Arondizuogu community in Ideato North Local Government Area of Imo State has officially announced Thursday, April 28, 2022, to be the date of the annual, unifying, and homecoming traditional event of Ikeji festival.
Announcing the date in a traditional function organized for the formal announcement at Iheme Izuogu in Ndi Aniche village, Arondizuogu on Sunday, the traditional ruler of the community, Eze Ndubuisi Kanu, said that the essence of the function was to appease the gods and to hear from them before declaring the date for the epoch-making traditional festival.
Kanu said that the importance of Ikeji festival could not be jettisoned from the area, adding that it unites the entire Aro community both at home and in the Diaspora.
He said, “The importance of Ikeji festival cannot be thrown away owing to its unifying significance. We value Ikeji festival more than the Xmas or any other celebration. It units Aro community both at home and in the Diaspora”.
He also mentioned that the festival would span for one week adding that it was a homecoming event for the people of the area.
The sponsor of the Ikeji date announcement event, High Chief Innocent Ezuma, said that the aros in Onuimo, Okigwe, and Ideato North LGA of the state and worldwide would be in attendance to celebrate the traditional ceremony.
Ezuma, who is the Lord Mayor of Arondizuogu further said that the ceremony of the day introduced the entry into the year 2022 farming season.
He said that the slating of Ndi aniche venue for the announcement was to pay homage to the great grandfather of the area, who lived in that area and bequeathed the culture and tradition to them.
“We killed the animals in front of the Ngwu onwo (tree) to eulogize and feed our great grandfather with them (blood of the animals) who bequeathed the culture and tradition we are today cherishing, celebrating, and known with,” he added.
In his comments, another co-sponsor, Chief Ugochukwu Okoro, stated that the Ikeji celebration would not have taken place without the announcement ceremony.
He said it was the day they get information from their forefathers for the main day of the ceremony.
“It is always a day Arondizuogu people pray to their forefathers to extricate all devilish and demonic activities against the people of the area. It is a celebration we cannot afford to throw away. It really unites all of us both at home and away,” Okoro said.
He equally said that over four million people would be expected to witness the traditional ceremony.