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Encouraging socio-cultural formations for economic empowerment in Anambra communities

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HISTORY confirms that “humans are all products of relationships; and man is a relational being”. It is also apposite to say that God did not create man to live in isolation. The above salient observations are in tandem with the genealogical history that inspired socio-cultural formations in Anambra State.

Community based organizations in the state have become a potent force to assist government in economic empowerment of the rural dwellers and the vulnerable members of communities in addition to the provision of basic amenities and infrastructures especially in the hinterlands to uplift the living standard of the people.

Last year witnessed a resurgence of socio-cultural formations and celebrations namely: Orumba South Day, Orumba North Day, Awka North Day, Omambala Day, Nzuko Odimma Anaocha, Adazi Day celebration 2019, etc. The annual or bi-annual celebration of these socio-cultural formations go with merit awards, special recognitions, conferment of chieftaincy titles by the local government council of traditional rulers, launching of compendium as done this January by Nzuko Anaocha.

The occasion is used to show-case modified cultural heritage debuting of new cultural dances and masquerades, all aimed at entertaining people and friends from all works of life.

Anambra State Government, under the magnificent and populist-oriented political leadership of Chief Dr. Wilie Obiano [Agbokuedike] has demonstrated appreciation these socio-cultural formations by attending them or sending the deputy governor, Dr. Nkem Okeke or a top member of the executive council.

The governor goes the extra mile by using the forum to restate his administration’s avowals to uplift the socio-economic welfare of the people. It is pertinent to note that the conferment of special recognitions, merit awards, chieftaincy titles, etc. bestowed on people who have made immense contributions like giving scholarships to indigent students, rehabilitation of intra-village roads, provision of bore-holes for potable water supply, financial empowerment of widows, orphans and the vulnerable segment of the communities, serve as inspiration to upcoming well-to-do youngsters to key into the humanitarian services to lift people out of socio-economic dungeon and change the face of the rural settings.

On January 5, 2019, at the Divine Mercy College, Adazi-Enu, a socio-cultural organization called “United Adazi Association” born out of genealogical history of three communities was revived to reinvigorate the brotherly love among the three ancestral but autonomous communities, namely: Adazi-enu, Adazi-Ani, and Adazi-Nnukwu. According to historical account, the three ancestral communities were the children of one woman who married a polygamous man called “Okotu” in the hoary past. The initial get-together was held on January 13, 2016, but circumstances led to its being moribund but the need was felt to get it reinvented and was celebrated this year with pomp and pageantry.

In his welcome address, the Chairman of the United Adazi Association, Cyril Anetoh, said: “The initial move to strengthen the bond was truncated by poor communication, poor finances, non-rotation of activities in the three communities, poor documentations, non-registration of the union, lack of constant awareness on the existence and need for the union, non-availability of memorandum of association, non-availability of constitution, and non-existence of executive committee to be coordinating the affairs”.

The chairman commended the three traditional rulers of the blood-related communities namely: Igwe A.O Okpalaechelu [Obiokotu ii of Adazi-enu [Adazi-enu being eldest son], Igwe R.N Nwankwo [Ogene 1 of Adazi-Ani [Adazi-ani being the second son, and Igwe Augustine Obiekezie [Adama Adazi-Nnukwu], [Adazi-Nnukwu being the third son, for being very supportive morally and financially for the reinvigoration of ancestral socio-cultural formation for socio-economic and political empowerment of the people.

Anetoh, an engineer, also commended the formidable roles of sensitizing and mobilizing their respective people by the Presidents-general and women leaders of the three communities namely: Chukwuma P. Ezeadim and the women leader Mrs. Franca Nnoli of Adazi-Enu; President-general, John Eyisi, and women leader, Mrs. Alice Muojekwu of Adazi-Ani; and President-general, Chief Frank Madubike, and women leader, Lady Josephine Obiadi of Adazi-Nnukwu.
On the socio-economic importance to the people of the three communities forming the Adazi Union Association, the chairman said: “The benefits of the association include: political, social interactions, cultural benefits, conflict resolutions and government presence”.

The highlights of the epoch-making event were the presentation of Kolanut bowels to the three traditional rulers. In addition to the remarkable memorial, a framed “Okotu Family Tree” was also presented to the three traditional rulers, presidents general, and women leaders of the ancestral communities.

In his speech, the Senator, representing Anambra Central senatorial Zone, Chief Victor Umeh, commended the three communities for the wisdom in reinvigorating their ancestral bond of relationship. He commended the Akwaeze women dance troupe that put glamour to the occasion by reinventing the artistic costume and dance steps of women in the hoary past, saying that cultural heritage should be preserved without certain idolatry components.

The distinguished senator beat his chest for representing the constituency to the best of his ability, even as he gave scholarships to students in the three communities, in addition to constructing a pavilion for skill acquisition skills and over 150 jobs to the people in the district.

Speaking to the National Light, Igwe A.O. Okpalaechelu called for seriousness in observing the annual event to cement the sanguinary ties, while Igwe R.N Nwankwo regretted that some members did not put on the association’s uniform to demonstrate the bond of relationship. Igwe Augustine Obikeze stressed the importance of maintaining the ancestral bond of relationship to reinvent the wish of their primary progenitors who sired the three brothers that resulted to the three communities. The distinguished royal fathers unanimously expressed the wish that the Union would not be truncated by extraneous factors.

Also speaking to National Light, a political grassroots mobilizer and prominent woman leader, Chief Mrs. Franca Nnoli said that the reinvigorated union would become a formidable factor to help in reducing the plight of the vulnerable segment of the communities and stem the tide of social problems among the youth. She said: “The persons given merit awards will further be motivated to contribute to the empowerment of the less privileged in the three communities and be gainfully engaged economically”.

The three presidents-general namely: Ezeadim, Eyisi, and Madike were unanimous in striving to mobilize their people to further the frontiers of the reinvigorated association, especially in education and skill acquisition to create employment and wealth.

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