Ugwuanyi Receives Haitian Delegation in Search of Ancestral Roots


Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi yesterday, received a Haitian delegation at the Government House, Enugu, amid excitement and fulfillment.

The 10-man Haitian delegation, led by Senator Moise Jean-Charles, were on a home-coming mission to Enugu, the historic capital of Igboland, to perform conventional Igbo rituals such as traditional naming and name adoption, after they traced their roots to Igboland.

Addressing the delegation, Ugwuanyi welcomed them to the state in particular and the entire Igboland in general, and commended them for the bold step.

Ugwuanyi, represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Prof. Simon Uchenna Ortuanya, also appreciated them for “keeping a date with history, for following your heart and for following your roots and getting back to your roots.”

The governor, who stressed the significance of the visit, stated that today “is a new beginning for all of us.

“We open our doors to you and we are ready as we have demonstrated. We also want you to know that changing your names is in agreement with the Igbo tradition that you have a new name for a new born.

“Today, you are born new in Enugu State and in the land of your fathers. Congratulations!”
In his address, the leader of the delegation, Jean-Charles described the visit as home-coming, rooting back to their origin in Igboland while thanking Ugwuanyi for the hospitality accorded to them in the state.

He recounted the affinity of the people and culture of the state and Haiti, revealing that Enugu “has five letters as Haiti and that Enugu and Haiti mean cities on top of a hill.

“I have visited many countries, many places around the world but this is the first time I have visited a country that everybody looks like me,” the leader of the Haitian delegation said.

Jean-Charles added: “I have not come here as a foreign person. I have come back home. Before I keep on talking, I want to on behalf of all Haitians, all the blocks in Haiti, to thank the governor for receiving us after 218 years.

“We have decided that people in the whole continent of Africa and all of us who are there in Haiti is a wind following the bird from the African continent and it has brought bear in America which means all of us are one”.