ByIduozee Paul, Benin
Wife of the Edo State deputy governor, Mrs. Maryian Shuaibu and the chairman of Ikpoba Okha Local Government Area, Hon. Eric Osayande has urged secondary school students in the state to preserve the Bini rich cultural heritage to enable them promote the affluent traditions from generation to generation.
The duo made the call at the second edition of Oba Ewuare Cultural Competition for Secondary Schools held in Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Council in Benin city.
They said culture is our way of living and life.
According to the deputy governor’s wife, “It is a good thing to celebrate
our culture, and good to celebrate it well. We must try to educate and teach our children and students about our culture’’.
She explained that culture is a norm that we must all embrace and admonished the students to go back home to tell people what Bini culture is about.
The number two woman in Edo State prayed to God to preserve Bini great culture and commended the Ikpoba-Okha LG boss for hosting the competition and setting the pace for other local government chairmen to follow.
In his address, the Ikpoba-Okha Local Government chairman, Hon. Eric Osayande said the essence of the programme was to showcase the rich Bini cultural heritage and make the students know more about it. He thanked everybody that graced the occasion and promised to continue to sustain the competition.
In a goodwill message, the branch head, Zenith Bank, Benin,Mr. Daniel Ozegbe,promised to partner with the LG chairman to preserve and sustain Bini great culture and descried culture as the normal way of life of a people.
He added that customs, beliefs and values can be re-introduced into the primary and secondary schools to help reduce those societal problems being faced currently.
local organizing committee, Hon Diamond Ogieriakhi, said the aim of the programme is to instill the Bini cultural consciousness in the students and to develop and sustain cultural awareness among them in the three areas of learning as well as, nurture their talents.
“For centuries, our fore-fathers were carted into slavery, and their great culture was demonized as evil and fetish.For years, Euro-Jewish propaganda sought to eliminate and bury our divine and spiritual essence. This unfortunately led to the acquisition of a negative hybrid value system by some of our youths, resulting to negative behavior dispositions, social menace like cultism,kidnapping, armed robbery,and other vices, which ultimately undermine our noble values; like respect for elders, industry, hard work and acquisition of appropriate skills needed for abetter society”, he stated.
“The objective of the first edition was to resuscitate our culture with the solemn ceremony of dancing,singing, and dramatization of our tradition, as initiated by Dr. Osayande Iyabo Eric,’’ headed.
Commissioner for Arts, Culture and Diaspora,Hon. Osewengie Ero and the commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Magdalene Ohehen,commended the event which they said will go a long way in promoting and preserving Bini culture. They thanked the host lkpoba-Okhabossfor the continuity of the completion, and allthat attended the occasion.
At the end of the competition,in which 23 schools competed, St.Maria Gorreti College emerged first, with 85 per cent , the second position went to Ogunbor Group of Schools with 75 per cent while Oman Christian Academy clichéd the 3rd position with 74 per cent.
Expressing gratitude to God for taking the second position, Iyare Favour, from Ogunbor Group of Schools,said she was happy to have been given the privilege to promote Bini rich cultural heritage and thanked God for the success story.
The event was also graced by various Enogies representing the traditional leadership in lkpoba-Okha Local Government Area led by Chief Eduwu Ekhator, the Obasogie of Benin Kingdom. Some local government chairmen also graced the colorful occasion.