The member representing Ohafia South State Constituency in Abia State House of Assembly, Hon Ifeanyi Uchendu has appealed to Abia State government to reposition its tourism industry to generate revenue for the state.
Uchendu made the appeal at the 2016 Pan Ohafia New Yam Festival tagged “Ekpe Ohamo Oha” at Achichi Ohafia (Square), Elu Ohafia in Ohafia Local Government Area , which was sponsored by him.
He said this had become neccessary as governments across the country are diversifying their economies to expand their revenue base following reduction in their statutory allocations from the federation account.
The chairman of the House committee on Lands and Survey assured that he would continue to offer quality representation to the constituency and add innovations to future occasions of the event.
In his address, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu commended the people for show-casing “such rich cultural heritage which could be transformed to tourism industry in line with our moves to diversify our economy.”
Represented by Chief George Nnanna Kalu, the governor, who was honoured with the chietancy title of Ochi Oha 1 of Ohafia pledged to remain focused on addressing the challenges facing the state.
Similarly, the Speaker of the House, Hon Martin Azubuike, who led other members to the ocassion, desbrbed it as symbolic and an attestation of the cultural afirninity and cohesion among the people.
According to one of the leaders of thought of the clan, Chief Uche Uche-Ohafia, such cultural festivals are not as fetish as some say, maintaining that a people without culture have lost their root.
Expressing happiness to be associated with the ocassion, which he said could not had come at a better time, he added that it had reawakened the cultural linkage among the people.
In his opening remarks, the chairman of the ocassion, Chief Okwara Osonwa Okwara, said it was epoch-making in the sense that after several years, the people came together again in that manner.
His words:”New yam festival and igba ekpe ohamoha is our way of thanking the Almighty God for a successful farming season, emphasising our community, and extending our joy to friends and neighbours.”
The Ezieohamaoha of Ohafia Udumaezema and Chairman Council of Ohafia Monarchs, His Royal Paraomuntcy, Professor Emmanuel Imaga commended the lawmaker for reinventing the event after seven years.