IHEDIOHA PLEDGES TO LIFT CULTURE AS AHIAJOKU LECTURE HOLDS NOVEMBER 30
In his efforts to revive the state’s cultural heritage, Imo State Governor Emeka Ihedioha has pledged that he will not relegate Igbo culture to the background.
He noted that his administration will revive the rich cultural values of Igbo people through the Ahiajoku Lecture Series, which he said, would resume on November 30, 2019.
The governor disclosed this yesterday at Government House, Owerri while inaugurating a 24 -man Ahiajoku Planning Committee chaired by former governor Ikedi Ohakim.
Ahiajoku lecture series, otherwise known as intellectual harvest to rejuvenate Igbo culture through lectures presented by Igbo academics, was introduced by the late Sam Mbakwe administration in 1979 principally for Igbo speaking states.
But the project suffered setback twice by both the Col. Tanko Zubairu (rtd) and Rochas Okorocha Administrations.
Ihedioha stressed that the Ahiajoku Lecture Series had projected Imo to unique standard via scholarly works and rich culture, urging the committee members to take the import of the series into cognizance in his rebuild Imo mantra.
His words: “Ahiajoku Lecture has distinguished Imo among scholarly States. It has indeed stood us out as a State in love with education”, stressing that, “education is our mainstay because of our very high literacy rate.”
He stressed that the members of the committee were carefully chosen, urging them not to fail as he would give them all necessary support to succeed.
Chairman of the 2019 Ahiajoku Lecture Series Committee, Ohakim commended Ihedioha for reviving the Ahiajoku Lecture Series and for finding him and others worthy to organize the lecture, describing it as a pan Igbo programme that will bring all Igbo together and give attention to its rich cultural heritage.
Responding, Ohakim said that the lecture, which he described as a pan-Igbo programme, would bring Igbo men together to discuss Igbo affairs, adding that it has multi-faceted advantages and would project Imo and Ndigbo to the global scene.
Meanwhile, as the state government commences payment of pension arrears to its retirees today, some of the affected persons have appealed to Ihedioha to increase the payment from two months to at least five months.
Some of the retirees, Emma Okwara and Emma Aku, appealed to the governor to ensure the harmonisation of their monthly pensions.
They hinged their appeal on the fact that the Ihedioha administration had stayed in office for five months and that he should have justified it by paying correspondingly, since he made the promise during his electioneering campaigns to pay the arrears, before payment of monthly and liquidation of arrears.
While Okwara, who said he was being owed 98 months lamented that he received only N1,500 twice amounting to N3,000 last year, Aku, who retired on level 16 as Assistant Director, had his pension cut from N74,000 to N3,000.
He revealed that he also received his last payment in December 2018, the second he got last year, out of 67 months’ arrears.