By Asiayei Enaibo
Universally, sacred phenomenon and mysteries exist within the faith line of man, nature is a priority to man’s existence, then, our cultural heritage is sacred institution that has past from one generation to the other, and our belief system is tied to lives as man seeks the ultimate. The quest to be free from the unknown sets out the template of our worship system in every tribe and region.
Religiously speaking, the people of Oporoza community in the ancient Gbaramatu Kingdom, Delta state, somewhere in the Niger Delta are tied to a sacred belief system called the Barugu, this worship has kept the faith of this people on going from time immemorial because the Barugu deity is a very powerful arm of their belief system that protect them from any harmful attack of their enemies. Whenever, any evil attack against their sons and daughters arise, a symbolic Iguana Lizard will appear symbolically to protect them and at all time of worship and festive periods, this sacred Iguana Lizard will come out to play with the people and the believers experience new turn around of their lives.
Occasionally, whenever Amaseikumor festival is around the corner, and fixed for the preparation as the king of all Masquerade, different sacred and symbolic animals will come out to inspect the level of work done ahead of the festival, to Gbaraun Egbesu, Uge bird, (sacred Eagle) will appear above the sky and below the Earth; Ibolomobo-ere and the Amaseikumor masquerade. So at this point Barugu refered as the god of war, and protection will come out in the day time to witness the activities and play with the people. Sometimes, the Barugu will wait some where to salute the Agadagba the King of the land when he is coming out to the Sacred Gbaraun Egbesu Temple for purification rituals.
During the time of war, if the warriors see Barugu came out and lead the way, then victory is sure at the battle front and all bullet will turn to water, and if Barugu appears from the opposite direction, as they are going for war; there is danger. If Barugu appears from the front to move against where they are coming from instead of leading, the people will already know that there is danger, “we have to go back and prepare for another day”, that something sacrilegious will happen. As it send a negative signals, those who disobey such signs, Will not live to tell the story.
So this phenomenon guide the Oporoza man from any vindictive attack, even in the sea, if canoe sinks, the gods that watch over the seas like Sarabobouwei, Osuopele Adeoru will save these people.
So, in Oporoza community, people respect and venerate the Iguana Lizard as their protector, it is harmless so they guard it, they don’t kill it and if by accident any harm befall the Iguana Lizard, a befitting Burial ceremony and purification rites will be performed by the Chief Priest to inform the ancestors that it was not deliberate.
This worship system is culturally and religiously link to the Orogun people of the UHROBO speaking tribe in Delta, in Ughelli North LGA, Delta state. One could be made to ask salient questions, what is the relationship between the Oporoza people and the Orogun people? Or are the Orogun people children to Fiyewei, the Founder of Oporoza? Because in history the Effurun Urhobo people are children to Gbaramatu Kingdom.This is bye and bye!.
Yes, links are common but the power ratios could be different, to the Oporoza community in Gbaramatu Kingdom, Barugu is like Angel Michael, it represents war and protection.
As the Amaseikumor, Gbaraun Egbesu, Ibolomobo-ere festival draw nearer, Barugu made its way to the scene to monitor the atmosphere with protective vibrations of expected guests and dignitaries so that no evil will come close on the day Amaseikumor Kiriafinwou masquerade will come to purify the ground.
One will be amazed to see how friendly Barugu, the Symbolic Iguana Lizard could be to the people as they play together as nature is man’s priority as I stated in my open paragraph.
In this institution, High Chief Government Oweizide Ekpemupolo, AKA, Tompolo is the Spiritual head that walks within the positive Forces of life.
Nature was so to man in the beginning before the coming of the new Religion that keep us far from our root as we take the ancient steps back home.
As the zodiac signs move closer to its orbit, the preparation of Amaseikumor festival becomes so close, when Barugu came to look the tiding at the waterfront at Oporoza. The chief Priest of Amaseikumor masquerade; Prince Kariwei Omoh called the Talking Drum, the great interpreter of Izon ancestral worship faith to keep this moment in written archive that has been in oral tradition for ages. So I write.