Traditional institutions and custodians of culture have been urged to support governments to enshrine good governance and quality livelihoods for the people.
A first class monarch, the Oba of Benin Kingdom and patriarch of the Edo people, Uku Akpolokpolo, Ewuare the Second, made the call during his maiden visit to the Obong of Calabar and grand patriarch of the Efik Kingdom, Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu, the Fifth.
The Oba, who described traditional institutions in Nigeria as unique, said “it is the bastion of the socio-cultural values and morals of contemporary society”.
“The traditional institution provides the underlying principles of governance and people centric approach to public administration,” stated the monarch.
Noting that the people of Benin and Calabar have a rich history and affinity, which transcends trade and shared coexistence, the monarch stated that the purpose of his visit was to thank the Obong of Calabar and his Etuboms for attending his coronation in 2016.
He said, “I am here in Calabar to follow in the footsteps of my father, who came on a thank you tour after his coronation. Secondly, to honour the memory of my great great grandfather Omo N’Oba N’Edo Ovonramwen and to strengthen the brotherly relation and close affinity of our people”.
The monarch disclosed that since his ascension to the throne, several cultural reforms were instituted, negative practices stopped, while wholesome and positive cultural values have been promoted for the development of the Edo people.
“Shortly after my coronation, I worked hard to abolish negative activities of the Community Development Association, CDA (whereas the CDA was intended for good development of our community, it was hijacked by some notorious individuals to destroy the fabrics of our cultural values) and human trafficking”, stated the Oba.
He commended the Obong of Calabar and the people for the hospitality shown on the thousands of Edo indigenes resident and working in Cross River State.
In a brief remark, Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu, the Fifth, the Obong of Calabar described the visit of the Benin monarch as historical and a show of solidarity.
Otu said, “history has been made for you to come and pay a thank you visit after your coronation. You are not a visitor to the Efik Kingdom. I would tell you that the Efik kingdom would be very happy if this visits continues”.
“Your coming would restore the glory of the traditional and old relationship between the Benin and Efik kingdoms”, stated the Obong.
Highlight of the visit were the presentation of gifts to the Oba of Benin as well as Efik and Edo cultural displays including the paying of homage by the Edo community in Cross River and Akwa Ibom States.
A banquet would be held on Sunday in honour of the Oba of Benin, while he is expected to pay a courtesy visit on Governor Ben Ayade on Monday.