Congratulations  to every Boki son and daughter as we once more celebrate  our cultural holiday. I believe a message of peace for our Boki nation  and goodwill to all is never out of date. It can be heeded by everyone; it's needed as much as ever. 

We must zealously guide and promote the values we cherish as we care for the sick, sustain our institutions, support  the elderly,  feed the hungry, and welcome the stranger, no matter where they come from.  

The idea that we are our brother’s keeper and our sister’s keeper  reinforces us  to  treat others as we would want to be treated.

 In  good times and in periods of hardship the Boki New Yam Festival  has always reminded us of our roots;  not only who we are , but also what we can be. Every 18th August  gather us to celebrate a story that has endured and is endearing to us as a people. 

Often, the ritual of our celebration itself has reflected the pain and sacrifice of the times. It’s a message that says no matter who we are or where we are , no matter the pain we endure or the wrongs we face, we are called to love one another as brothers and as sisters. 

As technology and globalization tie the world’s cultures and communities ever closer together, the responsibility of each of us  to guarantee and protect the well-being of our values must be respected. 

That is why in our celebration there is the need to protect the different forms of cultural expression – languages, arts, crafts, lifestyles – especially by those in diaspora.  Cultural diversity gives our life its richness, its colour and its dynamism. 

We live in a time when more than half of the Boki sons and daughters  is under the age of 40.  We have a responsibility  to make sure that all of our young people have the tools they need to start new ventures.  

Many of the young are already doing this.  Within Nigeria and around the world, one of the extraordinary things that I have the opportunity to do is to meet young people in every region of Boki and to see the problem-solving and the energy and optimism that they bring to everything they do. 

And part of our job, part of this annual celebration is to make sure that we are putting more tools, more resources into the hands of these young people who are changing the world. We are to make sure the young people  know each other, make responsible use of Social Media so that they may share best practices and ideas.

Thank You and God bless the Boki nation

Signed 

Major General Moses Bisong Obi (rtd), OON
Chairman Ochibe Boki 
(Civil-Military Advisor UN-OCHA, Nigeria

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