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NEITI Boss, Abia Assembly Speaker Laud Unubiko Founder, James Umeh For Preserving Cultural Identity Of Atan Abam Community .

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The duo gave the commendations on Saturday at the 2024 edition of the event held in Atan Abam, Arochukwu LGA, Abia State.

The event was attended by other dignitaries, including the Minster of State for Labour and Employment, Nnenna Onyejeocha, the Majority Speaker of the Abia State Assembly Hon. Okoro Uchenna Kalu, the immediate past Chief of Staff of Abia State, Prof. ACB Agbazuere, among others.

The festival is an annual event that has been transformed into a state-wide carnival.

The theme of the 2024 Ekponibro Festival is “Our Culture, Our Heritage.”

The festival, which is over a century old is celebrated to commemorate the trade between merchants of Old Bende Igbos and European traders.

The traders navigated the Igwu River up to the Nkana River into Itu, Oron in AkwaIbom; Calabar ; Cameroon and Panya in Equatorial Guinea.

The NEITI boss said Atan is one of the communities in the state that still respects culture and traditions.

He expressed excitement, saying, “What Abam is doing today is setting a clear example.”

He said the Ekponibro Festival is not a local festival, adding it has gone international.

Orji said, “The next edition, you will see why I came here.

“There will be both state, local government, and international collaboration to bring this Festival to World attention.

“I have no doubt in my mind that all of us coming together, we will be able to market this festival. We will discuss with him in areas of partnership to see that culture like this is not only international but is also able to transcend from one generation to another. We advocate that culture is our identity and that it should not be lost, and James Umeh is leading that campaign.”

Speaking at the event, the Speaker of the Abia Assembly said the event will inspire the state to revive its cultural heritage.

“This festival is highly significant, and it is part of an effort to revive a culture that is of value not only to people of Atan Abam but Abia State. Chief James Umeh has always shown his love and support for the people.

“By the next cultural show, we will be fully represented in this community. We will collaborate to make it a state wide event.”

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