The Enugu State Government has urged communities in the state to preserve and promote their cultural identities and heritage for their younger generations.
Dr Kingsley Udeh, the Commissioner for Rural Development, made the call during the second edition of the Great Achallaukwu Festival by Affa community in Udi LGA.
The great Achallaukwu Dynasty comprises communities in Igbo-Etiti, Uzo-Uwani and Udi LGAs.
The festival, which began with a Holy Mass celebrated by the Spiritual Director of the Great Achallaukwu Dynasty, Rev Fr Joe Ezechi, had many sons and daughters of Affa in attendance, including Affa’s traditional ruler, HRH Marius Ahamu.
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Udeh, represented by the ministry’s spokesman, Mrs Ifeoma Ogbu, said there was the need for communities to promote and sustain their cultures from dying.
He said to correct people’s negative attitude to their cultures, “Enugu government is calling all the communities in Enugu and their leaders to resuscitate their cultures through training and retraining people on them.”
Udeh further said that the manner youths acted and dressed in the area were not benefitting to their culture and as such the stakeholders should sensitise them to uphold the values in their culture.
He added that, “Today this community is celebrating its ancestral father called Achallaukwu. It is an occasion all members of the community should embrace.
“I am advising them to take the celebration serious by exploring the opportunity to reach out to all the strata of the community which include women, youths children and the elderly.
“There is need to cooperate and bring their culture to enviable heights.”
An elder, Mr Emmanuel Eketaonwu, said the event was used to remember their days, stressing they had done it in a traditional way before some people advocated doing it in a modern way to accommodate Christianity.
“We accepted and we do not have problem celebrating it together as brothers and sisters.”
President General of Affa Autonomous Community, Mr Victor Uchedienyi, said the event was to celebrate their paternity and ancestral bond and cultural values.
According to him, the celebration will help to integrate their strength, overcome their weaknesses, make them one indivisible people and promote love and relationship.
Uchedienyi, who is the convener of the event, said their forefather, Achallaugwu, had children dispersed and developed into numerous communities who retained some of his cultural values.
He said, “We shall no longer tolerate any dividing element in our paternity relationship. Great Achalaukwu Dynasty will continue to transform their culture to suit modern day society.
“We are called upon to co-exist and concentrate on the things that can bind us together, transform ancient practices that are obsolete and analyse our values and market our rich cultural values.” (NAN)