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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Anambra Govt to Begin Testing of Palm-wine Served at Occasions to End Adulteration, Tasks ASATU Youth on Upholding the Igbo Cultural Values


By Izunna Okafor, Awka

Anambra state government said it would start testing examining palm-wine being used at occasions in the State to ensure they are truly palm-wine healthy consumption, and not sugary concoction or unhealthy adulteration.

The State’s Commissioner for Culture, Entertainment and Tourism, Mr. Don Onyenji, disclosed this in Awka the state’s capital on Saturday, during an interactive session with the youth wing of the Anambra State Association of Town Unions (ASATU Youth) on the preservation of the state’s cultural values.

He condemned the rate at which people adulterate palm-wine and some other natural foods being served at occasions today, noting that such things are part of the reasons people suffer different kinds of unusual and inexplicable diseases today, as they are served something different from what they ordered. He added that his Ministry will collaborate with the Ministry of Health to bring an end to such unhealthy concoction and save Ndị the health they work hard to maintain.

While noting that upholding the Igbo culture and promoting the core Igbo values are top on the Agenda of the Solution Government, he further harped on the need for Ndị Igbo to cherish Igbo delicacies, especially because of their nutritional and health values. He also commended the Healthy Living initiative of the wife of the State Governor, Mrs. Nonye Soludo, while urging Ndị Anambra to key into the initiative and prioritize their health.

The Commissioner also reminded the youths that money rituals activities, such as Okeite, Yahoo-Yahoo, making money through crimes and other get-rich-quick syndrome seen among the youths today were not part of the core Igbo values, and wondered where the people learnt or borrowed that from. While noting that life is a process, he also reiterated the need for the youth to uphold the enduring spirit of hardwork, for which Ndị Igbo were known, as dignity of labour and self-reliance take the center stage in the core Igbo values.

Citing Governor Chukwuma Soludo as a good example, Commissioner Onyenji also advised the Anambra youth living home and abroad to always show patriotism, think home and always identify with their villages and kinsmen, irrespective of how widely travelled or hoe exposed they are. He underscored the indispensability of Ndị Anambra and the roles of the youth in propelling the Anambra Project.

While condemning the recent killing of a 71-year-old man by masquerade in Umuawulu Community, the Commissioner, who warned the youths against extremism in anything, also cautioned them against manifesting or indulging in any acts capable of putting the State in the bad light in the global space.

According to him, actions like that of the abuse of masquerade to intimidate people and the current showy idolatry, sacrifices and rituals being performed in rivers or different open places in the State and uploaded on the social media, could scare away or discourage tourists and even investors from coming into the state, thereby sabotaging the efforts of the Soludo-led government to make Anambra a first-choice investment destination and world-class global tourist site. While warning that the state government will overlook anything capable of retarding development, he further called for moderacy in everything, as, according to him, too much of everything is bad.

“We are not condemning our culture or our traditional religion, rather, we are uplifting and upholding them. But we will not keep quiet when such things are abused or done in such a way that will retard or obstruct development in the state; because, when such happens, it is no longer culture, but something else I can’t explain.

“Culture should attract and promote development in any society, and not the other way round,” Commissioner Onyenji said, adding that Anambra was currently on a progressive move and stride like never before, under Governor Soludo.

He recounted the various developmental strides so far recorded by the Soludo Administration, including the employment of over five thousand teachers and health workers, the free antenatal care, empowerment of thousands of youths through the One Youth Two Skills initiative, construction of over 400 kilometers of roads in different parts of the State, among others; even as he urged the youths to always be of good conduct and support the Governor to achieve his vision of making Anambra a livable and prosperous homeland.

Earlier speaking, the President-General, ASATU Youth, Comrade Ken Okoli, said the event was aimed at reminding the youths of the Igbo cultural values, intimating them on the core Igbo values, as well as re-orientating them on how to internalize them and make them their guiding principles in their daily living.

According to him, inculcating the values, which include fear of God, patriotism, self-reliance, discipline, life, truth, liberty, justice, community, dignity of labour, religious and ethnic tolerance, and love, into the youth will empower and guide them towards participating in the nation building, while also providing tools for the transformation of the State for good. He further urged the youth to imbibe, manifest and live out those values and the real identity of Onye Anambra, so as to be good ambassadors of the State wherever they find themselves.

Aside the votes of thanks by Chizoba Anyaoke (the State Lady Organizer ASATU Youths), the interactive session also featured remarks from some of the participants, including Ebenebe Youth Leader, Comrade Chima Adu; and the State Treasurer of ASATU, Comrade Ezedioramma, who all shared their views on how the youths and the government can foster their collaboration towards the common good of the State.

In their separate interviews with newsmen, some of the participants, including Tony Ezepuo and Ekene Obunadike from Ebenator Community pledged to take home and spread the knowledge garnered at the event and to play their own parts as youths in helping the Soludo Administration achieve its vision for the State.

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