OKPANAM/Nigeria: The Delta State Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Chief Patrick Ukah, has described the 2019 new yam festival celebrated in his country home, Okpanam as unique as well as a unifying factor for segments of the indigenes of the community.
Chief Ukah, who stated this at the residence of one of the chiefs in the community, Ogbueshi Kanayo Chiemeka, when he (Ukah) paid him a celebration visit, said that the festival had come to stay as it was being marked annually.
The commissioner, who was represented by one of his aides, Mr Solomon Okolie said the State Governor, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Okowa would ensure effective educational policies aimed at repositioning the critical sector in the state, adding that he was impressed with the level of unprecedented compliance of students’ resumption to school, just as he described Ogbueshi Kanayo Chiemeka as humble and focused stakeholder in the development of the community.
Speaking in an interview, Ogbueshi Kanayo Chiemeka who said that he decided to join the league of the tiled men, otherwise known as ‘Ogbueshis’ in order for him to contribute more to the growth and development of Okpanam community, stated that as an ‘mkpalu ‘it was incumbent on him to host the people on yearly basis by cooking for the kinsmen and friends.
Ogbueshi Chiemeka thanked the Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Chief Patrick Ukah and other well meaning individuals for finding time to identify with him, noting that it was fulfilling to celebrate the new yam festival with his people and we’ll wishers from far and near in a unique fashion.
In their separate remarks, Mr Tobechukwu Nwakali, Chief Enyi-Udo, Ogbueshi Ifeanyi Anwuz, Mr Chidobi Ashioma and Chief Ite-Nkakwu said that they were happy to be part of the new yam festival and described Ogbueshi Kanayo Chiemeka as a kindhearted man even as Ogbueshi Abuah Ntoka maintained that a an ‘mkpalu’, he prepared ‘Otite ‘and cooked for his people.
Ogbueshi Ntoka said that the new yam festival was not fetish rather it was intended to appreciate God for abundant blessings for the ongoing year and lauded all and sundry for celebrating with him even as he prayed for a better 2020.
Others who spoke including the Secretary-General of the youth wing of the Okpanam Development Union, Comr. James Omunizua, Mr Peter Ijeh, Aniemeka A. C, Esq and Nnamdi Ikemefunna, who is the CEO of the Monic Guest House, Okpanam said that they were not surprised at the elaborate manner in which Ogbueshi Kanayo Chiemeka celebrated the new yam festival, adding that before he joined the titled men he had always been carrying the people, especially the youths along in the scheme of things and prayed for more success for him.