Eleme (Rivers) August 2, 2019 (NAN)
His Highness, Chief Appolus Chu, paramount ruler of Okori Eleme in Rivers, has reiterated the rich essence of culture in conflict resolution and peaceful coexistence in African communities.
The Paramount ruler therefore, urged Africans and particularly the Eleme people to enhance society and foster unity by promoting age long traditional values.
Chu made this known during the cultural ceremony of the Ogbo-nja (New yam festival) /communal feast at his palace on Wednesday in Eleme, Rivers.
According to him, Aficans are a district people with distinct peculiarities which naturally affects behavioural patterns therefore, African tradition should not be totally expunged in the search for western knowledge.
“The way we (Africans) coordinate ourselves in terms of intelligence gathering is different from the way the Western world does theirs so we should not neglect our values, because that is our partway.
“A kingdom without culture is bound to be at log ahead with its neighbours, because culture is the constitution that controls a people.
“Today so much of our cultural nums have gone extinct, our language is almost rearly spoken by our youths, our rich ways of life as reflected by our food, music and social lives are hardly mentioned among today’s youths and elites because our traditional leaders paid less attention on sustaining them.
” I’ve taken steps to reintroduce those traditional events that tend to foster unity in Eleme and the result is quite impressive, i urge others within and outside our vicinity to emulate same especially as we thrive towards tackling growing negative trend in our society.
In his response, Chief Ejii Olaka, Chief of Alueke Community in Ogale Clan and Staff bearer of Ogale applauded HRH Chief Appolus Chu for reviving a tradition that has been abandoned over fourty years.
“We thank God that HRH Chief Appolus Chu has made us to remember our tradition that was long lost.
“For over fourty years now, the Ogbo-nja which simply means Celebration of New Yam festival’ was practically ignored.
“Our joy goes to our Paramount ruler Appolus Chu who about four months ago also reintroduced the Yam Festival which was also left uncelebrated in past decades, all these were avenues for peace and unity, indeed the outcome is a more united people.
” Just like the same way football marches foster unity, the Ogbo-nja festival does quiet more because it binds the children, men and women.
In the same vain, HRH Chief Peter Olakanwi, Traditional Ruler of Okongor Community in Alesa, Eleme also thankedChief Chu for his bold strides in returning an age long peace strategy to Okori, Eleme people.
“We are all happy that such a decent culture has been revived and we hope that this continues as a yearly event just the same way it was in the days of our fathers.
“The significance of this New Yam Festival is enormous as it brings unity across community and the people, it also preserves our rich faming occupation,” Olakanwi said
Highlight of the event were a royal blessing by the Paramount ruler, food presentation by women and communal bouquet.