*THE VOICE FROM ERI ON 2019 WORLD ERI FESTIVAL BY HRM EZE CHUKWUEMEKA ERI, EZEORA 34TH, EZE AKA JI OVOR IGBO NINE*
Ndi Banyi Ndigbo nine, Ndi Aguleri, Ndi America NA Umunne Ndi isi oji nona Uwa nine, Ekene m unu!
Today we commemorate and celebrate an African and Global Historical Figure; Nna Anyi Eri, As many of us know, ERI the progenitor of Igbo Race, Lived, died and was buried in Aguleri his home, many centuries ago.
As those of us in Aguleri know and many in the rest of Nigeria, have heard, the Great Iduu Eri Kingdom was built by him.
And though, his children travelled all over Nigeria and Africa; settled, lived and built other great Historical cities, communities and culture; the stories of evidence of Iduu Eri Kingdom has lived on, handed from one generation to another, in Oral history and relics, but always in the heart of the Aguleri peoples, Eri First Son.
We in Aguleri have chosen to carry the responsibility of holding that Original Eri culture, traditional and name, despite all challenges to the history, brought about by the rivalries of living in the way do in today's modern World.
As we celebrate this great Historical figure today, I call on all Igbos in Nigeria to come together and live with one spirit.
Let's make peace among ourselves and within ourselves.
What we have in common is larger than the ɗiffrences we have.
Let's return to settling problems as brothers and sisters from the same father.
Today, as I welcome my friend and brother, from our brotherly land of the Yoruba; His Imperial Majesty the Ooni of Ife, I thank him for his journey and I pray he is blessed as he travels back.
I use this opportunity to call for Peace and Unity between the Yorubas and Igbos.
Let us realize that we are one people, sailing on the same Ship and we have no other Ship.
Let us strengthen our bonds and work together on what makes the lives of all children all over the world better.
Finally, I welcome our African American Brothers and Sisters; Children of Africa taken from us to strange lands many years ago.
They are looking for their way back home and indeed the entire Igboland is your home.
Let's begin today to build new bridges that link all of us in Nigeria and Africa and all our Children in the United State of America, Europe and all over the World.
I proclaim today as another day of welcoming our children home; Children who were taken from us in many ways; some due to our faults, our internal wars or our negligence and lack of understanding; others due to greater military force than we had.
We as Ndigbo should in that very journey of getting our children back, By declaring that all Igbos see all African American people as our people; and our Children; to appreciate the lives and struggles they have lived, overcomes and continuing to overcome in their new countries.
We declare today as the day the journey begins in Essence, And we declare that there shall be no more disparaging name calling among all our Children ( Makana Ndigbo si na, Onye kpolu Nwa ya ewu bu Nne ewu ma obu Nna ewu ka obu)
And welcome to Aguleri and the ancient Eri Kingdom.