Recently, members of the Akwa-Cross, an association made up of both Akwa-Ibom and Cross River States indigenes in Lagos State, rolled out drums to show case their rich cultural heritage.
Indeed, it was a colourful event where drumbeats rent the air, with cultural display and various gastronomic delights prepared for the taste buds of the participants. The President-General of the association, worldwide, Etubom (Dr) Samson U. Samson, said that the marginalisation of Akwa-Cross people brought about the birth of the association in Nigeria, founded on August 16, 1991 by concerned sons and daughters of the two states.
“The association has grown in leaps and bounds with chapter all over the world, and today we celebrate our culture, our pride, and showcase our different tradition and delicacies. However, arts and culture are the roots of our life and existence. And we cannot over emphasise the importance of this event, therefore encapsulates that common belief in our survival and shared existence”, Samson said.
Speaking further, he said the people of Akwa-Cross unanimously endorsed the candidature of Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, the All Progressive Congress governorship aspirant in Lagos state.
“Our people have confidence in him for his humility and courage, and he speaks our language and understands the people very well. I tell you, whatever we are doing today, the government of Akwa-Ibom and Cross Rivers states are aware and they approved of it through the ministry of local government and chieftaincy affairs”, Samson added.
Speaking on why the association endorsed the candidature of Sanwo-Olu, Dr. Samson noted that the aspirant looked for the association and became the first governorship candidate in the history of the association to visit his palace to seek for support. It is worthy of note that the hopeful governor of Lagos state has worked at the Aluminum Smelta Company of Nigeria (ASCON), Ikot Ekpene in Akwa Ibom State some years back and so he invariably, understands the Akwa-Cross people very well. In his remarks, Sanwo-Olu expressed deep appreciation to the people of Akwa-Cross, noting that culture is one thing that must be reckoned with irrespective of one’s background, stressing that his government will not forget the people of Akwa-Cross in Lagos State if elected as governor. Highlight of the fiesta, which took place at the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos, was the conferment of a title to Mr. Sanwo-Olu, as “Utuenikang of Akwa-Cross, meaning, Shining light” and awards to distinguished sons of Akwa-Cross indigenes, amongst them are the convener, Impact Mission Initiative, Comrade Victor Cletus Mfon; CEO, CMC gladiators, Amb. Cornelius Udofia, among others.