BUILD TOURISM VILLAGE AT SITE OF IMO-AWKA AS EGWU IMOKA FESTIVAL ENDS
person_pin Okey Onwuka
query_builder June 10, 2019 18:30:05

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By Francis Igboemeka

Awka, June 10, 2019 (MOI) The weeklong activity marking the Egwu Imoka cultural festival ended in Awka with a call on Anambra State Government to build site of Imoka into a Tourism Village.

Mr Ejike Nwude, Chairman 2019, Egwu Imoka Organising Committee, made the call in Awka during the grand finale of the festival.

Nwude said that there was need for government presence to be felt through the structural development of Imoka site.

``Egwu Imoka site is still in archaic form and needs befitting structures to conform to the status of Awka as the capital city.’’

He said that Egwu Imoka could generate revenue for Government when fully developed, as tourism site, where tourists would be trouping in during the festivity.

The site could have hotel and other forms of accommodation for friends and well-wishers in Awka.

Nwude noted that festival could not be associated with demonic practises, as every society had its culture, which ought to be respected.

The organising committee chairman urged Awka Youths to thread with caution in this year’s celebration, so that they would be alive to celebrate the festival next year.

``Youths should exhibit their youthfulness but with caution, so that no accident will be recorded this year.’’

                         

Nwude commended this year’s organising committee members, saying that every village in Awka was represented in the committee to make the job easier.

``This year’s Egwu Imoka committee has one member from every village to check the activities of touts and hooligans that cause problems.

``The committee will complete its work, a week after the festival, when the offenders will be brought to book,’’ he said.

He adds: ``Egwu Imoka is held in honour of a propitious goddess of Awka, a glorious and gorgeous festival which is celebrated by Awka sons and daughters’’.

Nwude emphasised that the first day of Egwu Imoka must be on Afor Market Day for the females to pay homage to Imoka dancing the Opu Eke dance. ``The second day which is Nkwo is the grand finale’’.

A Culture Analyst, Mr Obuorah Ezumeze described Imoka as a protective medicine made by Akpoto people from Benue State in the olden days, to fight their enemies in communal clashes.

Ezumezu explained that monkey was dedicated to Imoka Deity, because when the Ada people attacked Awka, it was monkeys that spread in numbers to the village.

On seeing the monkeys, the indigenes sensed danger, repelled the attack and defeated their enemies in the process.

According to him, Egwu Imoka season reminds Awka people that farming season is at the corner, so that they can go and farm.

                 

Ezumezu, then, urged Awka indigenes not to allow hooligans to take over an otherwise peaceful cultural heritage, which has  been a unifying factor among Awka indigenes.

He advocated for tally numbers to be given to each masquerades appearing at the festival for easy identification.

Ezumezu enjoined Awka people to synergise with Anambra State Government, so that the festival would be transformed into cultural carnival as obtained in some other cities across Nigeria.

``This year’s Egwu Imoka was so well-organised that canopies were seen in every nook and cranny of Zik’s Avenue, Awka, up to Imoka Shrine.

The canopies were provided to shelter friends and visitors who came from far and near to witness the cultural heritage. (MOI)  
ONC/RNI/TON
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