Ben Dunno, Warri
Traditional ruler of Gbaramatu Kingdom, His Royal Majesty, Oboro Gbaraun II, has attributed the prevalent peace in his domain and across the entire Ijaw communities in Niger Delta region to the yearly celebration of Amaseikumor festival which cleanses their homelands.
He made this assertion in a speech delivered at the weekend during the celebration of Gbaraun Egbesu/Ibolomobo-Ere/Amaseikumor festival, held at Oporoza town, the ancestral headquarters of Gbaramatu Kingdom in Warri South-West Council area of Delta state.
The monarch who was also marking his 5th years Coronation Anniversary of ascending the throne of his fore-fathers, noted that the yearly festival which date back to hundreds of years ago was used by their ancestors to purify their land from any form of evil and ushers in good tidings for their people.
According to him, “the festival you are witnessing here today which is as old as the kingdom itself, is a series of spiritual cleansing activities meant to purify the land and the entire Ijaw nation of evil that are detrimental to the development of her people”
“This is a festival celebrated to entrench the nature of peaceful co-existence and foster unity among members of the kingdom, the Ijaw nation and her neighbours within the Nigerian polity. This explains the large attendance of the festival annually by people from across various tribes”.
“May we use this opportunity to reiterate that the Gbaramatu people will always live in peace with their neighbours and will continue to foster unity amongst us and our neighbours. Therefore, it is imperative for the public to note that we cannot be instigated or plunged into armed conflicts with our neighbours by blood-hungry merchats of war”.
“Gbaramatu kingdom broke into national and international limelight on many notes and descriptions but peace. We were deliberately painted as a habitation of troublemakers, lawless and ungrateful people by outsiders who knew nothing about us but relied on the concocted tales told to thm by mischief makers”.
“But God for giving us a voice, the world now knows that Gbaramatu kingdom is a peaceful place desirous of development, but destest and will always reject oppression, slavery and injustice. Where there is truth and justice, peace will always prevail”.
On the issue of insecurity prevalent in the country today, the Royal father urged all the state governors to as a matter of urgency concrete more on border and territory protection inorder to forestall the influx of strangers who are out on a mission to wreck devastating havoc in their domains.
“Governors as the Chief Security Officers of their various states, ensures that their borders and territories are secured and inaccessible to agents of destruction and mayhem who enters the state in various guises”.
Continuing, “Your Excellencies should engage sincerely, high level information and intelligence gathering mechanisms to stop this menacing insecurity which is adversely affecting our national economy already. To ensure peace, unity and security, everybody however must be involved. I therefore call on all of us to do our bit in this regard” he stated.
The high points of the event was the display of the rich cultural heritage of the Gbaramatu people and the appearance of the big Amaseikumor masquerade along side others masquerades as well as the colourful dance by the Gbaramatu women to spice up the occasion.
Dignitaries present at the occasion were representative of Delta and Bayelsa state governors, serving and former state and federal legislators, both in Delta and neigbouring states, former Delta state governor, Chief James Ibori and his former deputy, Amos Otuama, Representatives of multi national oil companies operating in the region.