On Saturday, August 06, 2022, the 22 villages of Offot Ukwa Clan in Uyo Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State, converged at the main bowl of Ibom Plaza in the heart of the city of Uyo to unveil the official logo for the 3rd edition of the Offot Ukwa Clan Festival of Arts and Culture.
First held in 2013, followed by a sophomore edition in 2016, the third edition scheduled for October 2022 promises to be as exciting as ever, according to the Executive Chairman, Uyo Local Government Council, Dr Uwemedimo Udo, who officially performed the unveiling of the logo.
The logo has the following features: White colour which represents purity, cleanliness, peacefulness, and uniqueness of the Offot Ukwa people; a brown colour which represents strength, reliability, resilience, elegance, security, safety and the colour of soil; Stars which represent the twenty-two (22) gazetted villages of Offot Ukwa; the Offot Ukwa Clan Logo representing authority, power and acceptance of the people.
Dr Udo applauded the love and unity of the Offot Ukwa people and pledged to continue supporting the festival and all that concerned Offot Ukwa Clan, Uyo Local Government Area and Akwa Ibom State.
Before the unveiling, Chairman, Central Planning Committee of the Festival, Elder Patrick Albert averred that the event triggers the official birth of the Offot Ukwa Unity Mass Choir, inauguration of Offot Ukwa Clan Logo/Flag and Offot Ukwa Cultural Regalia.
The Committee Chairman, a former Chairman of the Akwa Ibom State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) added that “the landmark achievement came through a painstaking process of interface with the leadership and stakeholders of the Clan vis-à-vis the Clan Head/Clan Council of Chiefs; leaderships of the respective villages and stakeholders”, describing the development as a well-cherished rebirth.
Revealing that the 3rd edition has been upgraded to accommodate music, dance, plays, pageantry, arts and traditional/modern recreational games, Albert reassured that the festival is billed to run between Sunday, October 23, 2022, and Saturday, October 29, 2022, will allow tourists within and outside Nigeria to savour the rich cultural heritage of the Offot Ukwa people.
“The festival will offer our communities and Akwa Ibom State as a whole, the opportunity to boost the abundant cultural, arts and tourism potential – towards creating socio-economic opportunities for local and global patronage,” he also mentioned in his address.
In his welcome address, Chairman, Offot Ukwa Clan Council of Chiefs, Eteidung (Rev) Aniedi Okon labelled the logo unveiling ceremony as a remarkable day in the life of Offot Ukwa people, as it serves as an avenue to reinforce unity and strength ahead of the anticipated epochal festival.
The Eteidung thanked the Paramount Ruler for always being a staunch advocate for the preservation and promotion of the cultural heritage of the Clan. He called on Offot Ukwa’s sons and daughters at home and in Diaspora to offer all-around support to make the festival come to fruition in October.
Member representing Uyo State Constituency in the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Hon. Anietie Eka hailed Offot Ukwa as a frontline bloc in the state and implored indigenes of the clan to continue promoting the virtues of love and unity.
The member of parliament who was represented at the event by Mr Michael James thanked the Paramount Ruler of Uyo, the planning committee and all Offot Ukwa sons and daughters for being patriotic to their homeland.
In a lecture titled ‘Offot Ukwa Festival Of Arts and Culture: Self Identity On The Ascent’, Dr Aniekan Brown, a senior lecturer in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Uyo, suggested that for contemporary African culture to be revived, every community and ethnic bloc must revert to original cultural tenets, virtues and ideals which shaped the society in bygone years.
Brown suggested that for culture to be revived, the promotion of language, colours and all forms of traditional arts which are peculiar to an entity has to be upheld.
“The sounds, colours, language and anthem of Offot Ukwa can contribute to the realization of the much-sought sustenance of the clan’s unique identity.”
While Dr Brown acknowledged that Offot Ukwa’s sons and daughters have made giant strides across the globe, he, however, challenged them to increase their influence in the political leadership of the state and country.
Aside from the addresses and lectures, goodwill messages were delivered in torrents. Beyond that, attendees savoured the splendour and rich cultural heritage of the clan as reflected in the traditional dances, presentation by choral groups, folk dance, ballads, traditional attires, masquerade displays etc.
The presence of the Paramount Ruler of Uyo LGA and Clan Head of Offot Ukwa, HRM Edidem Sylvanus Effiong Okon, JP, adorned with full royal regalia, with his throne surrounded by maidens and warriors, added prestige and colour to the event.
The denouement of the event came with the hoisting of 22 flags representing the 22 villages of the clan.
The motto of the festival is ‘Celebrating Unity & Cultural Legacy’ while the theme is ‘Offot Ukwa Festival 2022: Utilizing Arts and Culture for Socio-economic & Political Growth.