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Amaseikumo Festival: Ooni, Emirs, Lokpobiri, Keyamo, Okaba, Joel-Onowakpo, Pondi, Guwor, Host Of Royal Fathers, Others Honour Tompolo




By Stephen Asaba-ase, Miracle Esegha and Timi Black

The foremost Leader of the defunct Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND), High Chief Government Oweizide Ekpemupolo alias Tompolo was honoured in the grand finale of the great Amaseikumo festival by Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, leading a host of the Niger Delta Traditional Rulers. This included the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo SAN; Minister of State Petroleum Resources (Oil), Senator Heineken Lokpobiri; the Senator representing Delta South Senatorial District, Joel Onowakpor as well as the third-term member of the House of Representatives representing Burutu Federal Constituency, Rt.Hon. Julius Pondi in Oporoza community.

However, the ancient Oporoza community, the headquarters of Gbaramatu kingdom in Warri South West of Delta State was at the centre of attraction as personalities, captain of industry, host of traditional rulers from the north, West, East and Southern Nigeria, ministers in the federal republic of Nigeria, National Assembly members, State Assembly Members and speakers, CEOs of oil multinational companies, members of the forth estate, traditional chiefs, and other top government functionaries graced the grand finale of the Amaseikumo 2024 annual festival on Wednesday in Delta State.

The traditional event which was described as one of the widely celebrated festivals among Africans encompassed cultural entertainment, football, boat regatta, Ijaw cultural dance competition, wrestling, live music entertainment and others, this was followed by a grand civic reception and traditional rites performed by the Niger Delta living legend, High Chief Government Ekpemupolo, popularly known as Tompolo, the Egbesu Chief Priest.

The cultural event was also attended by the Speaker, Delta State House of Assembly, Hon. Emomotimi Dennis Guwor; the Speaker Bayelsa State House of Assembly and the Administrator of the Presidential Amnesty Office (PAP), Dr. Dennis Otuaro, INC president Prof Benjamin Okaba, among others.

The Niger Delta leader, Tompolo took the centre stage at the main arena when he led various masquerades with their cultural dance steps into the venue as they paid royal homage to the Pere of Gbaramatu Kingdom, His Royal Majesty Oboro Gbaraun II, flanked by other monarchs across the Niger Delta region.

It was a funfair as the masquerades danced round the arena in acknowledgement of dignitaries that had come from far and wide.

It was further learnt that from the commencement of the Festival on April 12, till the last day of the event, the Esther Matthew Tonlagha Foundation (EMTF) provided free medical checks and treatment to residents and guests at Amaseikumo festival in Oporoza town.

According to report, over 1,000 individuals received the health treatment under the free medical outreach organised by the Foundation.

Also, the former Commissioner representing the Ijaw Ethnic Nationality in the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC), Dr. Paul Bebenimibo mobilised media personalities, in their number to the event. The Ijaw Publishers Forum (IPF) was also participated in their number.

However, those who spoke at the event agreed that Amaseikumo festival is one of the widely celebrated festivals among Ijaws in the whole of West Africa which gathered notable Ijaw traditional rulers, top government functionaries, chief executives of multinational corporations and expatriates doing business in the Niger Delta.
The great Amaseikumo Festival had reportedly endured for ages and is described as one of the oldest festivals in Nigeria.

It was learned that the essence of this all important event in Ijaw nation was to embrace and see this rich Ijaw culture as an asset to culture and tourism development in Nigeria.

While presenting a welcome speech, Chief Godspower Gbenekama, the Fiyewei (spokesperson) of Gbaramatu kingdom, appreciated dignitaries, delegates and participants that had thronged Oporoza to witness the display of one of Africa’s rich-cultural heritage.

He urged all dignitaries to “imbibe the culture of love, peace and unity which Gbaramatu Kingdom is known for”.
Gbenekama reiterated that the participation of this year’s Amaseikumo Festival is quite amazing and a confirmation of the festival being celebrated and embrace by every nook and cranny.

According him, the entire Gbaramatu environment was radiant with peace, law and order throughout the week-long celebration.

Meantime, commendations have trailed Tantita Security services Nigeria Limited (TSSNL) as guests and dignitaries tripped into the waterways for the event. The MD Tantita Security Services limited, Chief Engr Kestin Pondi was applauded for ensuring that there was no more crude oil floating on top of water which had hitherto constituted pollution and unfriendly environment as, for the first time in many years past.

However, the Tantita’s MD, Kestin Pondi, who spoke to newsmen attributed the success story to the selfless sacrifices of the Niger Delta living legend, High Chief Government Ekpemupolo.

Tompolo who is a notable traditionalist and the chief priest of the Egbesu deity, the god of war in the Niger-Delta also expressed joy and happiness for the massive turn-out for the this year’s Amaseikumo festival which was celebrated in a grand style.