Hail new Oku Ibom, Ibibio canopy of unity

The best of Ibibio cul­tural her­itage was ex­hib­ited dur­ing the in­stal­la­tion of Ntenyin Solomon Etuk its para­mount ruler.

Sunday Trust - - PAGE3COMMENT - From Ini­abasi Umo, Uyo

The seat of the Oku Ibom Ibibio is a sym­bol of author­ity and head­ship of the Ibibio peo­ple, found in Akwa Ibom State.

On De­cem­ber 31st, 2018, that seat which was hith­erto un­oc­cu­pied af­ter the pass­ing of the 3rd Oku Ibom Ibibio, His Em­i­nence, Uka­pabio Udo Ukpa, had a new oc­cu­pant.

The coro­na­tion of His Em­i­nence, Ntenyin Solomon Etuk, Para­mount Ruler of Nsit Ubium Lo­cal Govern­ment Area as the new Oku Ibom Ibibio at Asan Ibibio (the meet­ing ground of the Ibibios) on that day sig­naled the un­fold­ing of a new chap­ter in Ibibio land. An Ibibio king, the 4th Oku Ibom Ibibio, emerged.

Ntenyin Etuk, said to have been the pre­ferred choice of Ibibio tra­di­tional rulers be­gan with a se­lec­tion process on Septem­ber 14, 2018 and then a procla­ma­tion on Novem­ber 17, 2018, when he was an­nounced as the new leader of the Ibibio race.

The stool is rev­erend be­cause af­ter God (Akwa Abasi Ibom), be­lieved by the Ibibios to be the Supreme Cre­ator, the Oku Ibom Ibibio is seen as the next, the Pres­i­dent Gen­eral of Ifim Ibom Ibibio, the head of the Supreme Coun­cil of Ibibio tra­di­tional rulers and the en­forcer of Ibibio tra­di­tion and cus­toms; a king who has the power to unite and guide the Ibibios aright.

The coro­na­tion was sym­bolic as it her­alded the dawn of an author­ity and a new chap­ter in Ibibio land. In fact that day wit­nessed the strong bond among the Ibibios as many no­table Ibibio sons and daugh­ters within and out­side the state graced the oc­ca­sion to iden­tify with and cel­e­brate their new king.

The large ex­panse of the Asan Ibibio was filled with peo­ple, well­wish­ers colour­fully at­tired in rich Ibibio re­galia. The ti­tle hold­ers were all ar­rayed in chief­taincy at­tires and seated in dis­tinct ar­eas while their wives (Iban mbong) were dressed in flow­ing an­kle length gowns and match­ing tra­di­tional hats, and wore bead neck­laces on their necks, wrists and an­kles.

The ar­ray of Ekpo mas­quer­ades added colour to the event as they danced to the drum beats across the arena.

Many no­table Ibibio sons and daugh­ters on ar­rival at the Asan, first paid homage to the Oku Ibom Ibibio who was seated in a hut built with palm leaves.

The rites pre­ced­ing the coro­na­tion in­volved prayers and pro­pi­ti­at­ing. Af­ter­wards, the Para­mount Ruler of Ibiono Ibom Lo­cal Govern­ment Area, Okuku Edi­dem Ime Udousoro Inyang led other para­mount rulers into the hut and the Oku Ibom Ibibio was coro­nated. With the coro­na­tion, prayers were of­fered for the long life and reign of the Ibibio king.

Spe­cial guests out­side the state who wit­nessed the coro­na­tion in­clude a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Obong of Cal­abar, the Amayan­abo of Opobo and the Oni of Ife who de­liv­ered good will mes­sages.

Speak­ing at the oc­ca­sion, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adey­eye Ogun­wusi, eu­lo­gized the rich her­itage of the Ibibios point­ing out cul­ture binds peo­ple to­gether and must be pre­served.

The Akwa Ibom State Gover­nor, Mr. Udom Em­manuel as­sured the Oku Ibom Ibibio of the state govern­ment sup­port and en­cour­aged the Para­mount Ruler to re-en­act the spirit of unity, to­geth­er­ness and one­ness among the Ibibios.

He said it was the re­spon­si­bil­ity of the monarch to re­turn the Ibibios to the days of unity prac­ticed by the Ibibio State Union, where the in­ter­est and wel­fare of Ibibio sons and daugh­ters were pro­moted and pro­tected.

The new Oku Ibom Ibibio ac­knowl­edged the con­fi­dence re­posed in him by the para­mount rulers as the pre­ferred choice for the king­ship. He ad­mit­ted that it is a task­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity to unite the Ibibio peo­ple.

He how­ever said he has ac­cepted the chal­lenge to lead the Ibibio peo­ple and promised to make the stool of the Oku Ibom a canopy for all, adding that he was en­cour­aged to take up the duty be­cause of the sup­port he has re­ceived.

Ntenyin Etuk de­scribed the suc­cess of the coro­na­tion as the con­sum­ma­tion of a new hori­zon for the Ibibios and harped on unity, to­geth­er­ness and progress to sur­mount ev­ery height and climb ev­ery moun­tain to get the Ibibios to their Promised Land.

Oku Ibom Ibibio, Ntenyin Solomon Etuk en­ter­ing the coro­na­tion hut

Oku Ibom Ibibio, Ntenyin Solomon Etuk be­ing lead into the coro­na­tion hut

Oku Ibom Ibibio, Ntenyin Solomon Etuk af­ter the coro­na­tion

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