Fear of kidnap grips Ebonyi Community over Aju festival

The Aju festival is celebrated annually in Okposi community.

Six days to the annual Aju Festival in Okposi Community, Ohaozara Local Government Area of Ebonyi, organisers say the fear of kidnapping is hampering the programme.

The Chairman of Okposi Development Union, Abuja chapter, Ihebunandu Onwukwe, said this in an interview on Thursday in Abuja.

Mr. Onwukwe recalled that a four-year-old girl, Faith Chukwuka, was allegedly kidnapped two weeks ago by gunmen at Okposi Village. He said security of lives and property was crucial to the success of the festival, saying “security will not be compromised’’.

He said that the development had brought activities preceding the festival to a low ebb.

“As it is, this year’s festival may not achieve its goals, as the (kidnap) incident had given a bad signal to the Aju Festival,” he said. “This year’s festival may not be interesting as usual.”

Mr. Onwukwe, however, stressed the need for Nigerians to continue to promote the country’s cultural heritage through successful festivals. He called on government and security agencies to ensure the security of people attending the Aju Festival.

The Aju Festival is normally witnessed by hundreds of indigenes of Aju and neighbouring communities who, as well as well wishers, who come over from different parts of the country.


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