Promoting unity via cultural festivals, Oha Izhi stance in Ebonyi


In Ebonyi State and beyond, Izhi unity deserves no question, fear or contradictions but leaving our culture behind by prioritizing on the strange lives, attitudes and ideologies, has become the greatest threat to our collectivity, love, joy and progress, the President of Oha Izhi, HRH Eze S.N Oketa made this assertion during the sensitization and advocacy visit to Izhi Unuphu Autonomous Community in Abakaliki Council Area in the state.
This became shore of discourse last Saturday, due to the weathering doubts over the oneness, peace and unity of the people, Izhi Nnodo Ekumaenyi clan in Ebonyi State. 

But Eze Oketa noted, "the truth is that no Izhi man today will proudly describe himself unlucky to have been born in Izhi land - it's rare to see one."

He described Izhi people as a blessed clan in Ebonyi State and explained that their land shares boundaries with Benue, Cross River with some of them living in other local government areas within the states, are proud of themselves.

He also said, Izhi people apart from being good in farming crops like yams, cassava, rice, and others, are very accommodative to strangers - the gesture which made the clan the landlord housing the Ebonyi State Capital City, Abakaliki.

The Oha Izhi President who was collaborated with his Vice, Barr Boniface Ezaegu further disclosed that his people have unique cultural festivals including Ojiji (new yam feast), Otutara (feast for the departed souls with worthwhile legacies on Earth), and Oboiphe (ceremony always observed during March/April when cultural dances and masquerades are being paraded).

Other cultural festivals according to them are cultural dressing/identity code, naming ceremony, Jioke title,
Chieftaincy title, promotion of Izhi language, separation of traditional medicine and fetish practices.

They advised the community people not to allow their culture to go into extinction, saying that Oha Izhi embarked on the sensitization and advocacy visit to the 26 communities of Izhi extraction to promote peace and unity among their people in Ebonyi State and beyond.

They also noted that all the cultural practices of the clan are now contained in their constitution and urged the people to strictly observe it as no defaulter will go unpunished.

"It is only through unity and peace that Izhi people will develop our people and our land. We have a constitution that regulates all activities of our people in the three council areas in Ebonyi State and beyond, and anybody who goes contrary will be punished according to the constitution.

"Again, Izhi culture must be highly maintained because abandonment of some cultural activities had contributed to the increase in untimely death and other strange things happening in our land. Always make peace a priority and avoid any act capable of jeopardizing the good image of our clan. Make sure you do voter registration and massively vote during election, because we have constituted a committee to take care of that to avoid being sanctioned," Oketa advised.

"Every Izhi son and daughter should rise to his or her responsibilities in promoting our culture by giving our children Izhi names as a true form of identity. Ojiji Izhi has been recognized as one of the best festival in Africa and other cultural festivals such Otutara, Oboiphe, among others must be observed because they engender the peace, unity and progress of our people," Chief Boniface Ezaegu collaborated.

While talking on the objectives of the body, the General Secretary of Oha Izhi, Dr. John Nkwuda, ably represented by his Assistant, Mr. Andrew Ekpe Nwiga said, all the matters arising from every part of Izhi clan must be addressed in line with the constitutional provisions.

The Secretary further said before any matter will be reported to Oha Izhi, it must first pass through the village heads, community leaders, traditional rulers and urged the people to always work with the Constitution.

He also advised the people to develop a special passion for the cultural values and practices of the land as according to him, "embracing our cultural festivals will go a long to promote love, peace, unity and progress in Izhi land."

Recall that the Publicity Secretary of Oha Izhi, Apostle Benjamin Obaji, has called for the need of every community to have traditional ruler and town union president to work together for overall development of their people.
The Oha Izhi Spokesman also advocated that the relationship between the community development union and traditional ruler should be cordial while championing affairs of their people.

In his exposition of Oha Izhi Nnodo constitution visa-vise land matter by Barr. Hyacinth Uguru, disclosed that Izhi clan has outrightly prohibited selling of land but only allows leasing and warned land sellers to be wary of the new development.

Concerning electoral violence in Izhi land, Chief Mrs.  Charity Ikebe advised women not allow their children to be used to perpetrate trouble in the society. 

Mrs Ikebe who advocated for oneness and peaceful co-existence among Izhi people, urged youths to shun politics of destructive tendencies.

Meanwhile, the Traditional Ruler of Izhi Unuphu Autonomous Community, HRH Eze Boniface Nwoba Nwangbu, the Town Union President of the community, Engr. Reuben Ofoke, Christopher Esha, Ikechukwu Igwe and other stakeholders in the area appreciated Oha Izhi for their visit, described it as an impactful project and promised to utilize programme to better the lots of their people.

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