In an outdoor event, the Association of Anambra State Development Union (AASDU) came together once again to celebrate the grand finale of their two-phased annual get-together on Saturday, November 11, 2022.
The first lap of the event was the Lecture and Awards Day which was held on November 5, 2022, at Villa Dome Event Centre, Ikoyi, Lagos. It was a day set aside to honour the contributions and achievements of the sons and daughters of Anambra State domiciled in Lagos, in different capacities and walks of life.
The grand finale or the Cultural Day is the second lap of the AASDU 2022 and it took place at the Police College Training Field, Ikeja, Lagos. It was an event which saw the presence of different towns in Anambra State represented as Unions that made up the Association of Anambra State Development Union.
The cultural Day started with members of the different unions present arriving in numbers in colourful and beautiful attires. Each of the associations was in uniform with their unique outfits differentiating them from each other.
One of the elegant appearances was the Onitsha-Ado Improvement Union. The men donned white traditional attire with a traditional cap in colours red and white, blue and white, and black and white, according to individual preferences. The women’s wing of the association, Onitsha-Ado Women Progressive Association, rocked a custom-made white and red outfit with the acronym of the association imprinted just at the bottom of the white wrapper.
Being a cultural gathering, each union treated their members and guests to mouth-watering dishes, both local and continental. There was, indeed, enough to drink and eat.
Shortly after the event started, the President of AASDU, Chief Sir, Amechi Ebeledike, FCA. (Ikedinigwe Anaocha) and the Chairman of the Occasion, Engr. Gabby E. Dimude arrived at the venue. They visited and paid homage to every union present at the event after which they were escorted to the high table with a dance performance.
Subsequently, other dignitaries arriving followed suit in the dance tour recognizing the unions present at the event. Dignitaries at the event include; the Governor of Anambra State, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo represented by Anambra State Liaison Officer, Lagos, Barr. Leo Chiegboka; Chairman, APIC, Engr. T.C. Madu; Chairman, workshop & Award Sub-commitee, APIC, Barr. Ben Chukwukelu.
Also presented at the event are executives of the Onitsha-Ado National Youth Movement (ONYM) Lagos Chapter; Nwamulunamma Ifeanyi, (President); Stella Maris Ebele Akpom (Vice President); Obiefuna Okafor (Social Secretary).
The highlights of the cultural event were match past by the different towns or unions and the various cultural dances and displays at the event with Ukpor Town emerging in the first position while Nkpor and Osumenyi came second and third respectively . Different cultural groups could be seen dancing around and showcasing their well-rehearsed and synchronized dance steps.
The unions took turns dancing around the field, exchanging greetings with other unions and showing off the beauty of their towns. While others just danced around with their association banner, some presented a cultural display with masquerades peculiar to their town.
The masquerades include; Agbogho mmuo masquerade of Egwu Ndi Eze led by Aniweta Mazeli (Onwa Global), who travelled all the way from InlandTown Onitsha, Ado N’du Anambra State to grace the occasion; the Ofoma Masquerade of Umumbo town; the Aghaba masquerade, among others.
AASDU is an association that connects all sons and daughters of Anambra State, the Eastern part of Nigeria, domiciled in Lagos, to promote peace and Unity among them.
Speaking to Inland Town media at the event, the president of the association, Chief Amechi Ebeledike said he has been given the mandate to lead by ASSDU which comprises about 179 towns in Anambra state. He spoke on how the association has been fostering peace and unity among its members. He said the executives try as much as possible to reach out to their members and make sure they are doing well in their various capacities and when they are not, they encourage one another.
“We ensure that everything is in order in Anambra State so peace can reign in the state. AASDU aims to keep our culture, encourage the people of Anambra State and prioritize their economic well-being and welfare.”
“One of AASDU’s goals is to empower members of the association and thereby contribute to the economic development of Anambra state. We have various plans in place to achieve this by establishing an industrial village in the state to key into the industrial revolution in Anambra State and the south-east region,” he noted.
Speaking on the cultural day, the president of Onitsha-Ado Improvement Union, Mr Achutaebe Emenike, noted that the essence of the event is to foster peace and unity in Anambra State. According to him, the Onitsha-Ado Improvement Union is an Old association established in 1924 but has not been able to record noticeable growth because of some underlying challenges that are now solved.
“The Onitsha-Ado Improvement union is a like brotherhood hub where Onitsha people come together to help each other. We also provide financial assistance to our members in need,” he said.
When asked about the involvement of the women in the association, the President of the Onitsha-Ado Women Progressive Association (OAWPA), Mrs Felicia Udemba, said the union is currently constructing a hospital for the women of Anambra in Odojinsi, 33, Onitsha. She also said the OAWPA, are the first set of people to name a street in Onitsha.
Meanwhile, Mr Ikechukwu Okolie, one of the union leaders, stressed the importance of the cultural day. In his words, “Anambra State is known for its cultural riches and we are here today to showcase the cultural heritage of all the towns in Anambra State.”