Be a crusader of our culture, say custodians as Okposi celebrates new yam festival


The Enechi Ekuma IV of Okposi Autonomous Community, HRH Eze Cosmas N. Agwu, has called his people to actively join in the campaign for the restoration of their culture.

The traditional ruler made the call on Saturday 14th August 2021, the day, the people of Okposi Ezi-na-Asato commemorated their 2021 New Yam Festival.

Eze Agwu who described himself as a crusader of his people's customs and traditions, said that English culture is a stranger in all African communities.

"I have been a crusader in making sure our custom and traditions are being respected. English culture is stranger in all African villages and communities including Okposi Ezi-na-Asato. I have traveled far and near, I have traveled to many Western countries and there's no place I traveled to, I have not witnessed the people respecting their local culture.

"So, I am saying that our culture must be restored. We believe that if you are a Christian, that you will always do what belongs to Christianity and if you are a traditionalist, you will always do what belongs to the tradition. 

"I as a person believe immensely that tradition must be restored and whosever doesn't respect our tradition is killing our children, because that's why children don't know how to respect people especially their elders," he said.

He pointed out that the negligence to the cultural practices has resulted in pre-mature death and other ugly incidences occuring in the society, calling all and sundry to be a crusader for the restoration of their culture.

"When you see a child he will come to present his hand to his elder, a person he supposed to bow down and receive his blessings.  But in the olden days, young ones were afraid of the elders, remained loyal and honest, toeing the lines of our traditions. 

"Can you imagine a woman coming to shake hands with a traditional ruler? Is it possible if we are respecting our tradition? This is not cultural, it can only be done by a woman who was not brought a traditional oriented family. It's an abomination! It's good to obey our tradition, it's good to restore our culture. People die young for giving deaf ears to our tradition. We must all rise strongly to defend our custom, traditions, because our culture is our life," he said.

Eze Agwu had earlier explained that the celebration of the new yam festival of this year attracted the whole people of Okposi Ezi-na-Asato Community in Ohazara Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.

He commended the efforts of the State Governor, Chief David Nweze Umahi for having been the forefront in uniting Okposi Ezi-na-Asato people by advising them to  be commemorating their new yam festival like other communities in the state.

He said that "the new yam festival is a tradition in Okposi Ezi-na-Asato over 500 years ago. Our great forefathers have been celebrating new yam festival, but this year we decided to celebrate it in a unified way.

"And as such, we made it to attract people from all walks of life. We are saying that as far as Okposi Ezi-na-Asato is concerned, we have united and our business tycoons who had made it financially should make it possible to celebrate this feast."

He however, thanked all the traditional rulers of Okposi Ezi-na-Asato for welcoming the spirit of unity while commemorating the new yam festival this year.

Also speaking, the Chief Priest of New Yam Festival in the community, Chief Pharmacist John Chukwuemeka Agwu expressed joy that his people came together and had a hitch free celebration.

Chief Agwu said the commemoration of the new yam festival remained significant as it fosters the unity of his community people, stressing that "it is better united than divided."

"The new yam festival is a thanksgiving to God, for He has prospered us and made us to have a bumper harvest.

"Also, we are heralding begining of another year of planting and harvesting. Right now, there's no famine or fasting anywhere in our community. We have told Okposi people to go into their farms and harvest their farm produce because without this celebration none of us would have harvested any new thing including groundnuts, coconut, even vegetables can't enter Eke-market. It is now that yam which is the Chief of all the crops have been celebrated, and that all other crops can be harvested and  be sold in our Eke-market," he said.

He urged his people to embrace their culture, adding that anybody that has lost his culture has equally lost his or her pride.

"Anybody that has lost his culture has lost his pride. Anybody that doesn't know that culture is a totality of life of people is a slave to another man's culture. Christ the Saviour, He is a complete God, but He practiced His culture while on Earth."

NATIONAL PANEL reports that the occasion was honoured by Governor David Nweze Umahi, represented by his Deputy, Chief Eric Kelechi Igwe, former National Vice Chairman of People's Democratic Party in South East,  Chief Austin Umahi, the Honourable former Minister, Chief Goddy Ogbaga and wife, the State Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Chief Mrs Elizabeth Ogbaga, Member representing Ezza North/Ishielu Federal Constituency, Chief Edwin Anayo Nwonu, several government functionaries, business moguls, security operatives, traditional rulers, among other people from the community and beyond to commemorate the festival.

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