The Igbo Community in Ghana on Sunday celebrated the 2019 (Iriji) Annual New Yam Festival with a resolve to deepen the cultural and economic ties between their host country.
The ethnic group who are mostly found in the south-central and southeastern of Africa's most populous country promised to continue to respect the laws of Ghana during their stay.
This year’s festival, the 7th edition in Ghana, which is under the theme, “Enhancing and Strengthening Ghana and Nigeria Cultural Unity”, brought together traditional leaders from both countries, government officials as well as notable religious leaders such as the National Chief Imam, Sheik Osman Nuhu Sharabutu.
The New Yam Festival is celebrated by Igbos globally, to mark the time of harvest of yam, which is regarded as the foremost staple food crop of the Igbo people.
The King of Igbos in Ghana, Eze Dr Chukwudi Ihenetu, addressing dignitaries at the event, lauded the existing peace between Ghana and Nigeria.
He charged both countries to work hard to keep the long-standing diplomatic and cultural relationship dating back to many decades.
The Igbo New Yam Festival, he explained, brings together Nigerians and Ghanaians of like minds to fraternise and chart a course for consolidation of the already existing cordial cultural relationship.
“As brothers and neighbours, both countries stand to gain a lot by evolving informal platforms of collaborations. The Igbo New Yam Festival is one of those platforms and our own quota of instituting a cultural integration in both countries,” Eze Dr Chukwudi Ihenetu said.
The Chief Imam charged Igbos in Ghana to continue to positively impact and contribute to Ghana’s socio-economic development.
Some dignitaries and representatives from Ga Traditional Council, Greater Accra Regional House of Chiefs, Office of former President John Mahama and other government officials graced the occasion.