St John’s Parish Umuokpu Sets Awka Aglow with 1st New Yam Festival

By Ifeoma Ezenyilimba

Barely two weeks after the blessing of the best Our Lady of Fatima Grotto at the parish, St Paul’s Catholic Parish, Umuokpu- Awka, on Saturday, October 13, 2018, set Awka, the capital city of Anambra State aglow with her 1st New Yam Festival.

Declaring the maiden celebration open, the parish priest of St John’s Parish, Umuokpu-Awka, Rev. Fr. Peter Chikelue, said the joyous event was to thank the God of harvest for the fruitful harvest he blessed the parish and her parishioners with, as well as seek his favour for continuous progress of the parish.

He commended a great benefactor of the parish, Sir Innocent Okoh, KSM, for the sponsorship of the celebration, the parish Catholic Women’s Organisation led by the president, Mrs. Cecilia Nnawude, the Parish Catholic Men’s Organisation, and indeed the entire parishioners, for their supports which contributed to the success of the celebration.

Speaking on the occasion, the Grand Patron of the parish, Sir Innocent Okoh, KSM, described the New Yam Festival as a symbol of unity for the parish and the parishioners. He encouraged families to equally bring their members together for the all-important New Yam Festival, even in a very low key, saying that such unity was necessary among family members.

Okoh, KSM fondly known as Urukanachukwu, who sponsored the festival for the parish, thanked God for the bountiful harvest He blessed the parishioners with as well as for the unique farming skills He blessed Umuokpu people with, saying that the people of the community were outstanding in farming, especially in yam, the king of crops.

The Grand Patron of St John’s Parish, Umuokpu, Sir Innocent Okoh (standing 1st right), cuts the yam at the 1st parish New Yam Festival. He is flanked on his right by the parish vicar, Rev. Fr. Jeremiah Ikezue (sitting); the parish priest, Rev. Fr. Peter Chikelue (Nnabuenyi); the Vice Chairman, Parish Pastoral Council, Mr. Moses Onyibo and the parish C.M.O Chairman, Mr. Jeremiah Meniru.
L-R: The parish priest of St John’s Parish, Umuokpu, Rev. Fr. Peter Chikelue; a university don at Tansian University, Umunya, Rev Fr. Dr. Bonaventure Anaetoh and the parish vicar, Rev. Fr. Jeremiah Ikezue, dance to the tune of egwu ekpili at the event.

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