The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi says the culture of Ibibio people in Akwa Ibom State and the Oduduwa people in Nigeria’s South West Region has similarity in terms of humanity and heritage.
Oduduwa was not only the first ruler of a unified Ife, but also the progenitor of various independent royal dynasties in Yorubaland, and is today venerated as “the hero, the warrior, the leader and father of the Yoruba race.
Oba Ogunwusi, the Ooni of Ife is a descendant of the godking Oduduwa and is counted first among the Yoruba kings, spoke Monday during the coronation of Edidem Solomon Etuk, the President-General of the Ibibios (Oku Ibom Ibibio).
“The Culture of the Ibibio people is similar to the culture of people from Oduduwa. Without our culture, we are nobody; it is culture that binds us together. We all belong to one humanity and heritage,” he noted.
The event was held at the Asan Ibibio, which is the traditional shrine of the Ibibios in Ikot Oku Ikono, Uyo local government area of Akwa Ibom.
The Oni of Ife, who recently inducted Governor Udom Emmanuel into the prestigious Hall of Fame in Lagos after he was named the best performing governor in the country by Hall of Grace, said he was proud of the heritage of the Akwa Ibom people, noting that culture binds the people together.
The governor recalled that the union promoted the welfare of Ibibio sons and daughters, and admonished the Ibibio leader to re-enact that unity.
He urged the new king of the Ibibio to pursue and administer justice, fairness and equity, charging the Ibibio people to respect the stool of the Oku Ibom Ibibio and the traditional rulers.
He said: “A king has emerged for the Ibibio people. I know he will administer justice, fairness and equity. I challenge the stool that we want to see the unity of the Ibibio state union re-enacted. Re-enact the spirit of unity and oneness.
“This day is very significant for Ibibio nation ad indeed the whole Akwa Ibom State. For those who have sown the spirit of discord, we have to discourage them and make sure that the seed is not planted. If it is planted, that seed will never germinate, because we must remain together.”
Responding, Edidem Etuk, the fourth Oku Ibom and Paramount Ruler of Nsit Ubium local government area, appreciated the Ibibio people for the confidence reposed in him by making him their leader.
Etuk said though the task before him was daunting, he would rise to the challenge and serve the Ibibio people fully.
The grand ceremony had many dignitaries among whom was Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu V, the Obong of Calabar.