The annual Iri Iji Mbaise festival attracted political leaders from across the country as they praised the rich cultural heritage of Imo state, insisting that one cannot be divorced from the culture and tradition of his land.
Governor of Sokoto state, Aminu Tambuwal said the Iri Ji Mbaise (New yam festival of Mbaise nation) is a culture, if harnessed of its potentials and richness that will make the state a tourist destination within and outside the country.
Tambuwal, who was the special guest of honour at the 2019 Iri Mbaise Festival held on August, 15, urged the people of the state to support Governor Emeka Ihedioha, describing the governor as a man who is result-oriented and dedicated to restoring all that the state lost in the past.
Also, Governor Ugwuanyi of Enugu state in his remarks described Mbaise nation as a peace loving and hospitable people who have been consistent in sustaining the age long Iri Ji tradition.
The governor noted that Mbaise nation has shown great desire in hoisting the cultural flag of the Igbo tribe with regularity and passion.
Host Governor, Emeka Ihedioha, described the Iri Ji event as one that must be sustained, not only in Mbaise nation, but in other parts of the state.
He noted that the wide acceptability and intimidating audience the festival witnessed could be leveraged on for socio-economic gains for the state.
Gov. Ihedioha revealed that the festival triggers bountiful harvest for farmers and general prosperity for the people, noting that the celebration often serves as a bond for the Mbaise nation.
The Iri ji Mbaise festival which was held at Mbaise Secondary School premises attracted dignitaries like the Deputy Governor of Abia state, Udo Uko, Gerald Irona, the Imo state deputy governor and former Governor Achike Udenwa while the governors of Delta and Anambra states sent their representatives.
Also present were King Jaja of Opopo, the Obong of Calaber, the Amayanabor of Okirika, Eze Imo, Agunwa Samuel Ohiri and Eze Cletus Ilomuanaya, among other first class traditional rulers from the state.