Foundation Pledges to Preserve Culture of Uruan Nation

Okon Bassey in Uyo 

The second edition of Iboku Uruan Cultural Festival, a unique annual cultural experience put together by the Akpe Iboku/Etongko Mkpe Uruan Heritage Foundation came to a crescendo in Mbiaya Uruan, Uruan Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State recently. 

The Chairman, Board of Trustees of the Foundation, Obong Iyamba Otuekong P. J. Efiong says the annual festival is aimed at preserving and showcasing the deep and revered culture of the Akpe Iboku/Etongko Mkpe Uruan people in particular and the richness of Uruan heritage in general.

Edidem Efiong who is the clan Head of Akpe Iboku/Etongo Ekpe clan in Uruan LGA of the state paid tributes to members of the Iboku Uruan Heritage Foundation for the vision, passion, commitment and selfless sacrifices which saw to the birth of the festival in 2021 and its grand outing in 2022. 

The Board of Trustees helmsman lauded the sponsors and partners, particularly Orijin (Guinness Nig Plc), Ibom Icon Hotel and Golf Resort, 33 Export Lager, Gelato and Coffee University, amongst other brands for believing in the festival project and giving their support.

He tasked people of the area to soak in and savour the scintillating cultural displays immersed in the beautiful scenery and experience of a deeply-seated cultural renaissance which Uruan people are charting. 

The former Governor of Cross River State, Mr Donald Duke who was the Special Guest of Honour at event thanked the Akpe Iboku/Etongko Mkpe Uruan Heritage Foundation for inviting him for the event and commended the organisers for holding the festival. 

He showered praises on the Akpe Iboku/Etongko Mkpe people for fostering unity, love and togetherness amongst themselves and their brothers in the neighbouring Cross River State through the festival praying for the sustainability of the annual event.

The Chairman of Barracuda Capital Partners Nig Ltd and a member of the Board of Trustees of Iboku Heritage Foundation, Mr Larry Ettah thanked the people for exhibiting a wonderful cultural experience.

He particularly thanked His Excellency, Donald Duke for gracing the occasion as the Special Guest of Honour, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma and Mr Udeme Ufot of SO&U for honouring their invitation. 

He also lauded all sponsors and supporters of the event for their goodwill and prayed for such partnership in the unfolding years of the festival which he said has been institutionalised as an International annual event and a Cultural icon of Akwa Ibom State and Nigeria.

The occasion, which provided an opportunity to re-enact the rich cultural heritage of Akpe Iboku/Etongko Mkpe Uruan community and Uruan Inyang Atakpo as a whole featured notable Ekpe masquerades and other cultural troupes which thrilled the enthusiastic audience with their enthralling displays.

Among the Cultural displays were Abang, Nyok, Ekombi, Atemtem, while the shades of Ekpe masquerades included Ekong, Ibom, Ebonko, Murua Okpoho, Murua Nkanda, Murua Iyamkpe and Idem Nkanda also thrilled the gathering.

Other Highlights that added colour to the festival were various Women Groups from Uruan led by Professor Eno Abasi Urua, who showcased their talent at the arena in colourful attires wìth different style, glamour, beauty and royalty.

The Eku Nyoro Ekpe masquerade from Calabar, with Etubom Bassey Eyo Ndem at the head also graced the festival in their numbers. 

Key point of the 2022 Iboku Uruan Cultural festival was the competitive of Nyoro Ekpe masquerade where ten idem ekpes competed, showing their mastery and artistry in the signs and symbols of ekpe displays. 

Also, Certificates of Good Corporate Citizenship were presented to all sponsors and partners by the festival organisers.

Among the recipients were Orijin (Guinness Nig Plc), Ibom Hotel and Golf Resort, 33 Export Lager (Nigerian Breweries Plc), Ibom Heritage Organisation, Gelato and Coffee University, Barracuda Capital Partners Limited, SO&U, Brand Believers, Akwa Savings and Loans, amongst others.

Dignitaries who graced the occasion  also included Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Mr Aniekan Bassey, represented by Dr. Eventus Edem; the Patriarch of Ibibio Land, His Eminence, Ntenyin (Dr) Solomon D. Etuk, represented by the Paramount Ruler of Uyo, His Royal Majesty, Edidem Sylvanus Okon; the Paramount Rulers of Uruan LGA , Edidem Cosmas Nkanga; Nsit Atai LGA, Edidem Peter Okon Effiong; Ibesikpo Asutan LGA, Edidem Clement Francis Ekpenyong and Itu LGA, Edidem Edet Akpan Inyang, represented by Chief Nicholas Williams. 

Also in attendance were the Chairman of Uruan Local Government Area, Iniobong Ekpenyong, Akparawa Prince Godwin Ntukude, Chairman Akwa Ibom State Roads and other Infrastructure Maintenance Agency,  Obong Offiong Usen Akpabio and wife, Mmeme, Barrister Usenobong Akpabio, former member of Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Prof Nse Essien, Vice Chancellor Akwa Ibom State University, Professor Joseph Ushie, Dean of Arts, University of Uyo and his colleague, Professor Inegbe  among other personalities.

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