The Ogoani of Okpanam kingdom in Oshimili North Local Government Council of Delta State, Obi Michael Mbanefo Ogbolu, has said that nothing will make his subjects to abandon their rich cultural heritage.
Speaking in his palace during the celebration of Iwaji Festival, the traditional ruler stated that the annual event had come to stay, adding that the scope of the celebration would continue to expand.
He congratulated the people of his kingdom for a successful harvest, noting that with the celebration of the festival, the season of hunger was over.
The Ogoani, however, charged his subjects to continue to live in peace and be good hosts to people from other parts of the country, who reside in the kingdom.
Also speaking during the ceremony, the Delta State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Patrick Ukah, stated that once fetishism is not involved, the culture of the people will continue to be celebrated.
Mr. Ukah, who is from Okpanan, advised Nigerians to always distinguish between tradition and culture, stressing that culture is what makes a set of people different from another.
The ceremony, which was witnessed by non indigenes resident in Okpanam, featured traditional dances by different groups and paying of homage to the traditional ruler in the town.
The traditional ruler of Akwukwu Igbo, Obi Azuka II, chiefs from other kingdoms and representatives of various communities also were in attendance.