Commissioner for Culture Tourism and Entertainment, Don Onyenji has charged ndi Igbo to follow the footsteps of their forefathers to ensure their culture and traditions are sustained.
Comrade Onyenji gave the charge while addressing members of Ozioma Odinani Fans Club during their annual event at Kenneth Dike Auditorium Hall, Awka.
He noted that Ozioma Odinani is the foundation for achieving the traditional cultural beliefs and practices of ndi Igbo across the South East.
The commissioner said, “government is supporting the platform because he is a son of the soil and knows the importance of promoting its culture tourism and heritage”. He encouraged them to continue to strive until they achieve their goal. “We cannot run away from our culture and traditions. All these politicians grew up in the village before they became who they are just like Governor Charles Chukwuma Soludo”, he added..
He used the opportunity to disclose that the state government is keen in supporting the youths with skills acquisition and has mapped out N2.5million for the employment”.
In his remark, the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Anambra Newspapers and Printing Corporation (ANPC) publisher of National Light, Ka O Di Taa and SportslightXTRA newspapers, Sir Chuks Nnabuife, urged ndi Igbo to always form the habit of showcasing their religious systems in their various capacities be it in writing, dancing or acting, to enable others know more about their identity and become acquainted with it.
Also in his remarks, the Managing Director, Anambra Broadcasting Service (ABS), Awka, Sir Chido Obidiegwu represented by Comrade Eberechukwu Uzoegbu assured that if all can join hands, Igbo culture and heritage would not die off but grow from strength to strength.
Earlier, the chairman of the occasion, Ozo Chinedu Okafor, stated that the best way to restore back Igbo’s religious systems is by catching them young.
In his presentation tagged, ‘Impact of Modern Legal System on Omenani and Odinani Ndigbo’, Chief Ugochukwu Nnoli highlighted that Ndigbo constitute the largest ethnic group of settlers in all parts of the world and had made the language die off due to the imperial designs of the European slave dealers apart from the noticeable traditions.
Also in his lecture, titled, ‘Nchekwa Odinani Igbo’, Ozo Onyebuchukwu Chukwuemeka Uzoegbu, proudly said he was grateful being a pagan and would like the legacy to continue with his children; thanking his wife for being supportive.
He therefore enjoined Ndigbo in all levels to be supportive to each other, adding that by so doing, it will help in promoting culture and tradition.
In his opening address, the convener, Ka Anyi Tuo Alo, Dike Ugbaja pointed out that this year’s event themed, ‘ Uga Anwu’, is an annual platform for conversation on odinani and omenani Igbo for national development.
Ugbaja frowned that other foreign countries like China, Japan and even India that got their independence in 1948 still hold tight to their mother languages notwithstanding their exposure in life and educational experiences and called on ndi Igbo to emulate such.
He added, ” we have decided to catch them young through this kind of programme. There are some incentives put in place for students of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, and others like in the area of ” igo-oji, Iwa-oji, thus nobody will know you except when they come into your life”.
In an interview, one of the sectional leaders of Ozioma Odinani, Ugochukwu Ejiofor, said that the event was structured to target the young ones specifically to know the visions of Ozioma Odinani and for people to understand what odinani Igbo is all about.