Okowa tasks Anioma traditional rulers on cultural day
Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, yesterday, in Asaba, urged traditional rulers in Delta North Senatorial District to declare every Easter Monday as ‘Anioma Day’ worldwide.
Speaking at the 18th Anioma Cultural Festival organised by the Organisation For The Advancement of Anioma Culture (OFAAC), in the state capital, the governor clarified that it was traditional rulers, and not the state government, that would make a declaration to set a day aside for yearly celebration of Anioma people and culture.
He, therefore, charged the rulers to get together and make the declaration, saying this year’s festival, with theme, ‘Preserving Our Cultural Heritage,’ was apt.
He lauded OFAAC for its commitment to the propagation and advancement of Anioma culture over the years, adding: “Today’s event is the 18th in the series. 18 years is a year of maturity and I believe that this is a very special day.
“I thank the president and members of the organising committee for keeping this cultural festival alive for 18 years. I believe the president and traditional institutions at every event have truly enriched this, because rightfully, they are the custodians of our culture.
“The festival has become a yearly thing during the Easter period and I think it is already established. I heard our brother talk about the need to ensure not only sustenance, but the fact that we need to declare it an Anioma Day.”
Okowa used the opportunity to thank the people for their support for his administration, adding that his administration tried to reach out to every ethnic group, every ward and every council across the state.
He stated that his administration had done so much to maintain peace in the state and called on the people to continue to give support to the incoming administration.
“There is no limit to what we are able to achieve in bringing our people together. The unity of the Anioma race is unquestionable.”
“Our strength lies in our unity. Therefore, I urge our traditional rulers to continue to keep this cultural festival alive. You are the ones that will give it strength,” he added.
President of OFAAC, Mr. Kester Ifeadi, thanked the governor for his support for the advancement of Anioma culture, noting that the people of Anioma were proud of his sterling accomplishments with state-of-the-art infrastructure that dots nooks and crannies of the state.
He said that no fewer than 170 groups were participating in this year’s celebrations and called for the declaration of every Easter Monday as Anioma Day Celebrations worldwide.
The festival, which was attended by the Secretary to the State Government, Chief Patrick Ukah; Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Mr. Lawrence Ejiofor; Chairman, Oshimili South Council, Dr. John Ezenyili; “Desert Warrior,” Chief Newton Jibunoh and traditional rulers, featured cultural dances, wrestling and flute competition, among others.