By Steve Unegbu
As the Ibekuland in Umuahia North local government Area of Abia state ,celebrates their New Yam festival ( Iri ji ) 2020,the Traditional Prime Minister of Ibekuland and President Council of Traditional Prime Ministers of Abia state ,Chief Sir Uche Akwukwuegbu ,has urged the people of Ibeku to apply safety and carefulness in the course of their celebration ,especially now that coronavirus pandemic is on ravaging the globe .
Speaking with Newsmen in his hometown Amuzukwu Ibeku ,he noted that this year’s New yam festival is being celebrated in low key because of covid-19 and its impacts.
According to him, ” Yearly ,we always have something like this ,but this year because of the sudden deaths and covid-19 ,we step down our flag .We lost many of our illustrious citizens ,kings ,State chairman, permanent secretaries, professor of medicine among others ,so that is why we lower our flag and advised our youths also to adhere to our instructions “
Speaking on why Yams are celebrated in Ibekuland and Igboland in general, he described ” yam as the king of all crops .We celebrate yam to say thank you to Almighty God for bountiful harvest “
He pointed out that Ibeku people cultivate yams ,but few buy from the market this year because of climate change,while describing the festival as an opportunity to be together with family members ,relatives and friends as well as to make the people happy.
He congratulated Ndi Abia on the 29th year anniversary celebration ,while urging them to stay safe.
On the issue of Abia charter of equity ,he noted that it is a good and welcome idea ,as it will give every part the opportunity to produce the leader in the state ,even though that sometimes it is bad ,because when a particular area do not have someone competent to occupy the position.