The Amanyanabo of Abonnema, His Majesty, King Barr. Disrael Gbobo Bob-Manuel, Ekineye Gbobo II, Owukori IX, Chairman, Akuku-Toru Council of Traditional Rulers and Chiefs, Amanyanabo of Abonnema, on Friday, 4th October, 2019, unveiled the logo for the forthcoming Kalabari Praise Festival taking place in Abonnema, headquarters of Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State, on November 30, 2019.
Tagged Kalabari Praise Festival: The AKULGA Experience, the event, which has ‘Gele-Tein Tamuno’ (Most High God) as its theme, is geared towards attracting the glory of God upon Akuku-Toru Land in particular and the Kalabari Kingdom in general.
Unveiling the logo in his palace in Abonnema, King Disrael Gbobo Bob-Manuel said he is always interested in anything that has to do with Christianity, noting that his interest originates from his predecessors such as His Royal Highness Walter Bob-Manuel and other paramount rulers.
Going down memory lane, King Disrael Bob-Manuel recalled that in January 1916, the elders of Abonnema decided that they and their people would no longer practice idolatry and went ahead to burn all the shrines in the town and its surroundings.
He said: “Abonnema is probably the only Kalabari Town I know for now where there is no juju shrine. You may find it outside where people still go from time to time but inside Abonnema you won’t find one.
“We have altogether about a hundred and ten churches in Abonnema. And in 1916 when my predecessors decided that they won’t do this anymore, they went very far and gathered all our native shrines and burnt them. The main shrine that came with our fathers from Elem-Ama was located where you have that big church now. So, they burnt it down, cut the big tree that was there, drove away all the native doctors and built the Nyemoni Church.”
The Abonnema Monarch said supporting the Kalabari Praise Festival: The AKULGA Experience, as a Christian activity, is in tandem with the wishes of his predecessors.
“It is not new; it is not what I originated. That is what they wanted. So, I’m following suit and ensuring that their decisions are upheld. I will not stay here and tolerate any other way of life apart from Christianity,” he said.
King Bob-Manuel, who said he has established two musical groups –the AKULGA Royal Praise Bands – purely for praising God in native Kalabari language, thanked Kalabari Times Magazine for initiating the Kalabari Praise Festival which he said is a blessing to Kalabari Land.
Earlier, the Publisher/Editor-In-Chief of Kalabari Times Magazine, Pastor Selema Wokoma, told the Abonnema King that he and his team came to get his royal blessing and also have him unveil the logo for the program which he said will be used as a platform to draw down the glory of the Highest God upon Akuku-Toru Land to further deepen the peace that is now reigning in the area and by extension the Kalabari Kingdom.
“Your Majesty, you have been a father to Kalabari Times. We are here today to seek your royal blessings and the unveiling of the logo for the Kalabari Praise Festival initiative of Kalabari Times with the theme: Gele- Tein Tamuno.
“We believe that with the efforts you and your council of chiefs have made for peace to reign in Akuku-Toru, it is time for corporate citizens to build on the success for greater development of human and material resources, not only in Akuku-Toru Land but in the entire Kalabari Kingdom,” Pastor Selema Wokoma said.
He disclosed that the Kalabari Praise Festival will be rotated among Kalabari cities and towns annually.