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Ijaw monarchs express concern over rising insecurity, urge proactive measures

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Traditional rulers from Ijaw in Delta, Edo, Bayelsa, Rivers and Ondo states who gathered at Oporoza, Gbaramatu Kingdom in Delta State, at the weekend, for the Amaseikumor festival, have expressed concerns over rising insecurity in the country.

The Amaseikumor festival, an annual land cleansing ritual, is one of the ancient traditional celebrations of the Gbaramatu people handed them by their forebears.

The Pere of Gbaramatu Kingdom, HRM Oboro Gbaraun II Aketekpe Agadagba, who spoke on behalf of the monarchs, urged government at all levels to establish proactive intelligence units to gather information that could be used to effectively tackle insecurity in the country.

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“Unity is the foundation for peace. Nigeria is currently in dire need of security, peace and unity. While we are doing our bit in Gbaramatu Kingdom to ensure peace and unity, we implore government at all levels to employ proactive and productive measures timely to curb rising insecurity across the country.

“Security threats are real in Nigeria and should not be politicised, but adequately addressed. There cannot be peace and unity in a state of crisis and insecurity, just as there cannot be any meaningful development without peace and unity,” he stated.

He said as chief security officers (CSOs) of their states, governors should ensure that their borders and territories are secured and inaccessible to agents of destruction and mayhem, who enter their states in various guises.

“They should sincerely seek high level information and intelligence gathering mechanisms to insecurity adversely affecting our national economy already. To ensure peace, unity and security, everybody should be involved. I, therefore, charge all of us to do our bits in this regard,” he added.

The monarch, who also celebrated his fifth coronation anniversary, explained that the festival was meant to promote good living, peace, unity, prosperity and protection of the people of Gbaramatu Kingdom.

Former leader of the Niger Delta agitators, Government Ekpemupolo, aka Tompolo, who is a custodian of the Egbesu shrine, was in the forefront of activities at the festival.

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Accompanied by the chief priest and others, they went round the arena dressed in traditional white regalia cleansing the land with spiritual water and other traditional items.

Traditional prime minister of Gbaraun in Bayelsa State, McDonald Igbadiwei, said the Amaseikumor festival was a significant ceremony in Ijaw land, adding: “It marked the beginning of another spiritual year and period of cleansing, where the coming out of the king of masquerades destroys all sinister forces in Ijaw nation.

He said the relative peace in the Niger Delta could be attributed to the Amaseikumor festival, as the ceremony usually brought all Ijaw traditional rulers together to discuss latest events in their various kingdoms, identify challenges and proffer solutions through collective prayer and fasting.

The Agadagba of Tobotoru Kingdom, Ondo State, HRM Gbebokedi Ajiri-Oba Oguruyeke Okirinini I, Pere of Iduwini Kingdom, Bayelsa State, HRM Joel Ekeni Ibane, Agadagba of Okomu Kingdom and Agadagba of Olodiama Kingdom, Edo State, HRM Godwin Ogunyenbo Alagbsbunafa III, among others attended the event.

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