Igbo Stakeholders Forum recently celebrated its fourth annual new yam festival in Isolo, Lagos. Jude Idumogu, a member of the Lagos State House of Assembly, was in attendance as well as all Igbo councillors and political office holders in Lagos State.
Speaking on the occasion, with the theme “Igbo Culture and the Next Generation,” Idumogu, who is the chairman of Wealth Creation and Employment Committee in the Assembly, commended the forum for its commitment to the promotion of Igbo culture and tradition and also promoting a harmonious relationship between the Igbo and their host community.
He said Lagos hosts the highest number of Igbo outside the South-East, adding that promoting their culture and tradition in Lagos would enable the Igbo living in Diaspora to get to know where they come from even without travelling to the East.
The lawmaker said that he would continue to identify with the laudable goals of the forum, as it has proved to be a credible organisation.
His words: “The new yam festival is one of the very important festivals that the Igbo celebrate, not just in the South-East but all over the world. The festival is always a time for the Igbo to ome together. I want to commend Igbo Stakeholders Forum, Lagos State, for its continuous promotion of Igbo culture and tradition, which is helping a lot in making our people who are born outside the South-East to get acquainted with their culture and tradition.”
The president of the forum, Nixon Okwara, said that among all the crops in the South-East, only yam attracts recognition and titles like Di Ji, that is, master in yam cultivation. He said that the main reason why they were celebrating new yam festival was for the Igbo living in Lagos to come together so that, through that, those who were born outside the South-East would get to know their culture and tradition.
“We know that yam tubers are sold in the market and every Igboman and woman has the capacity to buy and cook in his or her house, so we are not celebrating new yam festival for people to come and eat yam. We use it to showcase our culture, tradition and also promote our language. It is also used to appreciate our host community, who are very dear to us. We invite them to come and celebrate with us. Another thing is that, as very busy people, new yam festival also gives us the oppourtunity to see our brothers and sisters who we have not seen for quite some time,” he said.
Others in attendance were the House of Assembly member representing Amuwo-Odofin, Constituency 1, Mojisola Macaulay, and her predecessor, Dipo Olorunrinu, the vice chairman Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area, Segun Idris, and the representative of the chairman of Isolo LCDA, as well as the permanent secretary, ministry of physical planning, among other dignitaries.