By Ben Amawu, Esq.
Please note that Friday 27th August, 2021 was the 30th Anniversary of Obanliku LGA and the occasion was celebrated alongside the Obanliku New Yam Festival, which is one of the foremost annual cultural ceremony in the LGA.
During the just concluded festival/celebration, several cultural & traditional rites/rituals were performed as outlined by the Traditional Ruling Council under the leadership of the Paramount Ruler in his esteem capacity as the custodian of our great culture.
Thus, vide the fiat of the Traditional Rulers, under the leadership of the Paramount Ruler, Ten (10) persons (not just the Youths, as erroneously speculated), were nominated as representatives from the various ten wards in the LGA and authorised under the seal of His Royal Highness forthwith, to go clear & open up the farm lands with CUTLASS, till the ground with the HOE & plant YAM(s) and crops for the purpose of ensuring that during the next festival in 2022, the LGA shall accordingly enjoy bountiful harvest.
The CUTLASS, HOE & YAM were overtly symbolic & nothing more. Before I proceed, please note that the word “Empowered” as used by the Chairman’s aid in the circumstance, conote “giving someone authority or power to do something”. The Oxford Dictionary amply supports the said meaning. Same could not have been misconstrued outside the context.
Clearly, the symbolic royal authority bestowed on farmers to go and make exploit in our farm lands, cannot under any guise be given any other interpretation and/or colouration as if the event was a “political empowerment” by the Local Government Council. The contrary as posted by mischief makers, cannot be correct in view of the facts and circumstances of the New Yam Ceremony/Festival of Obanliku @30. In all, few persons parading the falsehood, are merely seeking to cajole the image of the entire LGA into disrepute.
For the records, the pictures showing the Local Government Chairman (Hon. Mrs. Margaret Inde) & Barr. Dan Iyo, were merely captured pursuant to the fact the these two, were jointlty saddled with the responsibility of distributing the items and not the other way round as misrepresented. From the background, the Paramount Ruler and other Chiefs were directly behind the aforementioned persons, having directed accordingly.
Further note that this lone exercise, which has since been blown out of proportion, was part of other activities. In other words, it was not an event aimed at an empowering any person or any youth as ill-informed. Infact, prior to the distribution of the aforementioned items, the Royal father(s) had unveiled the new yam(s), equally, they had taken time to go round & bless the indigenes & invited guest at event.
Suffice to bring fore the fact that one of the high point activity at the said festival was the Launching of an Education Trust Fund for the OBANLIKU CHILD EDUCATION, the Launching was done following an unveiling of the communique forwarded by the stakeholders, through Obanliku Development Association (ODA), thereby, calling the Local Government Council attention on need to promote education in area. During the Launching, Barr. Dan Iyo (aka Dan Urubulam) donated the sum of N1 Million Naira, whereas Capt. Ogogo & the Local Government Chairman (Hon. Margret Inde) in her personal capacity, equally donated the sum 500k (Five Hundred Thousand Naira) respectively, other donors include; Rt. Hon. Maurice Evey & Com. Akah Pius of the Youth Council, donated the sum 50k (Fifty Thousand Naira) each.
Worthy of note, is the fact that Mr. Akpanke of the Akpanke’s Foundation also donated books at the ceremony and further undertake to sponsor the scholarship of 10 persons across the 10 wards for a period of 10 years.
Notwithstanding this very exceptional part of the event and the sacrifices in this regard, same was never mentioned by those seeking to blackmail the goodwill exhibited by few individuals at the event. Therefore, assuming without conceeding that, the occasion was indeed a political empowerment perse, will it not have been possible to channel the sum/resources in that regard as a means of making the purported “empowerment” loud? Your guess is as good as mine. Thus, any false information to the contrary as in this case, should be condemned in its entirety.
I say this with every sense of responsibility, that the event could not have been a political outing, thus, to creat any negative impression that the cutlass, hoe and yam was an “empowerment” with political undertone, is aptly false. Whoever is behind this sort of information is undoubtedly being economical with the truth as per the cultural ceremony held at the instance of Obanliku indigenes, irrespective political affiliation.
Unfortunately, the crux of what is necessitating this falsehood, is the fact that, as at today, almost everything is politicised.
Today, “certificated” illiterates or those who do not want to work/strive through the ranks, will stop at nothing just to ridicule others as source of livelihood. These persons, are professional political propagandist, often ready and willing to defame other right thinking men/women in the society, just to gather cheap popularity or in the alternative, secure a regular meal ticket. I rather will enjoin all our leaders vis-a-vis political office seekers to flee from such rascals in your own interest & goodwill, hence, they actually don’t wish you well.
In view of the above, please jettison any misconceived notion/falsehood, seeking to deride the entire Obanliku LGA and/or the personality of the Local Government Chairman, alongside, the iconic gentleman (Barr. Dan) who is also seen in the picture(s)/story that has been escalated.
It will interest us all to note that beyond Party Politics, Obanliku is undoubtedly, blessed with a very rich cultural/traditional heritage.
Finally, my reaction herein, has become necessary in view of the the ultimate false information being paraded vide various social media platforms.
Ben Amawu, Esq.
Note: The Thoughts and Opinion contained in this article is not that of The Parchment but strictly that of the writer.