…Soludo Congratulates monarch
Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka on Saturday celebrated his reign on the throne of Ezechima and 22nd Ofala festival, saying that the event has grown steadily over the years in terms of its scope, social glamour and intrinsic meaning for the community.
The Ofala held at Ime Obi Onitsha with paying of homage by Ndi ichie, Ndi Diokpa, Agbalanze Onitsha, Otu Odu, Ikporo Onitsha in cultural funfair attracted high personalities including the Anambra State Governor, Chukwuma Soludo; the Presidential Candidate of Labour Party, Peter Obi, amongst others.
The monarch also said, “With the strides that it has made, the Ofala continues to receive both national and international recognition.
“An international visual arts exhibition, a youths’ carnival, an internationally accredited marathon, a post-Ofala banquet, and a Church Thanksgiving service have enhanced the content and attractiveness of the Ofala over the years.”
Igwe Achebe noted that the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) has endorsed the Onitsha Ofala Festival as a major Nigerian festival and issued a specific mandate in its support.
“The Ofala has also received a Certificate of Recognition for Excellence in Culture from the United Nation World Tourism Organisation.
“This is in identification of its corporate contribution to the development of culture.
“The Ofala is on course to its achieving objectives of attracting considerable national, West Africa, and international attention, and attaining the status of a major event in Nigerian, by extension in the West African cultural/tourist calendar,” he affirmed.
On insecurity in the country, Achebe said that the uncertainty has been further complicated by the continuing security concerns in most parts of the country.
Following eight years of the previous administration, the early economic measures by the new administration, including the unilateral removal of the fuel price subsidy without a back-up strategy, are seriously deepening the hardship in the country, particularly at the lower rungs of the society.
“In effect, the country is at a dangerous crossroads politically, economically, socially, and security-wise.
“In the Southeast, we have the aftermath of the last general election; the complex and protracted security situation involving kidnappers, political thugs, state, and non-state actors, etc., all masquerading as unknown gunmen; as well as the crippling economic strangulation of the Southeast arising from the insecurity and the ill-advised Sit-At-Home protest that has cost Ndi Igbo incalculable losses in finances and, tragically, properties and lives.”
In his remarks, Soludo congratulated the monarch on his meritorious years on the throne and the contributions of the Onitsha people in partnership with other stakeholders to the development of the state.
He reiterated that the greater Onitsha which comprised Onitsha North, Onitsha South, Idemili North, Ogbaru and Oyi Local Government Areas must be sanitised and become progressive.
He called on the people of the area to help his government to rid the state and Onitsha in particular of the menace of touts.