By Okereke Wilson Ogbonnaya
The entire people of Ezza Ezekuna Clan in Ebonyi State were on Tuesday 4th August 2020 observed their annual New Yam festival popularly called “Oke-Aku” at the ancestral home of their progenitor, Okpoku Ezekuna in Onueke, Ezza LGA.
Speaking during the event, the former Federal Lawmaker, Hon Lazarus Nweru Ogbee told newsmen that the event symbolizes the beginning of a new year in Ezza traditional calendar by which the celebrants would pay homage with various edible items to their elderly relatives and other people.
He said that the people have reverence on yam due to the fact that it is known as the chief crop in the area and also disclosed that by the virtue of the feast, elderly men usually stay at their various homes to welcome relatives and exchange pleasantries with others who would come to identify with them.
“This period, our Clan is adjudged as the New Year in the traditional calendar of Ezza Ezekuna which is a digression from the English paradigm that has 1st January as its New Year. The feast also revitalizes unity among the people and signifies love in the tradition of Ezza land”, he said.
According to Hon Ogbee, after the day’s event, the elders would fix time for the harvest but before then, by the strength of the ceremony, harvest is being permitted by the culture.
Hon Ogbee who is also commissioner for Inter-Party Affairs, Ebonyi State appreciated all the stakeholders of Ezza Clan and thanked Governor Umahi over the great opportunities that he provided for their people in his administration.
Another stakeholder, Barrister Friday Agbom told us that Oke-Aku is a cultural identity that ushers Ezza people into the traditional New Year where they would dine together and exchange gifts ranging from food stuffs and other edible items.
Barrister Agbom said, “This is a period when people usually pay special visit to their in-laws and other people whom they hold at high esteem just as it is being observed in the compound of Hon Ogbee who had in the spirit of the feast disbursed some gifts such as lobes of kolanut, tubers of yam and other items to the elderly men of Idembia, Okoffia, Amana, Ezzama, Amaezekwe and other villages.”
The Lawmaker representing Ezza South/Ikwo Federal Constituency, Hon Chinedu Ogah told us that event speaks volume of Ezza people as it fosters unity, love and boost the cultural activity in the clan.
Hon Ogah said, “The feast has serious positive impact in the lives of the people mostly as it brings the cultural identity of the clan to the limelight and unifies all and sundry irrespective of party affiliation.”
According to Hon Ogah, in his effort to restore fully the cultural activities of his constituency, he had sensitized all the people on the need and instituted annual cultural carnival as mechanism for its sustainability.
“With adherence to culture, young ones will be respectful to their elders, obey the law of the land because it has affinity with God’s commandments.”