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Anambra community begs Catholic, Anglican bishops

From David Onwuchekwa, Nnewi

osumenyi community in Nnewi South Local Government Area of Anambra State is known for its rich cultural heritage. The community with renowned farmers is also reputed for its developmental strides through communal efforts despite pockets of challenges.

  Recently, it observed the 2017 new yam festival where the 23 villages that make up the town took their positions at the Osumenyi Unity Plaza field, in their colourful traditional attire, to give thanks to God for bountiful harvest.

It used the opportunity to inaugurate the newly elected executive members of the Osumenyi Town Assembly (OTA), who will run the affairs of the community for the next three years.

As part of activities marking the celebration, farmers from the various villages came with their farm produce including livestock, yam tubers, cassava and crops for exhition. They were presented before a panel of judges to determine the winner of the best farmer of the year.

However, before then, all the 23 villages who had their individual stands in the field had to file out with their flags to pay homage to the community leaders and thereafter marched round the field.

The traditional chiefs known as Ndi Nze na Ozo in their chieftaincy regalia also filed out.

What appeared to be the climax of the event was when one of the community leaders came out to perform the ceremony of cutting some tubers of roasted yams.

Thereafter, the yams were served round with source, which signified that all the villages could go ahead to eat new yam without committing any offence.

However, despite this scenario, which gives the impression of brotherly love in the community, absolute unity appears to have eluded Osumenyi. This came to the fore from the comments of the President General of the OTA, Chief David Dike, after the inauguration of his 15-man executive.

After his acceptance speech and one or two things his executive would do, Chief Dike said the community was waiting for the Catholic Bishop of Nnewi Diocese, Most Rev Paul Odili Okeke and his Amichi Anglican Diocese counterpart, Rt. Rev. Ephraim Ikeakor, to come and implement their recommendations after the two clerics’ peace initiative between OTA and another parallel town union, Osumenyi Development Union (ODU) which were said to have been in leadership crisis over a period of time.

“Go and tell the bishops to come and implement their recommendations made after their peace initiatives in our community. We are waiting for them. But if that cannot be done, then we hand it over to God,” the PG said.

Publicity Secretary of the OTA, Mr. Sylvester Ebinyuo said some members of the ODU shunned the ceremony, especially their executive members because of the disagreement.

He explained that the two bishops made the peace move in 2014 and went as far as investigating an allegation by ODU that OTA was a registered church, “and they discovered that it was not true. They found out that the OTA is a registered town union.”

Even after the bishops’ intervention, according to Ebinyuo, there had been another step towards having it sustained in Osumenyi, which also collapsed.

He said the community was waiting for the bishops to come and finish the work they started.

He said the bishops discovered that there was no problem in Osumenyi except ego and clash of interest.

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