Laguru and Umuosu Ubakala People jointly celebrate 2023 Iwa ji festival in grand style.

Performing Iwa ji

It was a gathering of the great sons and the daughters of Laguru and Umuosu autonomous Communities Ubakala Umuahia South LGA ,Abia State,trooped out en masse and celebrated their 2023 “Iwa ji” festival held at their market square on Thursday,3rd of August,2023.

Interacting with the Newsmen in his palace at Laguru ,the traditional ruler HRH Eze Prof. Cyril Ucheaga the Enyi II Laguru autonomous said,” Iwa ji festival is a ceremony before the main Iri ji (New yam) ceremony. The ceremony started long before I was born” he said

HRH Eze Prof Cyril Ucheaga

He disclosed that right from the days of his fore fathers ,that Laguru and Umuosu village have been celebrating the Iwa ji festival jointly,added that they have always been the first village to start Iwa ji festival every year in the entire Igbo land.

He said his people usually use the opportunity to display their Ekpo masquerade, and other traditional dance to the people.

Reacting to question on why some people still see Iwa ji festival as fetish, he explained that,” In Laguru and Umuosu Communities,we have removed all the fetish aspect of the festival and that is why many people are now participating in the ceremony” he said

Speaking further,he called on the government to give incentives in the form of grants,loans among others to encourage the youths to be involved in farming and other agriculture activities as well as pump in more money to Farmers in the state.

In the same vein,the traditional ruler of Umuosu autonomous Community Ubakala,HRH Eze Dr Iheonye Simeon Ibezim , Evule Ukwu II of Umuosu said the joint celebration between the two autonomous Communities in Ubakala started even before he was born.

HRH Eze I S Ibezim

He noted that the festival gives the people from the two communities opportunity to make themselves happy,reunite with their sons and daughters who would visit during the ceremony, receive visitors,bless as well as pray for the people,cook special dishes etc “

Continuing, he appealed to government to encourage farmers by providing improved species of seed crops ,loans to motivate farmers, while calling on Ndigbo not to allow the Igbo culture and traditions to go extinct.

One of the special guests,the traditional ruler of Avodim Community, HRH Eze Boniface Onyemachi said he came to celebrate with them and urged them to be peaceful.

Speaking with Newsmen,an illustratious son of Umuosu autonomous Community,High chief Austin Ohamuo, Omereoha I of Umuosu who based in Buston US expressed happiness over the ceremony, describing it as a good culture that needs to be sustained.

High chief Austin Ohamuo receiving blessings from Ndi Eze

According to him,it was his first time of witnessing the Iwa ji festival and he encouraged them to keep it up for the younger generations.

Chief Ohamuo who was given chieftaincy title said for him coming back to be part of the celebration was a good start.

In her view ,a daughter of the community,Mrs Rosemary Asiegbu who described herself as a farmer, although a former banker frowned at those who see farming as job for the poor, describing the assumption as wrong.

She pointed out that,” It is heartbreaking that some youths are running away from farming” said that farmers are the people holding the economy.

Asiegbu mrs

Expressing gratitude and appreciation to all their guests as well as the people of Laguru and Umuosu for turning out en masse for the 2023 Iwa ji festival,the chairman planning committee Chief Hon. Tony Ezeigbo and his secretary Hon.Ikesinachi Ebegbulem said the success recorded at this year’s Iwa ji festival was as a result of hard work by the planing committee.

Ezeigbo said that the Communities selected those who could execute the job well,added that they would improve next year for a better ceremony.

Hon. Ikesinachi said Laguru and Umuosu Communities have modernized Iwa ji festival by expunging all aspect that are fetish and urged those who didn’t participate to join next year.

In his excitement,chief comrade Brown Onyemachi,Nwachinaemere I of Umuosu prayed for God’s blessings on the entire members of the Communities.

Comrade Brown

Earlier, Rev. Joseph Azubuike Ndumele of the Holy Trinity Anglican Church Apumiri Ubakala, blessed the name of the Lord God Almighty for His blessings on the entire people of the two communities and for giving them bountiful harvest this year,2023.

He presented the people to God and prayed for good health and prosperity in the years ahead.

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