He further suggested that: “The elders should sit amongst themselves, have an indoor meeting and select a candidate suitable for the seat, and only approved by the tradition of the people.”
He restated his commitment not to back any group in the community, saying: “I don’t have a candidate, rather the community should speak with one voice.”
At Amaofufe, Ibinukwu, Umuisi, Okafia, Ohumola, Amaoji and Amaiyi communities, representatives from these communities clad in uniformed native attire under canopies and tents, dancing and watching to add glamour to this year’s festival.
Umu nwanyi ohu umusi cultural dance welcomed Orji Uzor, it was followed by presentation of kola nut to ebe onye igbo. Eze Ibe, Eme Ogbu who blessed the kola. Ije di nma cultural dance was performed by umu nwanyi umusi.
Umusi women also displayed their garri frying prowess. This signifies that umusi women are capable of taking care of their husbands while they go to tap palm wine and other agricultural practices. Umusi is a village that's known for snake bite sophistication and cure. It takes 4 days to cure someone bitten by a snake. The treatment is done free of charge. However, the victim who gets cured can give anything he or she likes from his or her heart just to show appreciation. The person cured is not meant to eat anything cooked with red oil or drink hot water. Once the person gets cured, the person won't get bitten by any snake again. The women of umusi collectively blessed ouk. They thanked him for giving them 500k during their launching. President Gen. Umusi Andy Sunic , also showed his appreciation to Orji Uzor for sustaining culture of umusi and Igbere in general via the annual festival
Ouk in his speech, thanked the community for coming out in en masse. He said the name of the program is culturally known as Ahamefule. He further said this purpose of the ezumezu is to sustain the culture. He said what is worth doing is worth doing well. He promised to build a more multi million community hall. He promised to help Umusi indigenes doing business in Lagos to do better and stand strong. He urged the community to be their brothers keeper. He told the villagers to love each other. He advised umusi people not to drag for traditional seat that it is not good to drag for kingship because it's God that gives power. He said he supports the idea of igbere having 13 kings in 13 different villages that makes up igbere
Earlier, some notable groups like Mezie dance group, Umunwanyi Ibinaukwu dance group, Mezie- ohia dance group, Ujunwa cultural dance, Enye nke, Ojuku and Akang masquerades in the presence of Senator Kalu and his entourage performed to the delight of the traditional council and the audience.
The displays before the lawmaker attempted to showcase those features their communities were known for as there were cheered by thousands of community dwellers.
In his address, the President General of Igbere Welfare Union, Mr. Godswill Awara Okorie said: “The essence of this is to bring unity to Igbere again. By this, you can see people gathered together, even if you have issues with somebody, when you come here, it’d be resolved. So the most significant part of it is to showcase our culture to the world and to bring unity and development to the community.”
On the significance of the festival, the Executive Secretary of Orji Uzor Kalu Foundation, Rev Mrs. Jemaimah Ola Kalu said: “Igbere Cultural Festival has done a lot to revive our culture. You can see them performing Erim and others being exhibited — that some of our young people are not even aware of. Essentially, it is about reviving our culture, heritage, identity and uniting Igbere community. It is for the younger generation to see what is happening here and pass them to other generations.”
Agbo and Umusi jointly came first and they were given 1 million naira cash prize which they shared 500,000 naira each. Okafia and Eziama came second and they were given 700,000 naira which they shared 350,000 each.