…Clocks 10 Years On The Throne, Tasks Subjects On Peace
…Lists Activities Lined Up For Anniversary Celebration
-Says Winner Of Cooking Competition To Get N1M
By Daniel Dafe
The traditional ruler of Umiaghwa-Abraka Kingdom in Ethiope East Local Government Area, Delta State, HRM (AVM) Ochuko Ararile (rtd.), has said that his domain is one of the safest in the state.
The celebrated monarch said this on Wednesday during a chat with journalists ahead of his 10th coronation anniversary celebration that officially begins today, April 13, 2020.
Asked what his word his to his subjects as he clocks 10 years on the throne, he said: “They should maintain peace. There will be no development without peace. It is an essential and necessary condition for development and I urge them to minimize conflicts which probably could be as a result of the economy of the country because people are so short tempered. Everything results to fight or quarrel. They should cool their temper. We know things are hard. Working together will help us make it.
“Already, this is one if the safest kingdoms in this state. It is not from me. My fellow kings told me and our vigilantes are award winning. They received awards from the IG of Police and we had to send them to Abuja to collect their awards.”
Reeling out some of the activities lined-up for the celebration, he said that a cultural match (festival) will take place today.
His words: “The category of people that we call Inotu have been in the bush for two weeks hunting animals. They will use the animals to symbolically dance to where the deity is and come back to town. In those days, they would have cut the live animals and sacrifice them there but they no longer do that. They just symbolically dance with the animals and then take it home to go and consume later and once they finish there, the whole town is agog. It is the equivalent of our Christmas here. Tomorrow is prayer day, so we have prayer and a lecture for the youths to help them identify opportunities that will take them away from fraud. Thursday will be the festival and Friday I will give some chieftaincy titles to those who deserve it.
“In this kingdom it is not easy to get a chieftaincy title. We have laid down standards someone should have attained in life before becoming a chief. For example, you must own a house here. If you noticed, we don’t have public cemeteries; so most people are buried in their houses. Especially for a chief, such must be buried in his or her house. So, I don’t make anybody a chief if you don’t own a house because If the person dies, where do we bury him? Outside?”
Another criteria, he said is that the person must have contributed to the community one way or the other.
“When you come to Oria particularly or even Umege, you will see street lights and solar powered street lights. It is part of their own task to provide a certain number. But here, we just have a minimum, if you can provide a full street with street light, we will thank you and recognise you. Some of our primary schools are blown up, if you can come and reconstruct one for us, we can consider you. Those people that we are going to confirm will be given their titles on Friday. So on Saturday, it will be the grand finale. It is a cultural activity. We have been trying to bring back some aspects of our culture that have died,” he added.
He continued: “This year, we are doing a cooking competition. They have selected the participants. The participants will choose whichever Urhobo food they want to cook. The participants do not have to strictly be Urhobo. The competition is open to all who feel they can cook any Urhobo food perfectly. The prices for the winners are very generous.
“Another thing we are doing is the Ekenike dance. This community is known for the Ekenike dance where we use sticks. This dance has been dead for a while, but we want to reinvent it. They have been training. So that day, they will be present.
“We are sponsoring the cooking competition. The price money is about One Million Naira. In the future, we want to bring some food related companies such as Nestle for sponsorship so that the competition can grow and that is what we have for Saturday. On Sunday, we have the thanksgiving and homage. The ruling houses will come and pay homage to the palace and that will conclude the activities.”
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