By Ifeoma Ofurum
From next year, any farmer in Obinze Community in Owerri West Local Government Area of Imo State, who produces the most yam will cart home an award at the New Yam Festival.
The traditional ruler of Obinze, Eze Aaron Enyinnaya Nzeukwu 1 made the announcement at the 2015 New Yam Festival.
He stressed that the award has been instituted to encourage his people to go back to yam cultivation for which the community has been known in the past.
The royal father stressed that there was nothing fetish about the festival adding that on the contrary, the festival has been transformed into a Christian ceremony.
Describing the seven-day event as a holy week, Eze Nzeukwu stated that the period was for peace and love in the community as quarrels, fighting, court or police cases, marriages and burial ceremonies were prohibited.
In his address, the chairman of the occasion, Sir George Ekezie who spoke though a representative, lamented that the Igbos no longer think according to their environment and climatic conditions but are now dependent on foreign countries in religion, culture, socio-economic life, science and technology for survival.
Highlight of the occasion was the conferment of Chief Jonathan Chimakpam Okoro as Ezi Aha Nwere Ugwu I of Obinze and Mr Chidiebere Onyeagocha as Ocho Udo I of Obinze, and women display competion.