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SOUTH UPDATE

Libation not fetish, but prayer – HRM Appolus Chu

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As civilization erodes today’s society and as the advent of western culture threatens the African tradition, a paramount ruler in South South region, HRH (Dr) Appolus Chu, Egbere Emere Okori of Eleme kingdom, has called on traditional rulers and care givers across the country, to do well within their power to preserve and promote the African culture.
HRH Chu made this call when he paid a courtesy visit to Chief (Dr) D.U. Edebiri, the Esogban of Benin kingdom, at his palace in Benin, Edo State. He discredited the notion that libation is a fetish practice, and stressed that it is an African traditional means of offering prayers and thanksgiving. According to him, “Libation is prayer, and what do you do when you offer prayer? You pray for progress, success, good health and every good things of life. The drinks that are used are bought from the market and not from the shrine, so also is the palm wine that is used.
And as you are praying, you are libating and directing your faith towards your demands and you appease the gods, because we believe the gods are here. It is just like when you go to church and the pastor uses olive oil and water to pray. When the congregation choruses amen, it is agreeing that God has answered the prayer. So, libation is part of our culture, and we shouldn’t neglect our culture. The traditional institution of Africa is under a form of blackmail. We are being blackmailed to despise and snub our cultural system.
And we are abandoning our tradition out of ignorance. Today, our children who are now pastors and bishops are propagating the Western religions and snubbing our traditional beliefs and values. As a strong believer in African tradions and culture, I will advocate that we should not see libation as a fetish practice. It is just a form of prayer ad an integral part of our culture,” he said.
In his remarks, Chief Edebiri consented to the views of HRH Chu, and presented him with a gift, after which libation was offered. “We believe that when you die, you go to heaven and you meet your ancestors, those who have left before you. They also congregate there, as we do here on earth. And whenever we are doing anything here, we remember them, so that they may be part of what we are doing and bless whatever project we are embarking on. We always pour libation so that our ancestors will partake in whatever we are doing. It has nothing to do with fetish activity.
“There is no juju when you pour libation. It is your conscience, it is your mind, because you believe that you are coming from a tradition. The tradition is the belief that your parents did it and they lived well. If you do it too, you will live well and die well. So, pouring libation has nothing to do with being fetish. As a matter of fact, in a football match, if a team wins, you will see people opening bottles of champaign to celebrate. That is pouring libation. If your son buys a new car and he brings it home, you pour libation to bless that gift.
“So, those who say that pouring of libation is fetish are being misled and misinformed. In the African tradition, we pour libation after kolanut, so that our ancestors will bless whatever we want to do,” he concluded
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SOUTH UPDATE

Obaseki earmarks N500m for Benin Royal Museum

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…as efforts on retrieval of stolen artefacts yielding results

Edo State government has proposed N500 million for the construction of the Benin Royal Museum, stating its intentions to make Benin the culture capital of West Africa with the planned return of the artefacts stolen from the state in the colonial era, which is yielding positive results.

Governor Godwin Obaseki said this while presenting the 2019 Budget proposal on Monday before a session of the House of Assembly.

Addressing the legislators, he said, “To fulfil our commitment towards making Edo the culture capital of West Africa, we have earmarked N500 million in 2019 proposed Budget, to commence the development and construction of the Benin Royal Museum. This will be done in collaboration with the Palace of His Royal Majesty, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Ewuare II, Ogidigan”

Efforts by the Edo State Governor and the Benin Monarch, Omo N’ Oba N’ Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Ewuare II, to retrieve artefacts stolen from the state in the colonial era are yielding results as European governments have set modalities in place for either permanent or temporary return of the artworks.

Oba of Benin, Eheneden Erediauwa Campaign for the return of the prized heritage objects has raged for decades, with Nigerian authorities mounting pressure on European governments and museums to return them, while the Europeans argue that holding the work was best for the preservation of the artefacts, as there were no structures in Africa to properly hold them.

The French government recently approved the return of 26 artefacts stolen from the Benin Republic after a report recommended the move, raising the prospect of more of such moves from the European country.

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SOUTH UPDATE

Okowa presents staff of office to Warri Monarch

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An array of tradition and culture played out in Warri, Delta state when Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta on Monday presented staff of office to the Orosuen of Okere Urhobo Warri Kingdom, Prof. Paul Okumagba, Idama ll.

The event took place 11 years after the death of the late traditional ruler, Benjamin Okumagba in Warri South Local Government Area of the state.

The new monarch, Prof. Okumagba is a renowned professor of Sociology from the Delta State University, Abraka.

Gov. Okowa who was represented by his deputy, Kingsley Otuaro, congratulated the monarch on his selection and subsequent recognition as the Orosuen of Okere Urhobo Kingdom and urged the monarch to entrench peace in the Warri metropolis.

“The Orosuen is one of you and it is a win-win situation for all the people of Okere Urhobo, Warri.

“No doubt, the government is aware of some pockets of dissenting voices in the processes leading to today’s ceremony.

“I sincerely urge you to give him your fullest support and cooperation for sustainable peace and progress of the kingdom.

“Your Royal Majesty, you are the father of all your subjects, so you should be fair to all and sundry, as the custodian of the tradition of your people, it is important that you uphold the sanctity of their custom,’’ he said.

Several traditional rulers across the state including the Orodje of Okpe, Orhue 1, the Ovie of Uvwie Kingdom, Abe 1, religious leaders and government functionaries attended the event.

 

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NEWS

LASG, FRSC Worry over Increase of Beer Parlours in Lagos

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The Lagos State Government has raised concerns over the increased establishment of beer parlours in Lagos.

The state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Kehinde Bamigbetan, said the state was worried because there was also an increase in the record of alcohol-induced auto accidents in the state.

Bamigbetan spoke at the commencement of 2018 Don’t Drink and Drive campaign in Ikeja, a statement said on Sunday.

“Bamigbetan said the level of consumption increased daily with the establishment of restaurants and bar in every part of the state.

“He noted that establishment, aided by peace and harmony in Lagos, has made alcoholic consumption in the state a daily routine.

“He stressed that the new level of alcohol consumption rate has justified a report released by a market research data group, Global  Data (formerly Canadean) recently, estimating five per cent annual growth rate.

“The commissioner argued that the state government was not frowning on the establishment, but those who patronise them should not drive or engage in any activity that could endanger other residents’ lives and property,” the statement added.

The Lagos Sector Commander, FRSC, Hyginus Omeje, reportedly said the level of alcohol consumption made the agency to deploy the seven breathalysers donated to it across the state.

Omeje added that any vehicle which its driver tested positive to alcohol would be impounded immediately to ensure the safety of lives and property in the state.

Earlier, the acting General Manager, Lagos Traffic Radio, Eyitayo Akanle, said to sensitise motorists to the negative effect of drunk driving, 10 billboards had been placed on major roads within the state.

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