Chief Uche Akwukwuegbu, the Traditional Prime Minister, Ibeku Ancient Kingdom, has warned youths of the area against over indulgence and violent acts during this year’s new yam (Iriji) festival.
Akwukwuegbu gave the warning in an interview with newsmen in Umuahia on Wednesday and emphasised the need for youths to be of good conduct during the celebration.
He recalled how a young man in the area lost his life during the 2018 new yam festival, when he repotedly ran into a moving truck due to alleged drunkenness.
“Our youths should be peaceful and non-violent during the celebration. They must endeavour to operate within the ambit of the law.
“They should shun all manner of irresponsibility, gross misducts and indiscipline.
“They should not attack or assault anybody during the celebration,” Akwukwuegbu, popularly known as Bawas, said.
He expressed gratitude to God for His grace on his community, saying that the crisis that characterised the 2018 celebration had been resolved.
According to him, all the sons and daughters of Ibeku land are united in celebrating this year’s new yam festival unlike what obtained last year.
In 2018, the festival was marked on different days declared by the two factional leaderships, including one loyal to the Traditional Ruler of the clan, Eze Samuel Onuoha (Ogurube IV), and another loyal to Chief Benjamin Apugo, a prominent son of Ibeku clan.
“The fact that all of us are celebrating the festival on the day that was declared by Ogurube and nobody or group declared a different day for celebration shows that there is no faction any more.
Meanwhile, the Ehi I of Ibeku, Chief Madu Chigbata, has conveyed a goodwill message to the people of Ibeku on the celebration of this year’s iriji festival.
Speaking on the celebration in an interview with newsmen, Chigbata, who hails from Anambra but born and nurtured in Ibeku, expressed joy over the return of peace and unity in the area.
(Edited by Sam Oditah)
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