The Chairman of Ahoada East Council of Traditional Rulers, Eze Felix Enene Otuwarikpo has flagged off the 2019 wrestling season in Upata Kingdom, just as he urged the leaders and members of repentant cult groups to always maintain the peace.
Leaders of the groups, “Gen. Boss” and “Gen. VIP” were on Saturday at Edeoha Town, the wrestling venue, locked in warm embrace to the admiration of the mammoth crowd that watched the wrestling ceremony.
In his remarks, Eze Otuwarikpo who is the reigning Eze Igbu Upata Kingdom assured all participating individuals, communities and clans of their security and the right environment to compete.
The monarch used the occasion to call on those who are not comfortable with the emergence of the traditional ‘nye udu’ stools in Upata Kingdom to accept it as a historical reality, explaining further that the word ‘eze’ is not an Ekpeye indigenous kingship title.
Eze Otuwarikpo pledged Upata’s commitment to the unity and peace of Ekpeye, stressing however that he will not disappoint the people in his quest to see to the mutual co-existence of all the clans.
He described wrestling as an integral part of the Upata culture, noting its unifying factor as a hallmark that needs to be cultivated for the overall good of the people.
According to him, it is for this reason he invited the leaders and members of the various cult groups who, have chosen to repent to grace this years’ opening ceremony of the Upata wrestling season.
Guests who witnessed the symbolic exchange of pleasantries by the ex-cult include Rt. Hon. Edison Ogerenye Ehie, Deputy Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly; HRM Eze Joshua Eyiba, Eze Igbu Igbuduya II; HRM Eze Augustine Maxwell Okpokiri, Eze Igbu Ubie; HRM Eze Godpower Okpagi, Eze Igbu Akoh and HRH Eze Innocent Odum, Eze Igbu Ugbobi.
Others include HRH Eze Kelvin Ngozi Anugwo, Nye Udu Ede Upata;HRH Eze Nnodi Michael, Nye Udu Akpana Upata; HRH Eze Clifford Shika, Nye Udu Owu Upata; High Chief Elems Eligwe, Adigwe Ekpeye and other title chiefs and community leaders.
The spectators were not disappointed as youths who participated in the wrestling bouts displayed skillful wrestling artistry. Even ex-cultists were not left, they keenly matched others with fine display.
Signed:Comrade Oyagiri Monday
Special Assistant on Media to the Eze