Beyond The Waters: Gbaramatu, Kingdom Of Hope

Sailing through the rugged waters of the Niger Delta, one would wonder if anything good can ever come out of these waters.

The riverine Niger Delta is dominated by the various Ijaw communities and Kingdoms whose prominent occupations are farming and fishing, with no visible development around them.

One would rightly wonder how they have been able to survive this long in the midst of oil pollution, disease outbreaks and extreme weather conditions.

One of such prominent Ijaw kingdom is the Gbaramatu kingdom, situated in the Warri South-West local Government Area of Delta state.

The Gbaramatu kingdom comprises of over twelve communities and is notable for her rich cultural heritage and traditions, one of which is the “Amaseikumor Festival” that is celebrated annually, which attracts thousands of tourists and prominent sons and daughters of the communities from all over the world.

The Gbaramatu Kingdom has her headquarters in Oporoza Community and is ruled by His Royal Majesty, Oboro Gbaraun II, Aketekpe Agadagba, The Pere of Gbaramatu and his Council of Chiefs.

Apart from the Amaseikumor Festival which lasts for seven days and features beautiful cultural displays, ranging from masquerade performances, cultural dance, chants and the rich costumes and attires of the Ijaw people, the “King’s Palace” is also a place to reckon with.

The King’s Palace located at the Gbaramatu headquarters, Oporoza, is one of the few ijaw edifices that would impress anyone who sets eyes on her elegance, buoyed by a centre/stadium and a guest house.

Standing in unusual grandeur, the Palace has beautiful feminine symbols and is guided by special rules, some of which are that women should cover their heads and men should remove their caps before entering the palace. The palace has well carved sculpture at its entrance that shows supremacy and is well decorated with alluring, golden touches that illuminates a sight to behold.

Dinizibemo Ogboma

The throne standing tall in glory with two majestic chairs, the beautiful chandeliers, chairs for reception, colours that matches and well air-conditioned room, gives one a wonderful and comfortable treat.

Also, the Gbaramatu kingdom apart from her ground breaking festival and Grand Palace, is also hosting the newly kicked -off Nigerian Maritime University at Okerenkoko, which would be one of the best University that the Country would boast of in some years to come. The area also has some primary and secondary schools, that are scattered over the kingdom to cater to the educational advancement of the natives.

Indeed, good things abounds beyond the waters, and the Gbaramatu kingdom is one of such, with a promise of hope in a seemingly hopeless situation.

Dinizibemo Ogboma, writes from Yenagoa, Bayelsa State

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