that the event connoted a sense of oneness, unity and progress.

In his Welcome address, the host Traditional Ruler of Abazu Autonomous Community, Eze (Dr.) Oliver Ubaferem Njoku, JP, thanked Ndi Eze Ikeduru for granting his autonomous community the hosting right to this great event. He described the annual festival as culture recaptured to re-inform the entire people of Ikeduru that they were one, from the same father.

The event which attracted who is who in politics, business, academia, diplomatic corp, youth and women organizations, students union, religious bodies, traditional institutions and others, saw the entire people of Ikeduru dancing and exchanging pleasantries.

The highpoint of the event was the “IWA-JI” which was performed by prominent sons of Ikeduru, alongside their friends and well-wishers.

Speaking to journalists after the event, the chairman of the Central Planning Committee, HRH Levi Iheanyichukwu Ezeala described the event as unique. On what Ikeduru people stand to gain from the outing, Eze Ezeala said, apart from being a veritable tool for community development, it renews our oneness as offsprings of one father.

Dignitaries who graced the occasion included, Chief Dr. Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, Senator Samuel Anyanwu, Senator Osita Izunaso, Hon. Dr. Teddy Uche Oguwuike, Bishop Emmanuel Madueke of the Anglican Diocese of Ikeduru who prayed and committed the event into the hands of God before the official opening, and a host of other dignitaries.


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