Determined to improve the educational standard of the area, the Ihiala Community in Ihiala local government of Anambra State has instituted a special Award for Excellence for first class graduates in the area.
It has also introduced scholarship for exceptionally brilliant indigent students from the area .
The traditional ruler of the town, Igwe Thomas Obidiegwu, announced this during the annual Iri ji ( New Yam Festival) of the community.
He frowned at the worrisome level of cultism as well as drugs and substance abuse in the community and announced his determination to curtail it.
“This year’s celebration is unique as it will mark the beginning of some innovative programs aimed at behavioral change in the attitudes of youths and the young ones. We are launching today a serious campaign against drugs and substance abuse as well as cultism
‘We believe that unless a decisive step is taken to curtail this dangerous trend, we will lose our young ones to drugs and substance abuse. Also worrisome is cultism and its ugly consequences.”
He said he will soon announce a Committee to midwife and develop a blueprint for the implementation of the program’ he added
Chief Ody Chukwube, the Chairman of the Planning Committee enjoined Ihiala people to join hands with the Oluoha in eradicating drugs and substance abuse as well as cultism.
He announced the plans of the community to construct a permanent Central Palace for the Oluoha soon. The palace will , among other things, have a museum for the protection of relics in the monarchy which has lasted over 700 years.
The Deputy Speaker of the Anambra State House of Assembly, Mr Paschal Agbodike in his speech noted that the Igbod of the South East should embrace agriculture, adding that over dependency in crude oil has made the country a monolithic economy.
Agbodike urged other communities to borrow a leaf from the Ihiala Community in exemplary celebration of Iri ji festivals. He urged them to access soft loans from Agricultural banks to improve food production in the country.
Those present at the occasion include the gubernatorial candidate of Zenith Labour Party ( ZLP), Chief Obiora Okonkwo, Chief Akachukwu Nwankpo of African Democratic Congress and the ruining mate of Prof. Chukwuma Soludo of All Progressive Grand Alliance ( APGA), Dr Ibezi