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The Former Governor of Imo State, Chief Emeka Ihedioha, has mulled for unity, love, peace and reconciliation as some of the fundamental ingredients which are indeed necessary for national growth and development in the country.
Ihedioha had made this statement in his remarks while he had been hosted at the year 2022 Eyirieyi Obohia cultural festival which is an annual cultural celebration of the Obohia Ekwerazu community, Ahiazu Mbaise council area of Imo, held in the community, on Wednesday.
He had also called on the people of the community, state and Nigeria at large to embrace the tenets of love and unity for progressive development.
“As you celebrate this year’s event, it is my prayer that the age-long cultural festival will continue to provide and promote opportunities for peace and unity and usher in God’s blessings to the community, our dear Imo and Nigeria at large”, he said.
While reiterating the ex-Governor’s speech, the traditional ruler of Amano Obohia community, His Royal Majesty, Eze Chidume Okoro, had also revealed that the festival had existed for over 500 years, as a reminder of the history and cultural heritage of the people.
In a welcome address, Chairman of the Local Organising Committee and Duke of Obohia, Mr Iyke Ezeh said that the festival which always held on the second Nkwo Market Day in the month of August, was a way of equipping the youth with history and cultural knowledge for posterity.
According to him, fights, quarrels, violence and other anti-social acts were usually replaced with reconciliation and love during the period of the festival.
“The festival is a reminder of the need for peace and reconciliation. Individuals are called to purify their hearts and minds and chart the way for peaceful co-existence for sustainable development”, he said.
Also, Rev. Fr Ben Chima, an indigenous cleric, noted that the festival traversed religious and other backgrounds as some aspects of the culture had become christianized by the first indigenous Catholic priest of Obohia, Late Rev. Fr Donald Okoro.