Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano, has called for the sustenance of customs, practices and traditions of Igbo culture.
Governor Obiano made the call at the “Igu Aro” festival organized by the Directorate of Igbo Village and Centre for African Civilization, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, in partnership with Anambra State Ministry of Diaspora Affairs, Indigenous Artwork Culture and Tourism, during which Igbo calendar was unveiled.
Correspondent, Emmanuel Chigbata, reports that the event was held at the faculty of Arts, Unizik Awka.
The “Igu Aro Igbo” or Igbo calendar, is a lunar calender, which measures space and time using the phases of the moon.
The calendar, which shares semblance with what obtains in China and Israel, is shorter than the conventional solar year that has three hundred and sixty-five days.
Unlike the Gregorian calendars, the Igbo calender has thirteen months in a year, seven weeks in a month and four days representing Eke, Orie, Afor, and Nkwo, in addition to one extra day at the end of the year in the last month.
The 2021 “Igu Aro” festival of Unizik offered opportunity to visit proposed site for Igbo village and Centre for African Civilization at the institution.
Speaking during the event, Governor Obiano represented by the Commissioner for Diaspora Affairs, Indigenous Artwork, Culture and Tourism, Mr. Ken Anierobi, noted that all hands must be on deck to ensure that Igbo culture is sustained.
He assured of support for the Igbo village project, which he said will expand the frontiers of Igbo culture and civilization.
Explaining the Igbo calendar, guest speaker at the event, and the Traditional ruler of Enugwu-ukwu, Igwe Ralph Ekpeh, said the “Igu Aro” festival is oracular, spiritual and ritualistic, and is celebrated annually in order to proclaim and forecast the new year.
Chairman of the Occasion, Chief Rommy Ezeonwuka, represented by Mr. Jude Masscot Obiagu, Chief launcher at the event, Dr. Godwin Maduka and the Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Charles Esimone, said acknowledging prominent Ndigbo, whose lives and achievements have advanced Igbo race and it’s core values made the event is symbolic
On his part, the Director, Igbo Village and Centre for African Development, Very Reverend Father Professor Bonachristus Umeogu, said the event is a premier festival, which will raise the consciousness of the people not only to see the Igbo village as a tourist centre, but a place to establish Igbo science and arts.
Anambra state Governor’s wife, Dr. Ebelechukwu Obiano, represented by Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Youth Mobilization, Mrs Maureen Nwakasi, Commissioner for Health, Dr. Vincent Okpala, Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer of ABS, Dr. Uche Nworah, other academia attended the event that also featured cultural dance displays.