IWU PG tasks Ndigbo on cultural heritage, recreation
The Igbo World Union, IWU has harped the need to revitalize the Igbos cultural heritage, diversify the tourism industry and to promote local economic development by involving different professional sectors.
Speaking at the Gburugburu Ndigbo Dum palace, during his 5th Ofala Festival and Golden Jubilee Anniversary Celebration, the IWU President General, His Imperial Majesty Sir Mishak Nnanta KJW KSM JP Gburugburu Ndigbo Dum maintained that cultural heritage represent an integral part of the region’s identity and history.
He asserted that both local and regional intangible heritage remained important tools to promote, conserve and convey a better understanding of the Igbo traditions, values, people and beauties.
Nnanta who also encouraged a cultural heritage award on personalities who have painstakingly ensured that Igbo language does not go into extinction and Igbos given their proper place in Nigeria, said a heritage award is one way of promoting cultural heritage.
While digging deep into the essence of one acquainting the knowledge on one’s culture, customs, philosophy, traditions and rituals, Nnanta said it will
also enable the public to recall the rich culture and history of their respective communities.
He advised Igbos all over the world to promote unity among one another and to preserve their rich cultural orientation, for the advancement of the Igbo course.
Nnanta, who identified unity, peace and respect to Igbo culture as the right step towards development of Igbo land, also tasked Igbo youths to always honour and respect their elders.
He pointed out that Igbos led the drive for Nigeria’s independence and went ahead to develop every nook and cranny they found themselves in the country.
He also prayed for the release of the detained leader of Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and also prayed for calmness and total peace in the South East region.
He explained that his 5th Ofala celebration was a unifying factor for the Igbos at home and diaspora, revealing also that Igbos were not pagans but rather, had direct relationship with God even before the coming of white gospel preachers.
He praised all pro-Igbo cultural organizations including the Okonko cultural group of Olokoro for their efforts in promoting the survival of culture and traditional justice administration in Olokoro land and other parts of Igboland.
Apart from these, he pointed out that through his efforts, peace and unity have been fostered between the Igbos and their compatriots from Yoruba, Northern and other nationalities.
He however, denied aspiring for the position of a traditional ruler of Olokoro as insinuated by some persons, maintaining rather that his mandate of coordinating the Igbos came from God Almighty and the generality of Igbo people.
“Igbos are the first son of Nigeria and a first son does not abandon his home for another person to occupy. Therefore, we Igbos that brought independence and other developmental transformation in Nigeria should not run away from our land. But we should stay and get what belongs to us.
” I am not indirectly aspiring to become a King in Olokoro. Please let me announce that I am not a traditional ruler and am not dragging any position with anyone. Those distracting me with Court actions should stop henceforth. Odumegwu Ojukwu was not a traditional ruler in Nnewi but the Igbos gave him the mandate to lead the entire Igbo people as the Eze Igbo Gburugburu.”
Speaking earlier, the Chairman of the 5th Ofala celebration, Senator Chris Adighije, represented by Mr Ugochukwu Uwasomba commended the vision of Sir Nnannta in fostering unity and cultural revival in Igbo land.
During the event, a Journalist, Mr Nwamara Chekube of Unity Federated Chapel of Abia NUJ and some other individuals were recognized for their support to the IWU and the entire Igbo race, also awards like, Cordinating patrons for Abia Okonko (Umuahia chapter) by Abia Okonko Society; Maje O Bake Ilu by Yoruba United Community, Abia State; and an award of honour by National Association of Abia State Students, NAAS, Federal Polytechnic Oko, were presented to Sir Nnanta, in recognition of his selfless service to the growth of the community.