Former President Jonathan At New Yam Festival Of Obinugwu Community
Former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, has asked Nigerians not to despair in the face of persecution, pointing out that “anything evil does not last for long.” He said that it is better to be persecuted for doing the right thing rather than been associated with despicable conducts.
Jonathan stated this at the 2018 new yam festival of the Obi of Obinugwu and Chairman, Igbo Traditional Rulers Forum, His Royal Majesty, Eze (Dr) Cletus Ilomuanya in Orlu Local Government Area of Imo State.
The former president, who holds the title of “Chinaemeze of Igbo Land” from the Obinugwu palace described Eze Ilomuanya as a man who has suffered unjust persecution for insisting that the right things be done, yet he never succumbed. This is because in his conscience, he appreciates the need to remain steadfast in goodness rather than buckling under evil pressure.”
According to him, “Eze Ilomuanya is a very good example of a worthy Royal Father, who understands the imperative of living an upright life. We must appreciate goodness even when threatened with persecution because evil doesn’t last for long. A leader must be prepared to face a lot of challenges at some point in life, which is what leadership often entails.”
He described the new yam festival of Obinugwu community as “a well organized event with the capacity of been packaged as a national event.” He also showered praises on the Obinugwu people for remaining solidly in support of their monarch, Eze Ilomuanya, during his period of persecution, assuring that “the lost glories will soon be returned to the community.”
Also speaking, the former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon Emeka Ihedioha described Jonathan as “a friend in need and indeed.” He said that the former president remains a reference point in leadership in Africa, stressing that Jonathan has laid a lasting foundation for all other succeeding presidents to build upon.
Ihedioha commended the Obinugwu Community for their spirit of oneness and resilence.
“We associate ourselves with what former President Jonathan has said. We made mistakes and have also learnt from our mistakes.
We thank Obinugwu people for standing firmly behind our king, Eze Ilomuanya, during his tribulations. You are indeed, people of good character. It is contestable that Eze Ilomuanya remains the worthy face of Igbo Traditional Institution,” Ihedioha Opined.
In his remarks, the Deputy Governor of Imo State, Prince Eze Madumere, dissociated himself from the persecution and injustice Eze Ilomuanya suffered in hands of the present Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha.
Represented by a former Commissioner for works in the State, Ichie Best Mbanaso, the deputy Governor noted that “Eze Ilomuanya is a good man. I am with him and the Obinugwu community because they did nothing wrong and that is why we are here to identify and celebrate this year’s new yam festival with them.”
While welcoming his guests earlier, the Obi of Obinugwu and Chairman of Igbo Traditional Rulers Forum, Eze (Dr) Cletus Ilomuanya described the new yam celebration as the dawn of a new era in the agricultural calendar of the community. He stated that August 14 every year is always set aside for this traditional festival which he said, they inherited from their forefathers.
According to the Monarch, who is also the Chancellor, Federal University, Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi State, “Obinugwu is like the children of Israel. We are very peaceful and hard working farmers. We are people of one mind, united by our common beliefs and always do things together as one family.”
The Monarch expressed gratitude to former President Goodluck Jonathan and other dignitaries from across the country who graced this year’s New Year festival of Obinugwu Community, pointing out that “it is an indication that Nigerians are one irrespective of linguistic, tribal or religious diversities.”
Many dignitaries graced this year’s colorful New Year celebration including aspirants jostling for different political offices, the clergy and academia. Others were various women and youth groups as well as captains of industry including the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Foks Foundation, Chief Rejoice Okorie, amongst others.