Awka youths holds Egwu Imo festival, dare Obiano

Youths of Awka community in Anambra State have defied the order of the state governor, Chief Willie Obiano to shelve this year’s Imo Awka masquerade festival as a result of the coronavirus disease.

Egwu Imo Awka festival is an annual celebration of the people of Awka kingdom, which is used to venerate their gods, which is represented in monkeys.

The festival is a popular one that binds Awka indigenes, no matter their city of residence in the world, as they usually troop back home to celebrate.

Obiano had on 10th May through an announcement by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof Solo Chukwulobelu, ordered the suspension of the Egwu Imo Awka festival, as a result of the effect of the coronavirus on the globe.

The announcement also called on police authorities in the state to ensure implementation of the ban.

But on Monday, youths of Awka community defied the order to hold the first leg of the celebration, which usually comes five days before the closing ceremony.

Youths of the community were seen trooping to Umuokpu, a neighboring community which is said to have affiliation with Awka.

An elder in the community, who refused to disclose his name said, “Yes, we heard of the suspension as announced by the government, but we cannot afford to abandon a celebration we have held for years because of Coronavirus.

“We are holding it in a low key. But to say we will not hold it at all, that is not possible,” he said.

Meanwhile, Anambra State Police Command has said it stands by the Anambra State government’s directive suspending the festival.

The state command’s spokesperson, SP Haruna Mohammed said that the command was still working with the directive.

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