Following the Traditions and Customs of the Izon man and also, inline with the footsteps of his godfather, Government Oweizide Ekpemupolo predominantly referred to by his sobriquet as Tompolo, The Coordinator of Tantita Security Services Ltd, (Bayelsa Operations) Great Joshua Maclver has kickstarted the construction of a modern Egbesu temple in Ikebiri 1, the ancestral headquarters of Olodioma Clan, Southern IJaw Local Government Area, of Bayelsa state.
WATCH VIDEO HERE…
The traditional Egbesu activities began with purification, sacrifices and later crescendoed into praises, dance and ogèlè procession from the old Temple built several decades ago to the Main Site of the New Temple that is to be constructed.
Maciver who has already completed the site clearing, uprooting and sand dredging for the New Temple that includes a Residential accommodation for the Agadagba was full of joyful tears and thanks.
He remarked that the 16th of November, 2022 is indeed a historic day of joy seeing the fulfilment of a solemn vow he made several years ago while he was in the Creeks as a youth fighting oil multinationals for the genuine needs of his people.
Maciver’s other immeasurable qualities of philanthropism surfaced during the praise and worship session also brought more smiles to the attendees and worshipers as cash gifts were given to all that attended the unique celebration.
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BRIEF BACKGROUND OF EGBESU IN IJAW LAND
Egbesu is the god or deity of justice of the Ijaw people of the Niger Delta region. Egbesu is also perceived as the spiritual foundational force for combating evil.
The Egbesu force can only be used in defence or to correct an injustice, and only by people who are in harmony with the universe.
The symbol of the divine force is the leopard, panther, and lion. Egbesu has both a philosophical and spiritual dimension, the latter of which has been more prominent during recent times due to conflicts in regions where the Ijaw reside.
Belief in Egbesu dictates the Ijaw philosophical principles of war and the Egbesu force is believed to be able to provide spiritual attributes to Ijaw agitators.
The philosophical aspect incorporates elements of a just war. Egbesu conduct for just wars dictates that the only justified cause of war is self-defence.
Therefore, the Egbesu force can only be used to correct an injustice and only by people who are considered in harmony with the universe. Egbesu war ethics also incorporates a reward element, where victors are granted rewards for winning just wars or agitations.
Egbesu is also expressed in cultural practices. This includes a hierarchical organization of community members into an Egbesu king (chief priest), high priests (Okparans), followed by other priests and foot soldiers (Kulikuliwei). Chief priests are the only ones allowed to declare war or agitations, and only in their absence are Okparans allowed to undertake this duty.
The Egbesu force is also believed to be able to grant spiritual powers to fighters or agitators. This includes protection from enemy bullets (Gunshots).
The ancient Egbesu cult of the Ijaws declined after the successful British occupation of the Ijaw lands in the late 19th century. This minimized the prominence of Egbesu for some time and most Ijaws only knew of the deity and its philosophy through folklore and traditional war songs.
However, the Niger Delta conflict, which arose due to tensions between foreign oil corporations and minority ethnic groups in the region, has centered current Egbesu practices around the spiritual defence mechanism Egbesu can provide for the Ijaw people. Oil extraction projects conducted by the Nigerian government and foreign oil corporations often lead to conflict between the two sides as the Ijaw people struggle against state suppression and socioeconomic marginalization.
TO BE CONTINUED……..
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