By Comr. James Ibechi
It is with profound respect, love, humility and joy that I convey to Adirahu Ny’Igede 1, HRH Chief Oga Ero, Igede Intermediate Area Traditional Council and the entire good people of Igede nation warm felicitations on this solemn day of our cultural festival given to us by God through the defunct Igede Youth Association (IYA) on Ihigile of September 3, 1957. I am encouraged to reach out to you because of my deep conviction that you share in our collective desire to serve humanity and provide an enabling environment for the individual and collective growth of the Igede nation.
Undoubtedly, the culture of celebrating Igede Agba has come to stay and will be religiously celebrated in accordance with the spirit of our great fathers. No one can validly deny Igede their Agba (New yam festival) cultural celebrations. Indeed, it is a legacy bequeathed to us by our past fathers.
TO EVERYONE: In celebrating this year’s festival may we, as a nation, at this junction of our socio-cultural, economic and political history re-emphasis those things that tend to unite us than those that are capable of separating us, because a nation is as strong and great as her unity.
As we celebrate the festival, may it be an opportunity to make peace and reconciliation. May we learn to forgive others for ills done to us and also seek for forgiveness where we have wronged.
May we also use this rare occasion to visit and share with the poor of the poorest in our community. Let us exchange gifts and food with enthusiasm and joy. Let this year’s celebration be carried beyond political, religious and tribal boundaries or borders through sending of gifts to neighbours, neighbouring communities and local governments.
More importantly, in today’s celebration, I implore everyone to save, if not yams in barns or grains in bags, but monies in banks so we can have enough to keep us going till the next harvest season. Likewise, Civil servants should learn to manage their salaries till the next pay just as the Igede farmer has learnt to cope till the next harvesting period.
TO OUR PARENTS: May we use this celebration to take critical assessments of our wards. As our children or relatives come home for the celebration, parents or relations should sit them down and asses the progress made by their wards in the cities over the year(s) and possibly recall home those who are on the decline in terms of productivity and character.
TO MY FELLOW YOUTHS: As we celebrate this year’s New Yam festival may we do it with decorum and eschew trouble and all negative tendencies. I implore every Igede youth to be of good behaviour during and after the Igede Agba period.
I implore every youth to keep their homes and indeed their entire communities clean by clearing their foot paths.
FINALLY, as Igede Agba marks the end of a long and painful season of hunger for the Igede man, I therefore charge everyone to make this year’s celebration the end of a very long and very painful poverty era for the Igede people.
Accept my profound respect and warm regards, please.
Happy Igede Agba!
Long live Igede Nation!
Long live Igede Agba!
Long live INYCN!
Long live Nigeria!
COMRADE ONU MOSES ONU