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Niger Delta

Obong Tasks Christians On Efik Culture

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The Obong of Calabar, Edidem Abasi Otu V, has appealed to Christians in Cross River to stop desecrating Efik tradition, saying, it was the people’s inheritance from their ancestors.

The Obong was reacting to a portion of a book written by the State Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Bishop Archibong Archibong, which, he alleged, disparaged the “Ekpe Efik”.

He told newsmen in Calabar that the book, “Renaissance of Calabar (Spiritual Perspective)”, was misleading and disrespectful to the culture and tradition of the Efik people, adding that it discredited the Ekpe masquerade.

He, however, said that he had commissioned a critique to be written on the book to put the matter in proper perspective.

He said that it was lamentable that the content of the book intended to bring to disrepute, the culture and tradition of Efik people, nurtured and sustained over the last six centuries.

“Since the contents of the book were made in print, it has become imperative that corrections of the erroneous and deliberate mischief contained in it be made also in print.

“This, therefore, is no exercise in recrimination, rather it is meant to disabuse the public of some of the false details contained in the book,” he pointed out.

He said Archibong made strenuous and ridiculous attempts to condemn, in a fit of religious piety, the Efik Kingship, Ekpe Efik (Efik Masquerade) and pouring of libation.

According to him, the entire Efik kingdom condemns, in strong terms, the line of discourse contained in the book.

He lamented that the “misleading’’ publication came at a time when UNESCO is about to document Ekpe Efik as an intangible and indelible cultural heritage of the Efik people.

The Efik monarch said that it was also regrettable that the said publication was done by Archibong, also an Efik son.

Arcibong had, in his book, discussed several Mbong (Chiefs) of Calabar as well as the qualification and procedure for selecting an Obong .

He condemned Ekpe Efik, Ekuu kingship rites and libation, saying they were invocation of marine spirit, demons and devils wrongly believed to be dead ancestors of the Efik people.

The CAN president also alleged that the Efik people were worshipping the sun god, among other things.

He further blamed all the misfortunes of Calabar (Efik people), including the loss of Bakassi Peninsular to Cameroon on these “demonic activities”.

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Niger Delta

Edo Immortalises Uwaifo

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Edo State government, last Friday, immortalised the late Sir Victor Uwaifo by naming the Edo Creative Hub after the late music maestro.
Governor Godwin Obaseki, who announced the gesture while paying his tribute at the lying-in-state for late Uwaifo, held in Benin City, described the passing of the music legend as the end of an era.
Obaseki said the government and the people of Edo mourn the death of Uwaifo, whom he further described as a living legend.
He added: “For us, the passing of Sir Victor Uwaifo marks the end of an era that produced some of the prolific artistes from Edo.
“It was a generation with creative minds, such as the late Erhabor Emopkai, Dr. Victor Eghareva and Sir Victor Uwaifo. Uwaifo’s passing marks the end of that era.
“As a mark of honour to the late Guitar Boy, the Edo State government has decided that our newly built Creative Hub will be named after Uwaifo. This Creative Hub, which is going to be commissioned by the second week of November 2021, has a multi-million-dollar studio to support artistes.”
Obaseki stated that the hub would promote creativity in Edo.
“It has editing suites. It will incubate state-based groups and artistes. It will be used for live shows. It has studios for Nollywood to rent for its productions.
“There will be spaces for artistes in the performing arts. That is the least we can do for a man who changed the face of music in Nigeria; that is the least we can do for the man who composed the song, Joromi. That was the first song from Africa and Nigeria to win a golden disc as at the time it did.
“We will always remember Sir Victor Uwaifo for what he meant and what he represented. He represented Edo values, which include hard work, creativity and innovation. It is going to be very difficult for us to imagine our entertainment scene and music space without Sir Victor Uwaifo. May his soul rest in perfect peace,” the governor said.

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Niger Delta

RSG Warns Against Exposing Water To Sunlight

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The Rivers State Ministry of Water Resources and Rural Development says washing of hands contributes to 40 percent of protecting one against disease.
The Commissioner for Water Resources and Rural Development, Dr. Tamunosisi Gogo-Jaja made this known while commemorating the 2021 Global Handwashing Day and launching of campaign against exposure of bottle and sachet water to sunlight in Port Harcourt.
He noted that hand washing contributed positively during pandemic and enjoined everyone to inculcate the habit of hand washing.
The commissioner further said the state government was committed to enlightening the people of Rivers State on the danger associated with exposing bottle and sachet water to sunlight.
Also speaking, the Rivers State Commissioner for Information represented by a director in the ministry, Celestine Ogolo, said the ministry would continue to use its platform to enlighten Rivers people on the importance of hand washing and exposure of bottle and sachet water to sunlight.
On his part, the National president and Rivers State chairman of Water Producers Association of Nigeria, Egberi Oderi said with the support of the state government on the enlightenment drive on the dangers associated with the exposure of water to sunlight would go a long way to curb the practice.
The Tide reports that the theme for this year’s Global Handwashing Day is: Our Future At Hand: Let’s Move Forward Together.

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Niger Delta

Police Parade Blind Woman With Human Skull In A’ Ibom

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Akwa Ibom State Police Command, Saturday, paraded a blind aged woman arrested by its operatives for allegedly possessing a fresh human skull.
The suspect was paraded alongside 138 others who were arrested across the state for various offences including murder, militancy, abduction, cultism, armed robbery, stealing, unlawful possession of firearms and vandalism, among others.
A breakdown of the number showed that 11 suspects were arrested for alleged murder, 47 for armed robbery and stealing, 10 for defilement and rape, 21 for alleged cultism, 16 for vandalism, seven for kidnapping and abduction, three for militancy and 24 for others crimes including child stealing.
The Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of the State Police Command, SP Odiko Macdon, who paraded the suspects at the police headquarters in Ikot Akpan Abia, Uyo, said they were arrested in the third quarter of the year.
The aged blind woman, Mrs. Eseme James, was paraded with the human skull reportedly seen in her house at Nnung Oku Ibiet village in Oruk Anam local council of the state.
According to him, the woman was arrested with the aid of her daughter on October 12, 2021, about 6:45 p.m by soldiers of the ‘Exercise Still Water’ and handed over to the police for discreet and diligent investigation and prosecution.
He said the police was suspecting that the woman must have been involved in ritual activities even though she has told the police that her deceased husband was a native doctor and that her son took over the trade.
“The worry of the police is: What is she doing with a fresh human skull? It means murder has been committed somewhere recently,” Macdon said.
In an interview with journalists, the woman denied knowledge of the human skull allegedly found in her residence, saying she only heard from her daughter that the skull was exhumed by the police at the boundary of a disputed piece of land near her house.
“I don’t know anything about this skull. When they came to the house, I asked this girl what was going on since I cannot see. She told me that police exhumed a human skull from the boundary of that disputed land. They gave it to me to bring to the police station; that is why I’m here.
“When they came to the house, I was the only person they saw and they said, ‘take let’s go.’
“My husband was a native doctor; I have never seen him do anything with human parts. I don’t know who buried that skull there. The land has been in dispute even before he died,” the accused said in his native language.
Macdon, who stood in for the State Commissioner of Police, Andrew Amiengheme, also disclosed that two suspected foreign militants and a Nigerian were arrested on September 13, 2021, with explosives.
According to him, men of AIG Border Patrol Monitoring Unit arrested the militants, two Cameroonians and a Cross Riverian, while on stop and search operation along Okobo-Oron highway in the state.
He gave their names as Adede De Black, Fombutu Tita, both males from the Republic of Cameroon and Bernard Mfam, a man from Ikom Local Council of Cross River State, adding that they had been charged to court.
“The suspected militants were arrested with two bags of dynamites, containers of incense powder, a bag containing items suspected to be talismans, some bottles of concoction, packets of incense oil, a piece of love soap, a bag of ground herbs and five new sets of walkie talkies,” he added.
He attributed the successes recorded by the Command in crime prevention to its gallant officers and men, effective collaboration with sister security agencies, support from the state government and cooperation from members of the public who always volunteer information.

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