New yam festival which is one of the most valued Igbo cultural heritage once again came into limelight last weekend, at Oriade Local Government Development Area,LCDA, Lagos state.
Indeed, new yam festival has remained a symbol of unity for the Igbo Nation,just as culture remains an integral part of Nigerians.
Last weekend’s auspicious August 13th, 2022 event, was the first New yam festival celebration under the newly coronated Eze Emmanuel Chukwuakalikamadu, the Eze Ndigbo in Oriade.
The event marked with fun, fanfare, pomp and peagentry, was celebrated in a bid to make an indelible statement and show critics that Eze Emmanuel Chimereze Chukwuakalikamadu’s throne has come to stay as the authentic Eze Ndigbo in Oriade LCDA.
Igbos in Oriade LCDA areas, even from beyond ,were indeed joined by Traditional leaders otherwise known as Ndiezes and Kingmakers from different parts of Lagos state, as they trooped to the venue of the event which turned out to be the palace of Eze Emmanuel Chukwuakalikamadu.
With musical gyration and traditional songs ushering guests into the arena, the event which started late at about 4pm , later turned out to be a great success, culminating into the dishing out of merit awards to deserving members of his cabinet, friends of the palace, installation of a Chieftaincy title of “Chukwu Mu Anya Nnewi ” to Prince Ik Osuchukwu, popularly known as Chief Sam Bell and the royal and regal traditional outing dance of the host Eze Ndigbo, accompanied by other guests Ndiezes. Prominent Ezes and guests at the Occasion were, Eze (Dr ) John C. Nwosu, Eze Lawrence Eze, Eze Odumodu, Eze Odenigbo , Eze Edwin Obi, Eze Joseph Mba, (Eze Umuokorobia Gburugburu) Others are Ohanaeze Ndigbo King Maker, Chief Ik Onyemaechi ( Ochiagha ), Chief John Uche aka Akpatinshiegbe and First President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Lagos state , Chief Thompson Ohia, Mr. Uche Okoye, Chief Ezenwa, Chief Jerry Njoku, Chief Obioma Ahionye ( Ikuku oma), Chief Echi Ezeokwu Chife Uzoigwe , Chief Oji Anawareze , Chief Echi Iji Buaku, Chief Innocent Ofoleta, (Osimire), Prince Ik Osuchukwu , now Chief Chukwu Mu Anya Nnewi, Chief (Mrs.) Tochi Chukwugirim, Chief Charles Uzo, Chairman, Obieze/ Planning Committee and Youth Leader, Mr. Promise Lezieanya amongst others.
At the center of it all was the speech by the indefatigable and amiable Royal Father Of the day, Eze Chimereze , Eze Ndigbo of Oriade LCDA, who harped on the need for Igbo sons and daughters to come together and express true love to one another.
Earlier, Eze Chimereze Chukwuakalikamadu, had in his speech expressed profound appreciation to all the guests that honored his invitation.
He also enjoined all Igbo sons and daughters to come together under one umbrella, in an exhibition of togetherness and brotherhood.
Indeed, the event was indicative that new yam Festival will remain integral part of all Igbo indigenes residing in Oriade local government area of Lagos State.
Receiving the Chieftaincy title with Joy, Chief Ik Osuchukwu, on behalf of his family, expressed his gratitude to Eze Chukwuakalikamadu and the other guests Ndiezes for the honor bestowed on him. He promised to be at the fore front of issues and things concerning Ndigbo in Oriade and Igbos in general.
Speaking, Eze John Nwosu, who offered royal blessings at the occasion while breaking the traditional kola nuts ,said the remembrance of yam festival in Igbo land remains significant and symbol of unity among the people.
In his own speech, Chief John Uche, the first President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo,expressed gratitude to God that made the event possible and thanked all the guests that thronged to the venue to identify and celebrate with Eze Oriade and his palace cabinet.
According to Chief Uzo, “this year’s New Yam Festival and Igbo Day Celebration has been fashioned to show case the culture and unity of Ndigbo in Oriade LCDA Lagos state, we have also decided to use the occasion of this great gathering to give awards deserving to very special individuals. We are humbly soliciting for supports in every area that it requires to keep Ndigbo United and in peace with other tribes in Oriade LCDA and Lagos state at large. ”
All the Traditional Leaders and Eze Ndigbos took turn in blessing the new yam , before slicing a portion which they publicly ate, to signify and kick start general consumption of yams by igbo residents in Oriade.
The event witnessed colourful cultural displays , women and youth associations under Ohanaeze Ndigbo Oriade were not left out, including exhibition of Igbo dishes and Yam eating among others.
The Chief host, Eze Ndigbo of Oriade thrilled his guests with sumptuous and exotic meals.
In his own contribution, Eze Odumodu, who offered royal blessings at the occasion, said the remembrance of yam festival in Igbo land remains significant and symbol of unity among the people.
He expressed gratitude to God that made the event possible and thanked the chief host that brought the Ezes that thronged to his compound to identify and celebrate with him and his Council of Chiefs
Collaborating the above said fact, one of the Guest of honour at the event and King Maker, High Chief Ochiagha , who blessed the traditional kolanuts, prayed for bountiful harvest, long life and prosperity .
“New yam festival marks the renewal of kinship alliances, as well as the end of one agricultural season with a harvest to express gratitude and thanksgiving to God Almighty, the society, friends and relations”, Ochiagha said.
All the Traditional Leaders and Eze Ndigbos took turn in blessing the new yam , before slicing a portion which they publicly ate, to signify and kick start general consumption of yams by igbo residents in Oriade LCDA.
Speaking, King maker, Founder and first Ohanaeze Ndigbo president, Lagos state, Chief John Uche said thus : “the New Yam festival remains a strong part of the Igbo people wherever they are in the world and have not missed the festival which is to hold the continuity of their ancestral root to generations unborn”.
Those present at the event were royal fathers, politicians, notable Igbo Traders, business men and women, Like the Owner of Sweet Breeze Hotel, Satellite, Oriade, youths and other Igbo communities residing in Lagos, and neighbouring States.