Tompolo leads 2024 Amaseikumor Festival grand finale as Ooni

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Former militant leader in the Niger Delta, High Chief Government Ekpemupolo popularly known as Tompolo, was the cynosure of all eyes as the 2024 Amaseikumor Annual Festival came to a joyful and remarkable end on Wednesday at Oporoza, traditional headquarters of the Gbaramatu kingdom in Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State.

Tompolo is a notable traditionalist and the chief priest of the Egbesu deity, which is the god of war, in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.

It was funfair galore in Gbaramatu kingdom, as the week-long ceremony, which encompassed cultural entertainment, football, boat regatta, Ijaw cultural dance competition, wrestling, and live music entertainment, among others, climaxed with a grand civic reception and traditional rites performed by Tompolo, the Egbesu Chief Priest.

Wednesday’s grand finale of the 2024 edition, which kicked off on April 12, had in attendance the Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, leading a host of Niger Delta traditional rulers.

Other dignitaries 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, Hon. Julius Pondi.

Also in attendance also were: the Speaker, Delta State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Emomotimi Dennis Guwor; and the administrator of the Presidential Amnesty Office, Dr. Dennis Otuaro, among others.

Tompolo took 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 Majesty Oboro Gbaraun II, flanked by other monarchs across the Niger Delta region.

The masquerades danced around the arena in acknowledgment of dignitaries who had come from far and near.

From the commencement of the festival on April 12, the Esther Matthew Tonlagha Foundation provided free medical checks and treatment to residents of Gbaramatu kingdom in Oporoza town.

As of the last count, over 1,000 individuals received health treatment under the free medical outreach, organized by the Foundation.

Also, the former commissioner representing the Ijaw ethnic nationality in the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, Dr. Paul Bebenimibo, mobilized media personalities, in number, under the Ijaw Publishers Forum to the event.

The Amaseikumor ceremony, according to the organisers of the event, is one of the widely celebrated festivals among Ijaws in the whole of West Africa, which annually draws together notable Ijaw traditional rulers, top government functionaries, chief executives of multinational corporations and expatriates doing business in the Ijaw nation.

The great Amaseikumor Festival has reportedly endured for ages and is described as one of the oldest festivals in Nigeria.

The fresh perspective of this all-important event in Ijaw nation was the embrace of this rich culture as an asset to build culture and tourism for national development.

The Fiyewei (spokesperson) of Gbaramatu kingdom, Chief Godspower Gbenekama, while appreciating dignitaries, delegates, and spectators that had thronged Oporoza to witness the display of one of Africa’s rich cultural heritage, urged all to “imbibe the culture of love, peace, and unity which Gbaramatu kingdom is known for.”

He remarked that “this year’s Amaseikumor Festival is a restoration of the acceptable rich Africa cultural heritage.”

It is imperative to state that the entire Gbaramatu environment was radiant with peace and concord throughout the week-long celebration.

What was even more spectacular was the success achieved by a company, Tantita Security Services Nigeria Limited, in ensuring there was no more crude oil floating on top of the water, which had hitherto constituted pollution and unfriendly air, as, for the first time in many years past, the naturality of the environment was felt.

Tantita Managing Director, Engr. Kestin Pondi, alluded to this in a statement, just as he attributed the success story to the painstaking efforts of the Niger Delta living legend, High Chief Ekpemukpolo.

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