Ajatanigu autonomous community agog as monarch celebrates new yam festival
Ajatanigu autonomous community, Oboro clan in Ikwuano Local Government Area is in a celebration mood as the monarch of the community, His Royal Majesty King Larry Ogbonnaya Agwu, Eze Onyeoruru l marks the New Yam (iri ji) traditional festival.
New Yam Festival is one of the traditional and cultural festivities Igbo people do not play with, and without performing this festival as group or individual, no full-fledged or mature man eats new yam in Igbo land.
This year’s Iri Ji Ajatanigu, held at the palace of the King, was unique as some illustrious sons and daughters, including one of the outstanding Igbo radio presenter with Flo 94.9 FM Umuahia, Mr. Nwachukwu Prosper Obioma (Elder Propropro) who was given the ‘Ekere na-akuru oha 1’ of Ajatanigu autonomous community Chieftaincy title.
Speaking during the festival, King Larry Ogbonnaya Agwu noted that Iri ji Ajatanigu portrayed the features of Igbo culture and described it as unique.
According to him, ‘Iri ji’ signifies arrival of new yam as well as a time to thank God for bountiful harvest.
King Larry Ogbonnaya Agwu who appreciated God for His benevolence towards the Ajatanigu autonomous community villagers/farmers, said it is not easy for one to toil, labour and God in his infinite mercy, grant him life to have a bountiful harvest.
Answering questions from newsmen respectively, the immediate past Chairman of Umuahia North Traditional Rulers Council and traditional ruler of Oriendu autonomous community, Ohuhu clan, Eze Pastor Philip Ajomiwe; and community leader in Oboro clan and Ikwuano, Prince Kingsley Uwa Nkume said, “We give yam a great position in Igbo culture and tradition”.
According to them, the new yam festival which is conducted between August and September annually needs urgent attention of the state tourism Board, who should visit various communities and find their culture, examine and promote them for tourism.
While maintaining that, no peoples’ culture is bad, depending on the perception, they pointed out clearly that any culture that does not glorify God should be jettisoned.
Speaking also, the senatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP for Abia Central senatorial zone, Col. Austin Akobundu (rtd) described new yam festivities are periods of thanksgiving to God for another bountiful harvest season.
Col. Akobundu celebrated with King Larry Ogbonnaya Agwu and the entire people of the community on their 2022 new yam festival.
The representative of the Abia Central Senatorial candidate of the Labour Party and member representing Isialangwa North and South Federal Constituency, Rt. Hon. Darlington Nwokocha; SDP House of Assembly candidate for Ikwuano State Constituency, Mr. Daniel Iroegbulam; APC candidate for Ikwuano/Umuahia Federal Constituency, Chief Obilo Ogbonna among others drawn from the religious, security, political, academic, traditional and business class attended.