Tour of the 22 gazetted villages of Offot Ukwa Clan in Uyo Local Government Area by the Clan Head of Offot Ukwa/Paramount Ruler of Uyo LGA, HRM, Edidem Sylvanus Effiong Okon kick-started on Friday, August 26, 2022.
The paramount ruler, accompanied by his wife, Obongawan, Idongesit Okon; the chairman and members of the Offot Ukwa Clan Council of Chiefs; the chairman and members of the Central Planning Committee (CPC) for Offot Ukwa Festival of Arts and Culture and President and members of Offot Ukwa Youth Council, visited Nsukara Offot and Use Offot communities.
The tour, coming after the official unveiling of the 2022 festival logo and other Offot Ukwa cultural costumes on Saturday, August 6, 2022, at Ibom Plaza, is an avenue for deliberations on sundry issues affecting the Offot Ukwa Clan, to step up preparations for the forthcoming annual festival and also strengthen the bond of unity among the villages and the people for the prevalence of peace and love.
At Nsukara Offot village, Eteidung Cletus Okon Benson, who was formally decorated with his Offot Ukwa traditional cap and badge as well as presented with the Offot Ukwa Clan flag amidst the rendition of the Offot Ukwa anthem, said the event is one of the watershed moments as it reinforces and evokes unity and love in the village and the entire Offot Ukwa Clan.
Eteidung Benson applauded the Clan Head/Paramount Ruler for coordinating a united and progressive Offot Ukwa and Uyo Local Government Area and pledged the community’s continuous support for the festival in October 2022.
In his welcome address, Mr Ime Sunday Usua, chairman of the village council, noted that the village chosen as the first to be visited during the tour is divinely inspired.
Describing the upcoming festival in October 2022 as an unprecedented programme, Mr Usua announced the community’s readiness to participate fully in it. He expressed thanks to the Paramount Ruler for championing the preservation of culture and tradition of the clan, adding that his reign “has helped to foster unity, peace and progress amongst this group of villages, Offot Ukwa and its environs.”
The issue of gully erosion which has eaten a significant part of the community was raised.
The Paramount Ruler and his entourage visited the site and promised to officially draw the attention of relevant authorities to it.
The Paramount Ruler, HRM, Edidem Sylvanus Effiong Okon thumbed up the community for always cooperating with his leadership and tasked them to play a very frontal role in ensuring that the forthcoming festival becomes a success.
He advised the leadership of the community to continue supporting and liaising with the Central Planning Committee of the festival.
Speaking earlier in his introductory remarks, the Chairman, Offot Ukwa Clan Council of Chiefs, Eteidung (Rev.) Aniedi Okon harped on the essence of the royal tour as unity-driven and called on indigenes of Offot Ukwa Clan to unite and contribute towards the development of the clan and the state.
Traditional dances and choral presentations took place throughout the visit which witnessed a large turnout.
At Use Offot, a large turnout also witnessed the event. Village Council Chairman, Mr Francis Edet Etim, who spoke through the village council secretary Mr Emmanuel Ukpong, told the visiting delegation that the community had enforced closure of sales in shops and markets and seizure of other activities for the sake of the day’s event.
The chairman maintained that the community has never lagged in the clan’s affairs and will never even as the Offot Ukwa festival approaches.
He welcomed the Clan Head/Paramount Ruler, lauding him for placing a premium on the preservation of the culture and tradition of the people of Offot Ukwa Clan.
Furthermore, he reeled out the role played by Use Offot in the process of organizing and promised continued support.
The chairman of the Offot Ukwa Festival of Arts and Culture 2022, Elder Patrick Albert, made a brief on the festival and presentation of festival attires. The clan’s flag was presented to Use Offot and hoisted immediately.
Remarks were also made by the Chairman, Offot Ukwa Clan Council of Chiefs, Eteidung (Rev) Aniedi Okon; Secretary, Use Offot Village Council, Mr Emmanuel Ukpong; and Youth Leader of Use Offot, and others.
The Paramount Ruler in his reaction appreciated the community for offering unalloyed support to the clan council and his office as Paramount Ruler.
HRM, Edidem Sylvanus Effiong Okon identified culture and tradition as a glue that brings an entity closer for progress to be achieved.
The royal father added that activities of the Offot Ukwa Clan Festival of Arts and Culture have reinforced oneness in the clan and prayed for its sustenance.
An erosion site, which has affected many buildings and rendered inhabitants homeless in the community, was visited and a promise to communicate to appropriate quarters was made.
Cultural displays and choral presentations also took place.