The Igbo Community in Ghana on Saturday, September 22, 2018, converged on the Efua Sutherland Park in Accra to celebrate the new yam festival, known as iri ji.
It is customary among the Igbo that before the new yam is consumed after the harvest, the crop, known as the king of food, is celebrated to thank God for the successful harvest.
The King of the Igbo Community in Ghana, Eze (Dr) Chukwudi Ihenetu, Eze Ohazurume I, Eze Ndi Igbo Ghana commemorated the occasion with the breaking of kola nuts in line with Igbo tradition.
The colourful ceremony attracted dignitaries from far and near including some Igbo Chiefs resident in Nigeria besides Chiefs and Queen Mothers from the various traditional councils across the 10 regions of Ghana.
The occasion was characterized by drumming, dancing and singing as well as the display of rich Igbo culture and tradition.
Visitors to the ceremony were welcomed by the king and kola nuts were presented to Ghana for hosting the Igbo Community. As well, the nuts reached the various traditional councils to signify appreciation for the friendliness of the chiefs and traditional rulers of Ghana towards Nigerians.
In his welcome remarks shortly before cutting yams on the occasion, the Igbo King expressed his profound appreciation to the government and people of Ghana for playing host to Igbos and Nigerians in general.
He seized the opportunity to entreat all Africans to celebrate their culture.
According to him, the occasion was an avenue to showcase the rich cultural heritage of Ndigbo, positing that coming together of Igbo people presented an opportunity through which they were reminded of the need to embrace their culture and traditions.
According to him, this was necessary because no nation or society could develop maximally if it neglected its cultural heritage. In his words, a people not versed in their culture and traditions were preparing themselves for extinction.
Meanwhile, he thanked Ghanaian chiefs and queen mothers including the Osu Mantse and acting president of the Ga Traditional Council, Nii Dodoo Nsaki II, for honouring his invitation to the festival.
He noted their presence at the event showed that Nigerians and Ghanaians are the same.
The yam festival is celebrated in many traditional Ghanaian communities too. It is indeed, the most homogenous celebration that is linked to most of the tribes. Of course, the history of most Ghanaian tribes trace back to Nigeria,
The Igbo king, observing these, therefore assured Ghanaians that the Nigerians in Ghana would equally respect the traditional laws of Ghana.