Raymond Ozoji, Awka
The council secretariat of Anaocha local government area of Anambra state played host to the 10 communities in the council area recently as it celebrated the 2018 edition of Anaocha Day. The event provided veritable platform for conviviality, socialisation as well as portrayal of the rich cultural heritage of the people of Anaocha local government council. Masquerade displays, cultural dances, conferment of chieftaincy titles and a host of other activities entertained the audience as they listened and fed their eyes with the thrills and frills of the historical event. Be that as it may, sons and daughters of Anaocha at home and in the Diaspora also graced the epoch-making event where the Governor of Anambra state Chief Willie Obiano was honoured with a chieftaincy title of ‘Odoziobodo’ by the chairman of Anambra-Central Traditional Rulers’ Council and Igwe Agulu His Royal Highness Igwe Innocent Obodoakor. The people therefore concurred that the event should be packaged for the rest of the world as tourism material as it is obtained in other states of the federation and across the globe.
Governor Willie Obiano represented on the august occasion by his Deputy Dr. Nkem Okeke, national assembly members, cabinet members, members of the Anambra State House of Assembly led by the Speaker Barr. Rita Maduagwu, top government functionaries, traditional rulers and other high profile individuals of Anaocha origin and beyond added glamour and glitz to the carnival. The state governor who spoke through his Deputy on the occasion said Anaocha Day was in tandem with his policies geared towards showcasing the culture and traditions of the people of Anambra state to the outside world through tourism. According to the governor, the security feat achieved in the state has made events like the Anaocha Day Celebration a huge success due to the tranquil atmosphere in the state, stressing that his administration would continue to encourage and support programmes that protect and project the rich cultural endowments of the Igbo nation particularly Anambra state.
Chairman of the 2018 Anaocha Day celebration and Chief Executive Officer of TONIMAS Oil and Gas Limited, who also doubles as the traditional prime minister ‘Onowu’ of Neni Chief Anthony Obiagbaoso Enukeme said the celebration was a clarion call on the sons and daughters of Anaocha to come together to chart a new course for the council area. Enukeme therefore described the event as a reminder for the people to think home, urging those who have amassed wealth to invest in Anaocha and Anambra state in general to create employment opportunities for the people. He added that the state governor had really identified with the traditional institutions in piloting the affairs of the people.
Moreover, the senator representing Anambra-central at the national assembly Chief Victor Umeh who hails from Aguluzigbo in Anaocha local government area explained the need to mark special cultural day every year to bring people together to showcase cultural artifacts and heritage of the people describing the occasion as a home-coming for Anaocha indigenes far and near . Umeh who was bestowed with the traditional title of Ugwumba Anaocha pointed out that such get-together promotes unity, oneness and peace in the local government stressing that the event was initiated by the transition committee chairman of Anaocha local government area Hon. Ikeobi Ejiofor and his team and that it was in tandem with Governor Willie Obiano’s vision and policy of sustainable development in Anambra state.
On his part, Ogilisi Igbo and spiritual leader of the Igbo nation Chief Rommy Ezeonwuka who equally doubles as the Chief Executive Officer of Rojenny Games Village Oba in Idemili-south local government area of Anambra state opined that it was of paramount importance to place high premium on Igbo culture and tradition especially by the Igbo themselves pointing out that Anaocha Day celebration further reinforced the dire need not to allow Igbo core values, norms, customs and traditions to become extinct. Ogilisi Igbo equally posited that Anaocha local government area has produced timbers and calibres that have impacted positively on humanity; mentioning the likes of Senator Victor Umeh et al.
Meanwhile, the State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in Anambra and a native of Adazi-Nnukwu in Anaocha local government area Dr. Mrs. Uju Nwogu called on other local government areas to emulate what Anaocha has done and replicate same in their respective domains . The commissioner maintained that the orderly and peaceful manner in which the event was organised portrayed the fact that the state governor has beefed up security apparatus in Anambra state. She therefore thanked the council chairman Hon Ejiofor for putting up the event saying that events of that nature would help youths observe and understand the culture and native traditions of their origin and protect them.
The lawmaker representing Anaocha 2 state constituency in the Anambra State House of Assembly who hails from Neni in Anaocha council area Hon. Charles Chukwuma Ezeani said the event would leave indelible impressions in the minds of Anaocha indigenes home and abroad. Ezeani noted that it was not just used to showcase Anaocha to Ndi-Anambra but the entire world. The lawmaker said the occasion was used to honour some illustrious sons and daughters of Anaocha who have distinguished themselves in their various fields of endeavour. He said the state governor has done tremendously well in showcasing Anambra state to the rest of the world noting that he has equally diversified the state economy and resuscitated the tourism and agricultural sectors respectively.
Out-gone provost of the Federal College of Education Technical Umunze in Orumba-south local government area and a native of Agulu in Anaocha council area Professor Josephat Okechukwu Ogbuagu underscored the importance of the event describing it as legendary. Ogbuagu noted that the decision to organise the event was a step taken in the right direction and should be sustained henceforth noting that the Anambra state government is in full support of such events.
Nze Uche Nworah Managing Director Anambra Broadcasting Service Awka who hails from Njikoka council area explained that the event was a positive development and looks forward to replicating same in Njikoka local government area. He pointed out that such events wouldn’t have been made possible, if not for the security strategy Governor Willie Obiano introduced to ward off criminals in Anambra state. The chairman Anaocha local government area Hon Ejiofor and Chairman 2018 Anaocha Day Planning Committee Dr. Dennis Ekemezie expressed profound gratitude to God for the successful organisation of the 2018 edition of Anaocha Day and that the event would be sustained henceforth.