By Regina Igwebuike
Amawbia (Awka South LGA), March 30, 2021 (MOI) Amawbia community has celebrated the 2021 Eziokpaligwe Festival as indigenes call for unity of purpose.
The event, which took place at New Era, was observed in a low key because of ravaging Coronavirus pandemic.
In a speech at the event, Igwe Chinyelu Nwora-Molokwu, Okpaligwe Amawbia explained that the ceremony was low keyed because of the prevailing virus pandemic.
Igwe Nwora-Molokwu emphasised that if the situation normalised by subsequent festivals, the event would be celebrated in a more colourful manner.
According to him, the pandemic is global and people need to take precautionary measures to avert the deadly virus.
He said that COVID-19 had taught the World a lesson to value each other, noting that the world and everything in it were ephemeral.
The chief custodian of Amawbia culture and traditions said that it was his late father, Augustine Nweke Nwora-Molokwu that developed the ceremony from Samba Day to Eziokpaligwe Day as friends and well-wishers participated in the event.
Igwe Nwora-Molokwu emphasised that without the celebration, which was symbolic as farm inputs were blessed and shared to the six villages that made up of the community, nobody could farm.
He, then, called on the gods of their land for bountiful harvest this year.
Dr Ikem Odumodu, a former Director-General, Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and member Okpaligwe Cabinet said that the ceremony was a very traditional one in Amawbia.
Dr Odumodu said that Eziokpaligwe Festival was a period when Ndi Amawbia would beckon on God for bountiful harvests, praying for the grace for a wonderful celebration.
According to him, the community is a small one, praying to God to develop more young people who will make a difference in Nigeria.
“I wish that God will create opportunity for Ndi Amawbia to foster unity of purpose that will attract development for progress in our community.’’
Anambra Head of Service (HOS), Barr. Harry Udu said the ceremony marked an end to farmers’ rest and re-enacts the unity of the town.
“As you can see, all the villages are doing the same thing, the same day here. It shows togetherness.’’
HOS also member Okpaligwe Cabinet said the choice of the celebration at New Era was to ensure adherence to the pandemic protocols.
He prayed to God that `Amawbia Ugbogiliga’ would continue to grow from strength to strength.
Another member of Okpaligwe Cabinet, Dr Goddy Okeke said that the significance of the celebration was to allow people to cultivate new crops as without it, nobody would get into the farmland.
He noted that what could have been a 4-day ceremony was slashed to only a day as a result of the prevailing pandemic.
Dr Okeke urged Ndi Amawbia to be up and doing, be prepared to go to farm to avoid starvation.
According to him, no matter the little space you have in your house, you can cultivate there as one can plant yams even in bags.
Mr Peter Onwugbolu, Chairman Organising Committee hailed the success of the celebration.
Among dignitaries that graced the occasion are Principal Secretary to the Governor, Sir Willie Nwokoye, and retired Assistant Inspector General (AIG) of Police, Emeka Okeke and Prof. Eleazar Offodile. Cultural dance and masquerade display added glamour to the occasion. (MOI)