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Igbos in Ghana celebrate 2021 Igbo Day, New Yam Festival

Dr Chukwudi Ihenute, Eze Idigbo-Ghana, Head of the Igbo Community in Ghana has assured Ghana that Nigerians in Ghana will continue to be abiding by rules and regulations for peaceful coexistence.

“Igbos will be law-abiding and obey the rules and regulations of our dear host, Ghana,” the Eze said, adding, “we don’t come here to Ghana to bring problems.

“We’ll use the opportunity to make sure our people in Ghana respect the traditions, regulations and legal norms of Ghana.”

Dr Ihenetu gave the assurance during the celebration of this year’s Igbo Day and the New Yam Festival, held at East Legon, in Accra.

The celebration, the ninth edition since 2012, was on the theme “Enhancing and Strengthening Ghana-Nigeria Cultural Unity.”

It attracted Igbos resident from across the country, royalty from some traditional areas in Ghana, as well as representation of Igbos resident in the Diaspora.

The New Yam Festival, in the Ogidi community, of Anambra State in Nigeria is an important way of marking the beginning and end of the farming season and is a celebration of life, accomplishments in the community, culture and well-being.

The essence of the festival is to express gratitude to Almighty God for life, protection, and bountiful yam harvest.

For several hours, the Underbridge Luxe Event Enclave went live with different genres of Igbo and Nigerian music, dance and cultural performances, and an accompaniment of colourful egwugwu masked dancers, representing the ancestral spirits of Umuofia.

The joyful celebrants, attired in resplendent Igbo outfits responded to cheers and calls from their countrymen as various instruments sounded thrilling music.

They moved to and fro, passing beside a table on which tubers of yam, with garden eggs, other vegetables calabashes were neatly arranged, to greet and pay homage to the Eze.

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The women, dressed in dominant yellow kaba clothes, with gele head ties presented cola and garden eggs to Eze for his blessing in a background of a tune from a sifler.

The Eze dropped his hat and invoked divine blessing on the event, praying that it should be held every year.

He appreciated the gathering for its time and thanked the Government and People of Ghana for their hospitality and cooperation that had make the stay of the Igbo successful in Ghana.

The Igbo Leader, assisted by officials on the high table, soon marched to the table on which the tubers of yam were arranged, and cut into tubers of roasted tubers of yam, with bites to declare the eating of the new yam.
He said: “Yam is king of crops. It represents life; and as such worth to be celebrated.”

The Eze said a laid down by Igbo tradition and culture, celebration of yam afford Ndigbo opportunity to come together to thank God for fruitful farm season, and thanked Almighty God for planting and harvest.

Earlier Dr Donald Agumenu, Former Special Aide to late President Jerry John Rawlings, former President of Ghana, in an address, observed the need for Ghana and her sister African countries to use their cultures to enhance continental integration.

He suggested to operators in the hospitality industry to feature more of African varieties of food on their menus.

A notable aspect of the celebration was the conferment of titles by the Eze on leaders of some Igbo sub communities in Ghana.

Source: GNA

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