The Imo State government says that it has started to revive the Ahiajoku Convention Centre in the New Owerri which has been moribund for a long time.
Ray Emeana, former member who represented Owerri North state constituency in the Imo House of Assembly, who is now the director general ((DG) of Ahiajoku Convention Centre stated that the place has been moribund for sometime , and that nobody has been there in the position of a director general to ensure that life is brought into that centre for a long time.
According to Emeana who was recently appointed as the director general of Ahiajoku Convention Centre, the Centre was conceptualised as an institute by the former governor, Ikedi Ohakim to be now permanent as against the adhoc arrangement of Ahiajoku in the past, where a committee was constituted to plan the lecture and after the lecture everybody would go home.
“So, during the period of Ikedi Ohakim, he came up with the concept of permanent centre and structure that led to the building of Ahiajoku Convention Centre at New Owerri. The last person who was appointed into the cenre was Amanze Obi.
Since then, Emeana said, “It has not been functioning as a centre rather the place has been under adhoc management for several other organs of government. But in the wisdom of the governor (His Excellency, Senator Hope Uzodinma), he has decided to revive the Ahiajoku Centre as centre for the management of Ahiajoku Lecture Series and other related activities of the centre as we may create.
“So, what we are trying to do now is to make it a functional centre for all aspects of Ahiajoku not just a lecture. Because when you are talking about Ahiajoku Lecture, you are talking of cultural values of Ndi-Igbo, talking about harvests, you are talking about renewal of life.
“So we are going to do these things, looking at the various aspects of Igbo culture related to Ahiajoku and revive them of which the climax will be the Ahiajoku lecture itself.”
He informed that the Ahiajoku Convention Centre since it has been out of use for a long time, weeds and grasses, even reptiles have taken over the place.
“Whatever I do, I do it with passion, there is no light there, it has been overgrown with weeds, but I have given myself a challenge that in the next three to four months that place will be put in order for activities to start,” he said.
He also disclosed that immediately after the centre is put in order and proper standard, that he would bring Ahiajoku Cultural Troupe to take-off, revamp the area and introduce masquerade festival, junior Ahiajoku festival where secondary school students will learn and talk about Ahiajoku, and to know exactly what it is for, as well as introduce Ahiajoku village where people can know about how their forefathers lived in the years past and other cultural activities.