Okochiri Kingdom in Okrika Local Government Area reverberated with jubilation as it marked the 6th Coronation Anniversary of the revered Amanyanabo of Okochiri Kingdom, King Tom Michael Ateke on Saturday, November 25, 2023. Indeed, it was a grand celebration that resonated with cultural splendor and historical significance,
The event, a beacon of tradition and unity, saw the convergence of dignitaries from far and wide, each lending their voices to the chorus of commendation for the revered monarch.
Among those dignitaries and distinguished royal fathers that graced the occasion was the Eze Okwu Onu-Ka-Oha 1 of Idu Ogba Kingdom, Eze (Amb) Uche Anayo Umejuru.
Speaking on the sidelines, Umejuru showered words of encouragement and blessing to the celebrant. He emphasized the profound importance of preserving cultural legacies and fostering unity among diverse communities.
“On behalf of my Kingdom, I pray that King Ateke Tom should continue to reign. God should give him long life, expand his kingdom, and for him to be announced, so that other kings, including me, that have observed what is happening here will emulate his leadership. God should bless him abundantly.
“May the spirits of our ancestors continue to guide and bless him in his noble stewardship of Okochiri Kingdom. May his reign be a beacon of prosperity, peace, and unity, drawing strength from the wisdom passed down through generations. Grant him the fortitude to lead with wisdom and compassion, nurturing the cultural heritage that binds us all”, prayed king Umejuru, his words carrying the weight of centuries-old traditions.
He went on: “While we celebrate the reign of the Amanyanabo of Okochiri, we mustn’t forget the interconnectedness of our kingdoms and the shared heritage that binds us together. Our presence here today signifies our commitment to fostering unity amongst our diverse communities.
The chorus of accolades continued as former Chairman of the Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers, Treaty King and Natural Ruler of Opobo Kingdom, King Dandison Jaja, attested, “King Ateke Tom is a man of peace. He accepted peace, so that Nigeria will move forward. For that, he has brought not only visibility to Okochiri Kingdom, he has brought monumental development to this kingdom.”
In a similar vein, the King of Ogu-Bolo Kingdom, HRH, Achseimeim Frank, drew parallels between King Ateke Tom and the biblical King David.
“King Ateke Tom has been the King David of the Bible. King David had a very humble beginning but at the end of the day, he became the man that was after the heart of God. And that is the way I see King Ateke Tom,” shared the monarch, underlining the transformative journey and noble qualities of the celebrant.
The event also witnessed former Nigeria’s Aviation Minister, Chief Abiye Sekibo, who acknowledged the exemplary leadership set by King Ateke Tom.
“I want to join our people to thank you sincerely for the leadership to our various kingdoms. Yours is the leadership and examples that young people should copy. I thank you, your majesty,” expressed Chief Sekibo, echoing the sentiments of gratitude and admiration for the monarch’s guidance.
Elder George Olungwe, President of the Elite Cultural Club of Okrika, showered King Ateke Tom with glowing praise, highlighting his benevolent nature and visionary leadership.
“Our king is a wonderful person. It is by God’s grace that he is on the throne. He has been very fantastic, doing what will bring progress, peace, unity, and love amongst the people. He is a large-hearted man, always wanting to assist and help other people. The community is blessed by his leadership,” he emphasized while encapsulating the sentiments of the community.
Amidst these heartfelt words and expressions of gratitude, the event dazzled with rich cultural displays and mesmerizing masquerade dances that showcased the vibrant and diverse cultures of the Okrika people.
Top dignitaries, including politicians and traditional rulers, graced the occasion, adding an aura of prestige and significance to the commemoration of King Ateke Tom’s remarkable 6th Coronation Anniversary.