By NewsCritic Reporters
Speaker of Abia State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Chinedum Orji will be among the dignitaries to be honoured at this year’s traditional Iza Aha festival at Amafor Isingwu, Ohuhu, Umuahia on Saturday 26 December, 2020.
The Iza Aha festival which is celebrated every two years is an age long event that is exclusive to the people of Amafor Isingwu, and the event has lasted for over 100 years. In this year 2020, it is the turn of the Oganiru Age Grade to perform the ceremony having attained the required number of years in life to qualify for the celebration.
Speaking to the NewsCritic online on the event, one of the members of Oganiru Age-Grade and a celebrant, Revd Sam Ekeledo, explained that as people of tradition, the ceremony is a kind of traditional thanksgiving that also marks the attainment of age as senior citizen.
Hon Sam Ekeledo said that the Oganiru Age Grade is determined to add a new dimension to the ceremony by making a developmental gift to the Amafor Isingwu community as part of the traditional festival of Iza Aha and contribution to the overall development of the community.
Already, High Chief Charles Onwuneme, TPM Gburugburu who is one of the prominent members of the Oganiru Age Grade has undertaken the rehabilitation of the Ossah-Amafor Road with a donation of half a million Naira to facilitate the project. Also, the Oganiru Age Grade has graded and opened up the Amafor-Nkwoachara road, thereby making the communities easily accessible to the other.
On his part, Revd Sam Ekeledo attracted the construction of the Amafor-Ebite-War Museum Bypass and the road is currently under construction with the first phase of asphalt laying covering 500 metres. The project is being executed by the federal government through the federal ministry of Environment at the cost of N32 million for the phase 1.
The former executive Chairman of Umuahia North Local Government Area, LGA, stressed that he passed through all the bureaucratic bottlenecks and protocols, and also expended his personal money running into over N3 million before he could get the approval for the project.
He said the road project is his own contribution and on behalf of the Age Grade’s community development initiatives towards the 2020 Iza Aha festival.
Ekeledo also disclosed that High Chief Charles Onwuneme, starting from 23rd December would slaughter a cow everyday for 7 days and throughout the duration of the event to feed the less privileged members of the society and all who came to identify with the Oganiru Age Grade.
He also said that every reception would be outdoor and event done in full compliance to the COVID-19 protocols and appealed to intending guests to observe the protocols.