Rotary Club Of Enugu GRA District 9142 Pledges To Impact More Lives, Celebrates New Yam Festival

ENUGU–The President of the Rotary Club of Enugu GRA District 9142, Mrs. Juliet Ifeoma Nwachukwu, says the organization will continue to harness positive and rich cultural potential of the people to build sustainable, liveable and prosperous future for all

Mrs. Nwachukwu stated this at the weekend during the 2022 New Yam Festival, popularly called “Iri ji” of the Club held in Enugu.

She commended the District Governor 9125 Rotary Club of Abuja, Dr.Goddy Ugochukwu Nnadi; the traditional ruler of  Ibagwa-Nike, Dr. Emma Ugwu and her colleagues who have been supportive.

In the words of Mrs. Nwachukwu, “I consider myself very lucky to be President of Rotary Club Enugu GRA at this particular time. It is therefore a great pleasure to welcome all of us to this important occasion where culture blend with Rotary.

“Rotary is actually founded on friendship and it is this friendship that has brought our sister club in Abuja to share special fellowship for the celebration of annual Iriji festival, here in the presence of our royal majesty, Igwe Ibagwa-Nike Community, Dr. Emma Ugwu,” she said.

Nwachukwu re-echoed that her administration would ensure basic education and literacy among people within her district, champion economic and community development and support the environment.

She added that her government would also tackle maternity and childcare diseases, provide water and sanitation, and deepen interest in peace building and conflict resolution.

The District Governor 9125 Rotary Club of Abuja, Dr.Goddy Ugochukwu Nnadi, says the organization will continue to harness positive and rich cultural potential of the people to build sustainable, liveable and prosperous future for all

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Dr. Nnadi stated this at the weekend in Enugu in a message to the 2022 New Yam Festival, popularly called “Iri ji” of Rotary Club GRA.

Represented by the Assistant District Governor, Herbert Dike, Dr. Nnadi, noted that Rotary remained committed to impacting lives, building leaders, fostering working relationships and contributing to worthwhile projects that impact the lives notwithstanding their cultures.

Dr. Nnadi who received the chieftaincy title of “Enyioha 1 of RC Enugu GRA,” which literally means, “friend of the people” expressed gratitude to the president for the recognition, urging her not to relent in engaging on projects that have meaningful impacts on the lives and well-being of the people and the society.

The Traditional Ruler of Ibagwa-Nike in Enugu East Local Government Area, Dr. Emma Ugwu, who was the Royal Father of the Day, said culture had a unique way of fostering unity and peace.

Represented by Ichie Emeka Okpara, the monarch, reiterated that the stool would sustain the good and outstanding relationship that existed between it and the Rotary Club Enugu GRA.

In a speech, the first female district governor in West Africa, Lady Elizabeth Ogugua Nwankwo, expressed delight in the effort of the President, Rotary Club Enugu GRA, Juliet Ifeoma Nwachukwu, to preserve, promote and propagate rich Igbo cultural heritage, such as Iri-ji.

Lady Nwankwo, a member of Enugu City Layout Club, pledged continued support to the president in her beautiful programmes.

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Also, the Past District Governor, Dr. Okay Okonkwo, of Rotary Club of Ekulu District 9142, noted that the organisation is dedicated to serving humanity, adding that the occasion was a great opportunity to showcase the rich cultural heritage of the people.

“Rotary is a humanitarian service organisation, and we pride ourselves as one of the organizations that are interested in making our communities better.

“Usually, we embark on projects on seven different areas of focus, disease prevention and treatment, education and literacy and a whole of other things, but part of what we are also trying to inculcate is something that is also dear to Rotarians, which is our indigenous culture.

“And so we are here to celebrate a very popular event in Igbo culture, which is the new yam festival and to project it while also letting our guests and people learn from it,” he said.

Equally, the Past District Governor of Rotary District 9142, Dr. Dan Ajawara, who also received a chieftaincy title, expressed joy with the club for promoting Igbo culture and tradition.

“For the first time, Rotary is meeting with culture, and in meeting with culture, you takeaway a lot of things, and what we have taken from here today is nothing too far away from Rotary, to what our people feel, and I really appreciate the club for doing this ceremony and for also conferring on me a chieftaincy title.

“Rotary as you know is a humanitarian service organisation and in Rotary, we try to assist our community, assist people in need and give our little token to the betterment of the society. So I appreciate this club for doing this today and using it as avenue to also reach out to our communities to assist them in statutory work of helping the people,” Dr. Ajawara noted.

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The event, which attracted crème de la crème in the society, was also a reception of members of Rotary Club of Abuja.

New Yam Festival popularly known as “Orureshi, Iwa ji, Iri-ji, Ike ji, or Otute, Ilo-Mmuo Ndigbo or Onwa Asato (depending on dialect) is an annual cultural festival by the Igbo people to celebrate sacrifice of thanksgiving to God of Creation (Chukwu Okike) for bumper harvest

It is one of the traditional and cultural festivities Igbo people do not play with. Without performing this festival as individuals or in groups, no full-fledged or matured man eats new yam in Igbo land.