.Igbo Presidency

*To hold Unity Festival in December

By Joseph Erunke, ABUJA

Concerned that Igbo cultural values were fast diminishing,Ndigbo Royal Heritage Worldwide,NIROH, has begun preparation towards hosting a ‘Unity Day’ Celebration in Awka, the Anambra State capital.

The event,slated for December, açcording to the Igbo social cultural and pan Igbo group, would hold at the Alex Ekwueme Square.

NIROH explained that the event was intended to bring Ndigbo together for possible sober reflection and positive action

Its President General, Dr. Paul Okoye, who disclosed this at a press conference, in Abuja, further explained that the event “will bring all Igbo together, irrespective of political and religious affiliations”.

Noting that the event “seeks to reinvent a new direction for the people”,Okoye lamented that “most things the ethnic group was known for were fast eroding, making it difficult for them to speak in one voice and forge common political front”.

According to him, he has re-instituted the unity day festival with the sole objective of unifying the Igbo nation, adding that, “the event would be a week long celebration beginning from Monday 28, November 2022 to Sunday December 4, 2022”

Highlights of the event according to him, include, “the Marathon, the Great Homecoming, Wrestling and Folklore and the Igbo Day Pre-conference”.

He stressed further that, “the event was designed also to rebuild the bridge that was broken in 1966 and initiate the process of healing the land, especially, in the realization that no ethnical component of Nigeria can go it alone.

“The aim was not to apportion blame but to try to repair that which had been destroyed, maintaining that the North before the civil war used to be the closest ally of the Igbo nation underscoring the need to reinvent the friendship”.

Okoye also regretted the erosion of culture and tradition of Ndigbo by extremists, cautioning that “action must be taken immediately to reverse the ugly trend”.

He lamented that the region is at the verge of passing as a people without history or cultural identity.

“We as a people must accept that our culture is being bastardized in the wholesome acceptance of the western culture and Europeanization of our populace in the process of neocolonialism.

“The total erosion of our culture and tradition by extremists has to be checkmated without further delay. We are losing grip of our children and money tends to be our God. No respect for elders.

“We are at the verge of passing as a people without history or cultural identity. Our language is suffering near extinction and nobody seems to be proud to associate himself with Igbo origin.

“As the Holy Scripture says, let’s give to Caesar what belongs to him and to God what is His. The reclaiming of our cultural heritage is a task that must be done. All hands, therefore, must be on deck to leave a bequeathing legacy for the succeeding generation” .

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