Sunday Magazine

450-year-old festival: Pete Edochie, Sen Anosike charge govt on tourism benefits

The popular Nigeria home video icon, Chief Pete Edochie, has called on the Anambra State government to uplift and internationalize those festivals of our people that lift up the people’s lives.

 

Such festivals, Chief Edochie said would, when fine-tuned, become a foreign exchange earner that would annually attract people from all parts of the world to Anambra State as done in parts of the world. He dropped this advice at this year’s Igu- Aro Umueri, Anambra East Council of Anambra State, an occasion when the ‘Ajie’ who is the high priest of Aro, unveils his message for the year.

 

The festival, which marks the beginning of the traditional Igbo New Year which normally falls between January and February, depending on the sighting of the moon, shares semblance with what is obtainable in China and Israel and is shorter than the Western calendar year of 365 days. It also kick-started the new planting season, which according to the Ajie, was used to intimate the people on how the coming year/farming season would look like.

 

The messages from the Ajie are backed up by prayers for a fulfilling new year in whatever endeavor that the citizens engage in. Edochie described the Ajie as the Nostradamus of this age as there has never been anything he predicted that did not happen. It’s an opportunity to listen to his message for the year.

 

Senator Emma Anosike also used the occasion to urge people of the South- East to close rank if they want to play a more significant role in the national politics.

 

That power is taken and never served on a platter for anyone. Anosike said the zone need to start early to build bridges of political relationship with people of other geopolitical zones in order to get their support when the time comes.

 

In the same vein, he charged citizens of the Anambra South senatorial zone to vie for the next governorship of the state, assuring that his Anambra North zone has resolved to support them.

 

He frowned at the monthly ritual of going to Abuja for sustainability of states, adding, “We can do without Abuja. We must take our time, think of what to do and how to go about it, internally first.

 

So that whatever that comes from Abuja becomes a bonus. “Anambra has the capacity of forgetting Abuja and doing our own thing. By the time we do it, other states will follow in our footsteps. It’s because of this monthly sharing of cake at Abuja that makes most of the governors not to be aggressive in discovery of other simple sources of raising funds for development.

 

“More so, I commend Gov Obiano for living up to the regular payment of the workers’ salaries. We have not heard any agitation against him for owing any salary, as seen in other states today.

 

The same with payment of pension. I commend him for that because they are the basic hallmark of a responsive government.” The Igu-Aro was witnessed by a lot of dignitaries from other parts of the state.

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