By Peter Usman, Abuja
His Royal Highness (HRH) Igwe Friday Ozochi, Ozo Chimere Eze 1 of Pyakasa Kingdom in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has said that the unity of the nation cannot be compromised despite diverse traditions and ethnicity we belong to in Nigeria.
Chief Ozochi stated this during the weekend at Pyakasa, a community off Airport Road in Abuja during the 2020 annual yam festival celebrated by Igbo people in the community.
He explained that in Pyakasa village, despite different ethnic group and tribes residing in the community, people do things together in one accord as if they came from the same place.
HRH, Ozo Chimere Eze 1 of Pyakasa urged Nigerians from all works of lives to be united, shun all political and tribal differences, so that the country can move forward in the areas of economic development and peaceful coexistence.
According to him, “We believe in open Nigeria and we believe in Igbo race. Wherever you find yourself in Nigeria, the issue of unity should be considered, disunity will not bring peace and development.
“Like in Pyakasa here, we don’t joke with unity, people do things together as if they came from the same house and i believe we came from one home. We Igbo in this community are at peace with every tribe including our host. Before the end of this event, you will see different tribes and their chiefs coming to grace the occasion because we are one,” he said.
Speaking on the annual yam festival, Chief Ozochi explained that any Igbo person who really believes in tradition will not eat new yam before the festival is celebrated.
He said, “A true Igbo man who knows his culture, has no right to eat new yam before this festival is done. You have to do the needful because yam is the king of all crops. If you have participated, the gods will be at peace with you.
“In Igbo culture, the right thing is that, if you want to eat new yam, you have to follow the culture so that throughout the year, the ancestors will be at peace with you. What we call new yam festival is thanking God for keeping us alive.”
Also speaking, HRH, Eze Emmanuel Charles Ogu, Aguji gbe gburu gburu 1 of Apo kingdom, has urged the Igbos and Nigerians at large to maintain their traditions so that it will not just die away.
HRH Ogu said, “We Ibos, anywhere we found ourselves, we carry our tradition to along, so that the legacy our parents and four fathers left behind for us will not die as English men want it.
“The ban of yams you see here is the symbol of what we are doing today, we therefore want everybody to go ahead and do their tradition accordingly.
“We are teaching our children as well this tradition so that anywhere they go, they will not disappoint us and that is why we are here today, showcasing our tradition.”
The 2020 annual yam festival was well attended by Ibo traditional leaders from various kingdom in FCT and other community leaders in the territory including the people from the host community.