Awka – The Traditional Ruler of Ukwulu Ancient Kingdom in Dunukofia Local Government Area, Igwe Peter Uyanwa,has described the Anambra International Cargo and Passengers Airport, Umueri in Anambra East Council Area of the state, as one of the indelible legacy projects of the Governor Willie Obiano administration in the State.
He also said that the recent enlistment of Anambra State as an oil producing state in Nigeria by the Federal Government, under Obiano’s watch, has no doubt, launched the State to the world map.
Igwe Uyanwa, made the assertion in his palace while delivering his 2021 New Yam Festival Message, attended by eminent personalities from within and outside the state.
The Ukwulu New Yam festival heralds the coming of the year’s harvest and the new yam and is usually used to thank God for the gift of yam and a bountiful harvest.
The Ukwulu monarch, who described the celebration of new yam festival in Igboland as an agelong tradition, challenged Ukwulu people to embrace peace, unity of purpose and oneness, in their quest to achieve sustainable development in the community.
The revered traditional ruler, who was a one-time chairman, Anambra Central Traditional Rulers Council, reminded the people that progress cannot thrive in an atmosphere of rancour, hatred and bitterness, calling on the people to work towards speaking with one voice by giving peace chance.
He noted that the seven years of Governor Obiano’s leadership in the state, was loaded with vintage projects, scattered across the length and breadth of the state and prayed God to bless the state with another governor in the November 6 governorship election, who would uphold the positive leadership qualities of Obiano for complete turnaround of the state.
“The mystery behind the cultivation and germination of Yam can be likened to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and cannot be tagged fetish.
“The early Anglican Missionaries visited Ukwulu community over one hundred and twenty years ago and the community has since then known God till today.
“What we do with the festival is to thank the God of all harvests for the gift of the new yam. It is a spiritual exercise that reverences God for his bounties upon humanity,” he said.
Uyanwa, who spoke among other things, prayed God to bless the community with more bumper harvests by next year, genuine wealth, good health and healthy lives.
A former Vice -Chancellor of Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Igbariam, Professor Fidelis Okafor, cited the scripture that “there is time for cultivation and time for harvest,” saying the celebration of New Yam in Igbo nation is the celebration of the harvest time, as according to him, Yam is a very significant crop in all ramifications in Igbo land.
Earlier in a holy mass to mark the event, held at the Igwe’s palace, Revered Father Dr. Greg Eke of the Department of Education Foundation in the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, who presided over the celebration, thanked God for the gift of Igwe Uyanwa to people of Ukwulu Ancient Kingdom, whom he said that God has used him to attract a lot of physical infrastructure and human capital development in the Community.
He advised the people to always appreciate the traditional ruler by lending their unalloyed support to him, as he strives towards bettering their lots.
In their separate goodwill messages to Igwe Uyanwa, the traditional ruler of Amanuke Community, Igwe Alphonsus Ezebilou, and Igwe Dr Joel Madudichie of Umuawulu community, affirmed that Igwe Ezedike Ukwulu has through the festival exemplified himself as a true custodian of Igbo culture and tradition.
The event which was attended by the governorship candidates of various political parties in the state including, Senator Andy Uba of the APC, Mr Val.Ozigbo of the PDP and Obiorah Okonkwo of Zenith Labour Party, among others.
It also featured paying of homage and presentation of gifts to Igwe Uyanwa by people of Ukwulu Community, their friends and well-wishers as well as masquerade performance, cultural dances of various degrees by the people, conferment of chieftaincy title to deserving individuals by the traditional ruler.