Excitement as Enugu community inducts 400 young men into adulthood

August 8, 2021
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It was a celebration galore as 400 young men of the Ugbo Community in Awgu local government area of Enugu state where on Saturday inducted into adulthood popularly known as ‘Iwa Akwa’ or ‘Aju festival’.

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The festival which saw the attendance of many illustrious sons and daughters of Ugbo in come out in their largest number to celebrate their sons as they perform their “Iwa Akwa” their rite of passage to manhood.

Guests, celebrants, families and well-wishers defiled rain to witness the colourful event that was graced by Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, former deputy President of the Senate, Chief Ike Ekweremadu, and many other dignitaries.

In his remark, Chairman of the Occasion Mr Ogechukwu Udeagha, said that the festival is performed every three years to mark the rite of passage for every male child between the ages of 19 and 21.

He said that the festival which is traditionally called Aju festival or Iwa Akwa (clothing) was the most cherished festival in the life of every Ugbo indigene. “It is one of the major cultural landmarks in Awgu Local Government traditional calendar in Enugu State.”

While commending dignitaries for honouring their invitation, explained that the festival was an age long tradition, and thanked God that it still exist and trending even in the Society of today.

Speaking during the Festival, the former deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, stated that the long aged tradition has received millions and thousands of Ugbo men been initiatied into adulthood and has remained since its inception .

Stressing that Ugbo has used the ceremony to achieve a great landmark in terms of development and otherwise.

“I know this is a period in Ugbo when illustrious sons and daughters come together both within and outside Nigeria to celebrate their sons who have reach the age of adulthood.

“For eighteen years, every three years, I have celebrated Aju festival with Ugbo people and I participate in every ceremony that Ugbo people are doing, so I am from Ugbo and I welcome all of you present at this ceremony and wish that God will take you back home to your various destinations safely.

“We thank God for the land of Ugbo today, Ugbo was not like this in the past twenty years but today Ugbo has electricity, good roads, water, schools, lake and other things. I pray for God guidance upon this children, let God see them through in life so they will be influential in the society and become great people who will also marry and have their own children.

“I urge you all to hold firm your strength and zeal, so that when you go back to your base, you can be able to tell people about your tradition and be proud of it anywhere anytime.

“Despite the modernization in Ugbo today, am so happy that you still remember the culture and tradition and I pray that our culture and traditions will never die.”

He used the occasion to commend the deputy Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Hon. Toby Okechukwu for the development he has attracted to Ugbo and prayed that God will continue to strengthen him the more.

In his remark, Okechukwu congratulated the celebrants whom he welcomed with some bravery words.

He urged them to be bravery just like they have demonstrated in today’s event and even the rain couldn’t stop their enthusiasm in the festival.

“I must say i commend your braveness and the strength you have demonstrated in today’s event , i have seen the enthusiasm and eagerness which even the rain couldn’t stop

“This is a time of transition of young men of Ugbo into manhood and a time when he can be hold responsible for any crime he commits that is against the law. It is a time when he will start paying taxes and contributing to the growth and development of the community.

“These are the bravery men of Ugbo, they are the ones who will protect the people from any form of attack from the outside community.

“This is the reason the first day they were initiated and the second day they were taken round the village to interrogate the geopolitical entity of Ugbo.

“In time past, they are led to the various boundaries to show them the lands and demarcation from various community so.”

The Chairman, Organizing Committee of the festival and National Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Alex Ogbonnia thanked the guest for honouring the invitation and prayed that the ‘Aju festival’ will remain and observed in the community.

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