By Tochukwu Mbachu
Anambra State Governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo has called for the upliftment of the rich cultural heritage of Ndi Igbo as the only identity.
Governor Soludo made the call at the twentieth (20th) year Ofala celebration of the Traditional Ruler of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe, ‘Agbogidi’.
The Governor, in company of his wife, Mrs. Nonye Soludo attended the event which was held at Ime Obi, Onitsha.
He said that he has attended the Ofala Onitsha thrice during the past twenty years of his life but the first time he is attending with his wife as Governor.
“I am very happy to be here to join you in this celebration.
“Onitsha has a rich culture! Agbogidi is the only Traditional Ruler that have two LGAs under his care.
“I thank you Agbogidi for your work in Igboland. You are the Chairman South East Traditional Rulers Council, Anambra Traditional Rulers Council and the Obi of Onitsha.
“It has been 20 years of impactful rulership. I was amazed that you ascended the throne at the age of 61. Even now, you still look young and strong.
“Our culture is our identity. Our identity is who we are. We as Igbos, our culture is diverse. Any wayward member of the society can’t be an Ozo in Onitsha.
“I listened keenly as Agbogidi made a call that we should go back to our culture, re-orientate our values of hard work, persistence and honesty.
“I plead with all traditional rulers to have a harmonious relationship with their elected council and town unions.
“We are ndi Anambra and one of the safest states in Nigeria. Without safety, this kind of event won’t be happening. People from all walks of life have come to grace this historic occasion.
“Life and darkness will never mix. This is Anambra, light of the nation. Unknown gunmen, criminals and touts should go to other states to ply their trade not in Onitsha and Anambra State.
“I have toured all the roads in Onitsha and must confess that all the roads are bad but we are coming. Solution is here!
“Onitsha will rise again to regain it’s prominence as the largest prosperous homeland in the SouthEast.”
Governor Soludo thereafter wished the Monarch extra 70 years of life on earth.
In his address, Igwe Achebe thanked God for a successful Ofala and a successful journey through the last 20 years.
“It’s amazing how twenty years have elapsed. It hasn’t been an easy rise. We met so many setbacks but however, we are grateful to God for the remarkable strides Onitsha as a community has achieved.
“In 20 years, we have hosted 5 Governors of Anambra State and 4 presidents of Nigeria who have encouraged and helped us greatly. Several corporate bodies and friends of Onitsha have given their support in this journey.
“It’s all about transformation and re-invention in order to stay afloat in the 21st century through strategic seminars, workshops and conferences. Indigenes in the diaspora are also active participants in this remarkable journey.
“Values reorientation at all strata of our community have been imbibed to lift our people out of poverty but our efforts must be supported with core values.
“I appreciate every unflinching support. Let’s renew our commitment today in the upliftment of our motherland.
“I thank the Ofala planning committee for their amazing work in making this event a remarkable one,” he concluded.
Top Government officials, State and Federal Lawmakers, Traditional Rulers, Corporate Societies, Religious bodies, security agencies among others graced the occasion.