It was a moment of celebration for the people of Ugbo Community in Awgu local government area of Enugu state on Saturday as top political leaders in Enugu state led by Governor Ugwuanyi celebrates Iwa Akwa known as Aju festival in Enugu.
The festival which saw the attendance of many illustrious sons and daughters of Ugbo in Awgu local government area of Enugu state come out in their largest number to celebrate their sons as they perform their ”Iwa Akwa” Their rite of passage to manhood.
Meanwhile the festival which is performed every three years to mark the rite of passage for every male child between the ages of 19 and 21 is also known as called Aju festival called Iwa Akwa (clothing) and most cherished festival in the life of every Ugbo indigene. It is one of the major cultural landmarks in Awgu Local Government traditional calendar in Enugu State.
The Chairman of the Occasion Mr Ogechukwu Udeagha who welcomed dignitaries from far and near expressed his delight over the age long tradition that has existed long and still trending even in the Society of today.
While thanking the Umu-Ekwa for defying the rain to celebrate the festival, he Stated that Ugbo which is known for it peace orderly ness and brotherly ness has again demonstrated in today’s event” he stated
Speaking during the Festival, the Former Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu who witnessed the occasion along side the Governor of Enugu state highly represented by Bar. Steve Oruruo special Advicer to the Governor on information , member representing Udi/Ezeagu federal constituency Hon Dennis Oguerinwa Amadi, Eze O Eze and others stated that the long aged tradition has received millions and thousands of Ugbo men been initiatied into adulthood and has remained since its inception .
Stressing that Ugbo has used the ceremony to achieve a great landmark in terms of development and otherwise
” I know this is a period in Ugbo when illustrious sons and daughters come together both within and outside Nigeria to celebrate their sons who have reach the age of Adulthood
“For eighteen years every three years, i have celebrated Aju festival with ugbo people and i participate in every ceremony the Ugbo people are doing , so iam from ugbo and i welcome all of you present at this ceremony and wish that God will take you back home to your various destinations safety
“We thank God for the land of Ugbo today, ugbo was not like this in the past twenty years but today Ugbo has Electricity, Good roads, water, schools lake and other things and i pray for God Guidance upon this children, let God see them through in life so they will be influential in the society and become great people who will also marry and have their own children
“I urge you all to hold firm your strength snd zeal, so that when you go back to your base, you can be able to tell people about your tradition and be proud of it any where anytime
“Despite the modernization in Ugbo today, am so happy that in Ugbo we still remember the culture and tradition and i pray that our culture and traditions will never die.
The Senator also Commended the Deputy Minority leader of National house of Rep. Hon. Toby Okechukwu for the development he has brought so far in the land of Ugbo and prayed that the God lord will continue to strengthen him the more.
In same spirit, the Honourable Member representing Aninri/ Awgu/Orji River federal Constituency Hon Toby Okechukwu also congratulated the celebrants whom he welcomed with some bravery words
Dishing out a words of advice to the young men , he urged them to be bravery just like they have demonstrated in today event and even the rain couldn’t stop their enthusiasm in the festival
“I must say i commend your braveness and the strength you have demonstrated in today’s event , i have seen the enthusiasm and eagerness which even the rain couldn’t stop
“This is a time of transition of young men of Ugbo into manhood and this this a time when he can be hold responsible for any crime he commits that is against the law, it is a time also when he will start paying taxes and contributing to the growth and development of the Community .
“These are the bravery men of Ugbo, they are the ones who will protect the people from any form of attack from the outside community .
“This us the reason why the first day, they are initiated and the second day they are taken round the village to interrogate the geopolitical entity called ugbo
In time past, they are led to the various boundaries to show them the lands and demarcation from various Community so
He also thanked the dogged ness of all the dignitaries including all the Stakeholders from the zones present at the occasion not minding the rains attempt quench the celebration stating that this has shown the love they have for Ugbo people and “it wont be taken for granted he stated “
Earlier at the occasion, the Chairman organizing Committee of the Aju festival and National publicity secretary Ohanaeze Chiedozie Alex Ogbonnia appreciated all the guest for honouring the invitation and prayed Aju festival to remain and be observed in every three years.
He also thanked those who in one way or the other helped in the realization of the event and prayed the God lord will see them home to their various destinations.
Ugamatv reports that this year’s festival saw the initiation of up to -age boys from the three clans which make up Ugbo known as Ugbonabor, Ugbokpara and Ngeneugbo under the age grade name of Ifechukwu
The festival saw the attendance of many illustrious sons and daughters of Ugbo in Awgu local government area of Enugu state come out in their largest number to celebrate their sons as they perform their ”Iwa Akwa” Their rite of passage to manhood