By Chibuzo Obidike (ABS Reporter)

Anambra Community Stories: Amiagba Odida, The Mysterious Lake That Sank An Iroko Tree In Abatete
By Chibuzo Obidike (ABS Reporter)
Popular tales around Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State have it that the popular Amiagba Odida, a semi-quiet lake in Abatete, drowned a giant Iroko tree.
Amiagba Odida is located on the outskirts of Umudiese clan, Uruani Odida Abatete in Idemili Local area of Anambra state, and has a snake-like flow that chains it with smaller streams across the town and those of other neighbouring towns.
“Mmiri riri Oji” (The water that drowned an iroko), as it is now popularly called, is said to still possess huge economic growth capable of boosting the tourism sector of Anambra State.
The semi-circle lake has abundant water creatures and lush vegetation, with the Umudiese people, who are the custodians of the river always on schedule to clean up the area, making it hospitable for tourists.
The river shares connection with the Ezu River which is one of biggest rivers in Anambra State and surrounds itself with lots of economic trees, relaxation areas and animals.
Revealing the mystery behind the river, some elders of the community, Chief David Anaechelinwa and Mr. Peter Ezechukwu, while recalling several rituals performed in and around the river before its festivities, said that they believe that the reason for the drowning of the Iroko tree by the river was a sign of neglect by the community since the advent of christianity, as the river and the Iroko tree were cherished in the locality which made the community an envy of others.
Speaking, the Chairman of Umudiese Kindred, Chief Uchenna Ezegwu and a tourist, Comrade Onochie Aghadi said that the river has been in existence years before their forefathers and usually attracts swimmers especially from the Umudiese kindred, making them to be regarded as best swimmers in the town.
They noted that the river also serves as an industrial hub of the town as it helps farmers in their irrigation process, while hunting and wine tapping have also become successful around the water.
In his remarks, the President General of Abatete Development Union, ADO, Chief Chukwuka Anyichie said that despite the mysterious sinking of the Iroko tree, the river is still regarded as an important place in the community owing to its agricultural and tourist benefits and also serves as a rendezvous for the younger people.
The Chairman of Uruani Odida Village, Abatete, Chief Ezeude Umerah, while testifying to the sinking of the Iroko tree in the middle of the river, acknowledged that in the recent time, the river, due to rapid development, has struggled and is beig forced to reduce both in size and volume, adding that the tip of drowned Iroko tree was in the past regarded as the highest point one could get to be seen as a good swimmer.
A community stakeholder, Mr. Okechukwu Ezechukwu also regretted that due to development, the river channel and boundary have been tampered with, which has resulted to erosion expansion, exposing the area to wild animals.
when something like this happends in Igbo Land the wise ones must understands why,
pls like and share,drop your comments.

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