As the countdown to the Igbo cultural celebration begins, the president of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Lagos State, High Chief Sunny Ossai, has said that the organization wants to use the event to showcase the rich cultural heritage of the Igbo.
Speaking in an interview with Daily Independent, he said, “We want to use the event to teach Igbo youths the culture and tradition of our ancestors. We want to use it to show that the Igbo people in Lagos State are united and speak with one voice; we want people to understand that we are one people and share the same ancestry and heritage.”
He added that the event will be a celebration of the achievements of the Igbo people and their culture and urged Igbo sons, daughters and their friends to attend the event, which is slated for December 2 and 3 in Lagos
Also speaking on the event, Lady Evangelist Chioma Adedayo Adeoye, a member of the Ohanaeze Cultural Celebration Planning Committee, however, said the current Ohanaeze is different from the past, adding that the current leadership is focused on uniting Igbo people in Lagos State. She posited that the leadership consists of persons who have visible means of livelihood and not people who want to use the organization to advance their economic status.
According to her, “The current leadership of Ohanaeze is made up of people who have succeeded in their various fields of endeavour. They are not looking for ways to feather their nests. No, they have made it in life and are only serving in the organization to contribute their quota to the development of the Igbo people. They have awarded scholarships to many Igbo sons and daughters and empowered many others.”
Adeoye added that the current leadership comprises men and women of integrity who every Igbo is happy to appreciate and associate with, stating that they are out to positively impact others.
She lauded Ossai for providing purposeful leadership for the Igbo people in Lagos State.
She frowned at the proliferation of ezes in Lagos, adding that some of them have constituted a nuisance to the generality of Igbo people.
The lady evangelist stressed the importance of culture and tradition to Igbo people, adding that the forthcoming Igbo cultural celebration slated for December 2 and 3 will be used to showcase Igbo culture and tradition.
She stated that on the second day of the event, there will be a celebration of Igbo culture at the Police College, GRA, Ikeja. She disclosed that the event will showcase the rich Igbo cultural heritage of the Igbo people. She said there will be march past and cultural displays by the representatives of all 57 local government areas (LGAs) and local council development areas (LCDAs), youths, market associations, state town unions and other stakeholders.
Adeoye said that the event will also be used to devise strategies to make young Igbo adopt Igbo culture and tradition.
She urged Igbo parents and guardians to ensure that their children and ward understand and speak the Igbo language.
She condoled David Adeleke (Davido) and Chioma Rowland on the passing of their son (Ifeanyi) and urged them to take solace in God.
Also speaking on the forthcoming event, Chief Goddy Uwazuruike, the former president of Aka Ikenga, said that it is a culture that binds Igbo together and stressed the need to preserve Igbo culture and tradition.
“For us, culture is important and there is a need to preserve it. We want to make sure that our children and wards do not forget our culture, especially those of us who live outside Igboland and that is why we want to organize the Igbo cultural celebration. We want to celebrate our culture and showcase it to the world,” he said.
Speaking on the state of affairs in Ohanaeze in Lagos, the senior lawyer said that there is no division in the organization, adding that Russia is the only president of the body known to the law, the generality of the Igbo people and the national body.
According to him, any other person that presents himself or herself as president of Ohanaze in Lagos is deceiving the people and collecting money illegally.