The president general, Amankalu Alayi Development Union, His Honour, Elijah Amonwa Kalu has applauded the presence of the senator representing Abia North Senatorial District, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu at the 2019 new yam festival of the ancient Kingdom.
He stated this on Tuesday while speaking with ABN TV at the official celebration of the new yam festival in Bende local government area of Abia State, adding that Kalu is humble and a rare breed of politician.
He stated that despite short notice, the federal lawmaker honoured their invitation, praying for God’s love upon him.
He said the festival is a heritage handed over to the people by their forefathers, adding that the date is fixed by the calculation of the moon.
While stating that the sacrifices which precede the celebration of the new yam festival is there and will always be there, he added that the people of the community no more observe it because of the religion of Christianity.
Also speaking with ABN TV on Tuesday, the chairman Alayi Council of Traditional Rulers, His Royal Majesty, Philip Ukeje said the celebration is a thanksgiving ceremony to God for keeping the people alive to see the season of new yam harvest and to showcase the rich culture of the people.
The festival according to the royal father came after a deliberation by the duo of Umuokpo and Umuaja whose duty it is to announce the date of the celebration.
He also called on the Igbo to tenaciously uphold their culture.
Also speaking, James Kalu Abba, the traditional ruler of Isiama Alayi autonomous community and the traditional ruler of Umuola kingdom described yam as the head of all crops given to man by God.
He expressed satisfaction with the compliance level of Alayi ancient kingdom made up of 10 communities in not flouting the rule of the new yam festival which among other things include eating the new yam before the agreed date.
While describing the festival as the entire gamut of the people’s cultural and traditional relevance, a clergyman pastor Law Alfa said the celebration is devoid of any form of idol worship, insisting it is purely the celebration of the culture of Alayi.
He added that only the elders that commune with the forces, the spirits and ancestors have the right to pronounce the date of the new yam festival, stating that there is a serious sanction for anyone who eats the new yam before the fixed date.
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