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CEANA Joins Ewe Indigenes Of Nigeria To Celebrate National Cultural Day

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Ceana Joins Ewe Indigenes Of Nigeria To Celebrate Ewe National Cultural Day
Ceana Joins Ewe Indigenes Of Nigeria To Celebrate Ewe National Cultural Day

A delegation from the Council of Ewe Associations of North America (CEANA), led by its president Dr. Tsatsu E. Nyamadi, and its representative in Ghana, Togo, and Benin, Torgbi Agbelorm-Agbotokor II Chief of Salo – Sokutsime in the Anlo Traditional Area, joined hundreds of Ewe indigenes in Nigeria to celebrate their maiden Ewe National Cultural Day.

The event swirled around the theme: “Strength for peace.”

Speaking at separate events in Badagry, Lagos, and Atisese village in the Ojo Local Government area to mark the occasion on March 29, 2024, Dr. Nyamadi underscored the importance of peace, tolerance, and a unity of purpose among all Ewe people, not only in Nigeria but across the globe, as that was the surest way to advance the socio-economic progress of the people.

“Coincidentally, the motto of Ewe Indigenes of Nigeria is “Strength For Peace.” The delegation from CEANA is here because we believe in strength for peace. We eat the same food, share the same culture and traditions, speak the same language, etc.

As such, working together, and putting our skills, talents, and resources together is the only way we can help develop our communities and the Eweland. I, therefore, appeal to all Ewe Indigenes of Nigeria and all Ewes across the globe to unite and work together as one team.

This is not an easy task but there is no other way; with hard work, dedication, and commitment, I believe we can achieve our desired goals,” he said.

He commended organizers of the event especially, the President of Ewe Indigenes of Nigeria, Hon. Albert Aiyeadun Atisese for their commitment to ensuring that all Nigerian Ewes lived in peace and unity over the years, pledging CEANA’s readiness to assist in any way possible to continue to maintain the peace and enhance the socio-economic well-being of the people.

“As many of you might have known, CEANA is a charitable/Non-Profit Organization formed in 1993 and serves as the umbrella for twenty (20) Ewe Associations in North America. CEANA’s main objective is to promote collaboration among Ewes in North America and harness their talents and resources toward the development of Eweland i.e., Ghana, Togo, and Benin.

For the past 30 years, CEANA has done this through the construction of clinics, classroom blocks, libraries, donation of medical equipment, COVID-19 relief supplies, pedestrian footbridges, donation of relief items to areas affected by the recent Akosombo Dam water spillage in Ghana, etc.

CEANA also provides annual scholarships to deserving students pursuing Senior High School education in Benin, Ghana, and Togo,” Dr. Nyamadi indicated.

He encouraged all Ewes in America and Canada to join CEANA and make meaningful contributions “so that together, we can help in the development of the Eweland.”

“I want to quote the renowned African novelist Chinua Achebe, in the following words… “A man who calls his kinsmen to a feast does not do so to save them from starving. They all have food in their own homes. When we gather together in the moonlit village ground it is not because of the moon.
Every man can see it in his compound. We come together because it is good for kinsmen to do so.’’

“Let us unite and collaborate because in unity lies strength,” the CEANA president said.

Torgbi Agbelorm-Agbotokor II for his part called on all Ewes across the globe to be proud of and embrace their culture and traditions and not allow political boundaries to divide them.

He called for unity, tolerance, and fellow feeling among all Ewe indigenes of Nigeria and other parts of West Africa, which he said was necessary for the forward march of Eweland.

Archbishop Emeritus of the Methodist Church, Nigeria, and Chairman of the Yoruba Unity Forum (YUF), Prince Ayo Ladigbolu said, the Ewe people are bonafide Nigerians who originated from Ile Ife in the old Oyo empire.

“The Yoruba roots of the Ewe people could be traced to the Old Oyo empire and the ancient city of Ile-Ife.

“The story of the Ewes is one of great historical significance, as they trace their roots back to the Old Oyo empire and the ancient city of Ile-Ife,” he said.

“It was under the leadership of Alaketu, a grandson of Oduduwa, that the Ewes embarked on a remarkable journey, migrating from Ile Ife during the twelfth century.

“The Ewe ethnic group of Nigeria stands as the descendants of those who journeyed from Ile Ife to various parts of modern West Africa before returning to establish their presence in Badagry and the coastal villages of Lagos State well before 1914.”

“Their rich history and cultural contributions are a testament to their enduring legacy, as documented in the BRIEF HISTORY OF THE EWES OF NIGERIA submitted to the President and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Federal Republic of Nigeria, in 2004.

“In addressing misconceptions, it is vital to recognize that the Ewe ethnic group is distinct from the ‘Agayin’ (Gἓnyi), both in historical and linguistic terms.

“The acculturation resulting from the Accra, Ada versus Akwamu war led to the settlement of a group of war refugees from Accra in Glidzi (Togo) with the assistance of the Anlo Ewes.

“The distinction between the Gᾱ and Ewe speakers, now colloquially referred to as ‘Aganyi,’ has been a point of misunderstanding, which we aim to clarify today.

“The Ewe communities on the coastline of Lagos State have always been indigenes of Badagry Kingdom in Lagos State and bonafide citizens of Nigeria (See Memo from His Majesty the Akran of Badagry to the Nigeria Comptroller-General of Immigration of 30/07/2004).

“The communities along the beach stretch from Seme border through Takwa Bay to Epe beaches. They have been involved in traditional and modern fishing occupations and the planting of coconut trees for centuries.

“It is on record that the oldest coconut tree in Nigeria may have been planted by the Ewe-speaking Nigerians.

“Yoruba language was the lingua franca of the Ajah and Ewe. They also wholeheartedly embraced the Yoruba traditional religion and its practices are warmly embraced by all their communities despite the existence of, and their adherence to Islam and Christianity.

“Yoruba traditional names such as Fagbeji, Amosu, Akapo, Agboade, Abiodun, Famuyiwa remain Ewe names till date as inerasable symbols of their historical and cultural affinity to the Yoruba race.”

“Their devotion and preservation of Yoruba culture of rituals, sacrifices, art, crafts, dance and music and their display of commitment to peaceful co-existence with their neighbors and their ability to promote brotherly interactions, are significant hallmarks of the Ewes uniqueness as Nigeria citizens,” Ladigbolu said.

Other members of the CEANA delegation included it’s former president, Dr. Peter Nat
Abochie, It’s Public Relations Officer, Efo Steve Dei, Mr. Kossi Nutekpor, Mr. William Kumah, Mad. Miriam Tsagle and Mr. Silvanus Dossou.

The delegation also visited the ancient palace and tomb of Torgbui Asakpo – Amega the first king of the Ewes in Nigeria at Asakpo, Badagry, as well as a courtesy call on the current Akran of Badagry Kingdom, HRM, De Wheno Aholu Menu Toyi I.

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