The world appears to be moving to Igbo community center, okota, Lagos, as Igbos in Lagos celebrates their new yam festival next week, October 30th, 2021.
Indeed the annual event is expected to be a gathering of political bigwigs , Egg heads from the Academics, traditional leaders and cultural icons .
A roll call of some of the expected guests ,according to the organizers are the National Leader Of All Progressive Congress, APC , Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, his wife, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, Governors of Lagos and Imo States, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Hope Uzodinma, Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, Ambassador Chief Clifford Nzeruem, Senator Solomon Olamilekan Adeola(Yayi), First Lady Lagos State, Dr. Mrs. Sanwo-Olu, Hon.Abiodun Ganiyu Johnson , Jude Idimugo, Royal Father of the Day and King of Umuisu, Igwe Sunday Nwobodo , Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, Oba of Isolo, Oba Kabiru Adelaja Agbabiaka , amongst others.
According to the organizers, all plans have been concluded for the Igbo Community in Lagos State to mark their annual New Yam festival slated for 30th October, 2021, with the Lagos and Imo States Governors, Babajide Sanwo-Olu and Hope Uzodimma as Special Guests of Honour at the event.
It was learnt that the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Dr. Mudashiru Obasa, Senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Solomon Adeola, Oluremi Tinubu including top Lagos State Government functionaries and Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu Support Group led by Alhaji Aminu Suleiman are expected at the event.
The newly elected State Chairman of the APC, Pastor Cornelius Ojelabi and various chairmen of the Local Governments and Local Council Development Areas of Lagos State are all expected to attend the annual event, which will be held at Igbo Community Centre at Nwachukwu Drive, Okota area of Lagos.
The theme of this year’s event is “Making Way For Peace and Unity of Ndigbo in Nigeria” under the distinguished Chairmanship of Dr. Nnabuihe Chigozie Bright of the Department of Linguistics, African and Asian Studies of the University of Lagos, who is also the Guest Speaker for the day.
This was confirmed by the Igbo traditional leader, Ezendigbo, Lagos State, Eze Dr. Christian Uchechukwu Nwachukwu,JP, who said that the festival is being organized by the Igbo Community, which is the parent body of all the Igbo associations in Lagos State under his leadership.
Eze Nwachukwu stated the significance of the New Yam festival to Ndigbo, which is the reason it is being celebrated by the Igbos all over the world.He stated that the festival has its origin from the forefathers of Ndigbo, who sustained eating yam in the time of lack and maintained that yam remained the chief crop for Igbo people.
“The historical perspective helped their forebears to assess their economic performance and also positioned them to look forward to another year of prosperity.”
He also stated that the festival helps to bring Igbo sons and daughters together to thank God for the farming season and to teach Igbo children the culture and tradition.
He said, “Our forefathers specifically told us to continue with the tradition. So we have the responsibility to also teach our younger ones the same; some of our children are born and raised in the Diaspora and most of them do not have the opportunity of being in Igbo land. So we must teach them our tradition, which as you know includes the Igbo language, our food, dance, clothes, masquerades etcetera”.
Eze Nwachukwu stated that the festival also affords the Igbo the opportunity to appraise Government policies and work to enhance them for better working relationship with the Lagos State Government for the betterment of Ndigbo in the State.
He explained that many Igbo sons and daughters within and outside the States will be coming to the event including the Chairman of traditional rulers in diaspora in Nigeria, Ezendigbo in Kano, Igwe Boniface Ibekwe , Eze Dr. Uche Egenti , who is the current Chairman, Building, Road Research Institute Of Nigeria and other traditional rulers across Nigeria.
There will be display of the Igbo cultural heritage like masquerades, dancing groups, while awards and honours will be given to those who have distinguished themselves in their various fields in the society.