Recently, people from all walks of life converged at the Ishi Obi Ukwu Egedeokpu Ancient Palace of the paramount ruler and Igwe of Umuna ancient kingdom, His Royal Majesty, Eze Dr. Douglas Okwara, Okwarachukwu IV, Obi of Ebe-Asaa, head of Isu Clan, Orlu LGA, Imo State, to felicitate with him as he celebrated 2021 Iriji festival. The event also coincided with his 19th anniversary on the throne of his forefathers.
Some dignitaries who graced the festival include, His Royal Majesty Eze Oliver Ohanwe, Obi Gburugburu, His Royal Highness, Eze Anyaehie, Imeenyi 1 of Nkwerre, and many other traditional rulers like High Chief George White Iwuamadi, Chief Ugochukwu Hilary Nwachukwu Ugosly, Chief Nwakaibeya among many personalities.
The royal father, who described yam as King of Tubers, said the crop was being celebrated to thank God for bumper harvests, adding that the festival also gave them opportunity to project Igbo culture and origins to to the whole world.
In a statement, Eze Okwara said: “This is one of our most cherished cultures that makes Ndi Igbo indivisible people in the world, and also unites us with the spirits of our forefathers.”
Further more, Eze Okwarachukwu urged the youths to desist from taking drugs that are harmful to their existence.
While cutting the yam to flag off the ocassion, the royal father thanked God for making the planting season a huge success. Eze Okwara vowed to protect the traditions his ancestors and forefathers of Umuna Ancient Kingdom handed over to him.
While describing the Igbo as unique in nature, the Eze pointed out that the struggle for the unity of Igbo should not be politicised as he called on agitators to give peace a chance, by pursuing their goals within the ambit of the law. He thus gave his blessings to sons and daughters of Igbo, mostly from Umuna Kingdom for God to prosper and enlarge their coast anywhere they reside.
Interim management committee chairman of Orlu LGA, Chief Mrs. Ifeoma Ndukwu said the royal father was a reflection of what a traditional ruler should be.
High point of the event was breaking of Cola Nuts, and giving of Chieftaincy titles to deserving Sons and daughters of the Community.
Among beneficiaries of the chieftaincy exercise were Chief Barrister & Barrister Mrs Emmanuel Chinyere-Orji who were given Chieftaincy titles of Okwuanasoanya 1 of Umuna and Ugegbe Di Ya 1 of Umuna in Orlu Kingdom