Saturday, 3 February 2018

TINKORIKO : Orok Duke bears his mind on his version of communalism. Feel his pulse


Efio-Ita Nyok|3 February 2018


There's no way you meet somebody here and you go home to go and kill his parent, his brother or himself. So we pray that we can make this jell the community instead of keeping us apart exposing us to exploit by the various politicians. So as much as possible we try to bring in as many youth as possible both boys and girls to come together... Yes! When you meet your friend here, they belong to different groups, whether cultic groups or otherwise, when you come to play at Tinkoriko, you drop your sword, and play together.

At the beginning of the year, Otuekong Orok Duke, a community leader in the southern axis of Calabar hosted a rally aimed at harmonising designated youth interests group in a grand mix tagged TINKORIKO. Duke narrated the history of Tinkoriko —how it predated some political administrations of Cross River State— he also delineated the apolitical character of the group further observing that it's a platform aimed at dousing rivalry and increasing peace. He said this while addressing pressmen during the course of the all day event. Excerpt : 


Can you give us a rundown of what we are doing here today, sir

Whatever we are doing here have no bearing with our official position right now. It is a tradition we have cultivated over 24 years now. On the first of every January, it is something we have created to bring as many youths and different variety of groups together for a common cause. Because my own idea of communalism is that as far as you stay together you have something that you share together, we participate in together; there will be that camaraderie which will to an extent either totally exacerbates or drastically reduce friction, violence, quarrel, and other vices within our community.


This is an experiment that has worked but as individuals, few of us came together, it's incumbent on the government to really consolidate on what we have and I can assure you that if government participates in this exercise, we will manage to drastically reduce the violence we have in Calabar South.


When it started, it was just Calabar South now we have groups in Akpabuyo, Municipality and Odukpani. So on the first of January we all come together and play, we know ourselves, there is no where you see yourself because there's something you share, and then you go back to perpetrate violence against one another. So we want to consolidate on that, hoping that along the way we have sponsors, 

All we want is just T-shirts, we have jeans, canvass, you see we have interwoven it with sport. Just exercise and celebrate and go away, hoping that the memory and the relationship will keep us away from hurting one another.

There's no way you meet somebody here and you go home to go and kill his parent, his brother or himself. So we pray that we can make this jell the community instead of keeping us apart exposing us to exploit by the various politicians. So as much as possible we try to bring in as many youth as possible both boys and girls to come together.

 

You see the former chairman of Calabar South here and this is the SA to the governor. So we try to bring in as many people as possible so we can engender the cordial relationship that had existed before in the community. 


Is there a political undertone in Tinkoriko? 

It's been there : Ekeng is in APC, am in PDP, so where is the political undertone there? All of us are dancing together, this is how it should be.

 

We've seen Ayade's inscriptions all over:  

You've seen Prof. Eyo Etim Nyong —APC, we don't care where you belong as far as we walk together, let whatever you eat not affect the other person that is where you should draw the line. To the extent that whatever you participate in, whatever you are interested in, does not affect the right of the other person, we tolerate and accommodate you.

 

But there's gossip that it's Ayade who is sponsoring this? 

Ayade wasn't here as far back as 1994 I was SA Information and Culture. Tinkoriko was playing, Ayade wasn't even in Nigeria maybe. So we have been there since then, you will see this is 2018 we played 2017. If it is Ayade how come people from Eyo Etim Nyong that is challenging him, people are wearing his T-shirts here? Last year it was Sen. Otu. So, that can't hold water because we have risen above political affiliation.

 

So sir this is culture and as it stands now, we have just finished the carnival both national and international carnival and this one is just confined to a particular group of people... 

(cuts in) No! let me actually tell you, we were here long before, when Donald Duke came and saw us, he distilled the carnival from Tinkoriko, I sponsored the bill, off course see my name is there —you see Hon. Orok Duke in the House of Assembly. 

I fine-tuned everything about Carnival Commission bill, my name is there, we distilled the carnival from Tinkoriko and long after carnival, we will still be existing, we don't need money. Youths just come together, we play and then we go home, nobody gives anybody any money, we have 10,000 T-shirts you will see 10,000 youths. We are like insisting on white T-shirts, how many of them can afford white T-shirts?  They can afford jeans, it was supposed to be black pair of jeans but we have tolerated blue, but we don't have t-shirts, you see some of them just have plain T-shirts and we stamp Tinkoriko, we accepted. 

MTN promised to give us 1000 T-shirts, that is why so many of them came but they disappointed us, then Hero disappointed us.


Apart from the youths coming to participate, is there any message they are taking back home?

 

Yes! When you meet your friend here, they belong to different groups, whether cultic groups or otherwise, when you come to play at Tinkoriko, you drop your sword, and  play together. 

 

What is the Magic?  C' dong ce lontua it is in the stars. It's not something you reveal to everybody.


Come 2019 do you have any political ambition? No I don't, that's the beauty.


Can we quote you on that? Yes, quote me anywhere, I'm not contesting, I won't, but that doesn't mean I will not support anybody.


Over the years, what has been your peculiar achievement?

I was Deputy Speaker twice, when I was Deputy Speaker in 1992, and in 1999, I went to House of Assembly four terms representing Calabar. I have always played Tinkoriko as Deputy Speaker,  last year you know off course the present Deputy Speaker played Tinkoriko, so many people played Tinkoriko, last year Sen. Otu use to played Tinkoriko, Gershom used to play,  Essien Ayi use to play. You see what we have always insisted on is that nobody can will or manipulate Nkoriko to go one direction, we  are still at liberty to support  whoever we want to support, but you will never find a situation where Tinkoriko is supporting A or B. we will not limit ourselves to that.




Efio-Ita Nyok
Is a Blogger, the Editor-in-Chief & Publisher of NegroidHaven 



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