Friday, November 7, 2008

The Ayitos (Divisive Elements) Of Manyu In The USA: Part 7

Part 7: Ekpe Tempests Raise Dust In The Community.
People have argued that Ekpe does not play a major role in the community. However from the various intrigues and backstabbing; would anyone tell me how these guys can function in peace? Can anyone tell me how whatever organization we have will not have two camps? You all must have been aware of the leadership struggle by now. But let me delve deeper.
8 years ago Ekpe DC decided to have some self help projects like Njangi and also cash deposits in the bank to support the bereaved Ekpe members. It is alleged the Njangi started well but towards the end it scattered and they lost all the money.
The Bereavement Support Fund started in 2000 with the death of Victor Eware’s mother. Ekpe DC decided to support him so he can go home and bury his mother. On his return Ekpe DC went to see him the day MECA DC was condoling with him. Each Ekpe DC member took a six pack of drinks to him. Sandys then made some suggestions contrary to what was decided earlier:
1. The support to the bereaved should be given on return from burial.
2. Ekpe DC members could benefit from this support if they lost:
a. Father
b. Mother
c. Brother or sister of the same womb
Some of his suggestions turned many members away.
Sesekou Ojong Orock lost his father, mother and brother of the same womb but Sandys made no move to rally Ekpe members as the eldest member of the group. Joseph Eyong also lost his mother but nothing was done. Consequently, the Bereavement support Fund also died its natural death.
Sesekou Barachel was chosen as the assistant to Sesekou Ojong Orock in Chicago. But since he wants to topple Sesekou Ojong Orock he is ready to do anything to satisfy his supporters; even when it is against Ekpe principles such as the building of the Achuimgbe in the hall in the presence of visitors and strangers.
It is wrong when Ekpe leaders knowingly thwart Ekpe principles for rancor. It is wrong to twist Ekpe rules to suit your own whims and caprices. That is why it is wrong for members to misinform others that Sesekou by inheritance is superior to the one acquired financially. Which country is stronger: The USA which fought for independence or Canada which stayed under the Queen? Ekpe acquisition is not an easy task. Moreover, Ekpe is a power house-the person who acquires his Ekpe Lodge creates his own dynasty and is like America which fought for her own independence.
The person who inherits Ekpe by a stroke of luck is like Canada. The person who acquires his Ekpe title is distinguished by the tailed head tie which is tied around his waist. That is why it is impersonation for Besong and Ako to dress like Sesekous when they are not even members of Ekpe. They are mere wannabes and impostors. It is strange when people inherit their Sesekous while the bearers are still alive. So that is a source of problem too.
During the reconciliation meeting in Houston in July 2007 (during MECA Convention) Sesekou Sandys asked Sesekou Assam to lead the Bekundi procession. He came and started trouble until he sprained his wrist. People in the other rooms could hear him weep throughout the night due to pain from the sprain. In the morning I asked who was that baby crying in the night. They told me it was Sesekou Assam. Who knows if he would have not only sprained his hand but broken it had I not intervened to calm down the situation in the hall during the day?
During the Ekandim ceremony it was the same confusion. I had to still intervene.
In Atlanta Georgia an Ekpe incident brought disrepute to the community for at least one year. During Major Agbor's celebration, Major invited Ekpe with a bottle of Whisky in the presence of Pa Ebini at Pa ArreyMbi's house. Amgbuh was present and consumed about two glasses. On that day, Sesekou Barachel had called to give an excuse why he could not make it. Sandy's too did not show up. All these were the ground works of Amgbuh. More so, Sesekou Asam Edward who left Chicago to attend this occasion was taken hostage by Amgbuh by convincing him not to attend the ceremony although he came purposely for that. He took him from one house to the other until 7:00 P.M making sure that Sesekou Assam Edward (a winebibber) passes out before 8:00 P.m when Ekpe members were scheduled to meet at the hall. Amgbuh had all the Ekpe materials in his keeping and since he was not going to show up he thought Ekpe will be a no show on this day of another senior Ekpe member's occasion and the Chapter Chief of MECA-Ga Ntuifah MAJ. Agbor Fidelis. He also passed marching orders to Sesekou Arreymbi to disgrace Tata Asok-Akebe Mbi Ebini.
Sesekou Arreymbi who did not know where the occasion was taking place called Tata Mgbe Mbi for direction. He came there and executed the orders from Amgbuh by seizing the microphone from Tata Mgbe: Ebini Mbi. Needless to tell you that these three people: Sesekou ArreyMbi, Amgbuh and Tata Sok Akabe did not speak to each other for at least a year. It soon quickly turned to a family feud that the sisters of Tata Nsok Akabe joined him against Agbuh. Amgbuh though being a good friend to his sisters had to sever that relationship and insulted them on Manyunet; threatening to bring down the entire family.
Those who had doubted that the outcomes of Ekpe influence the activities of the community then saw with their eyes what the MECA GA meeting came to. MECA GA members in an attempt to intervene in time called for a reconciliation meeting. That meeting did not succeed.
Since the embarrassment emanated from the fact that Pa Arreymbi had seized the microphone from Ta Mgbe Ebini Mbi that he was not an Ekpe member it smelled something else. The same pa Arreymbi has been giving the microphone to Tata mgbe Mbi Ebini to screech Ekpe up to Hi Hooohh which was the last stage of ululation for the sesekous many at times in an attempt to annoy me as a non Mgbe member.
During Pa Arreymbi anniversary I was talking with Tata Mgbe Mbi Ebini when Amgbuh came and called him to ululate Ekpe. So I asked Amgbuh why he was calling him when he knows that the young man was not one of their members. He told me to mind my business and wait for him in my church. In his own words he said: “go and wait for me in your church. The day I come there you can give me orders but here you have no say”. Tata Mbge then went with him and ululated. The session of ululation was closed by Pa Arreymbi with a hi hooh at a time when he was not yet a Sesekou too.
Therefore, when I received a call at 3:00 A.m that Pa Arreymbi just caused another confusion I was wondering what went wrong that pa Arreymbi will seize the microphone from their own protégé. I asked Tata Mbge Ebini Mbi who narrated the entire story to me in first person singular voice. So the warfare continued until Tata Mgbe Ebini Mbi went home with the brother to obtain the Title. When he came back, they then made peace with Sesekou Pa Arreymbi and Amgbuh. On that night Tata Mgbe called me to inform me that they have ended their feud with Amgbuh. That is how the MECA GA meeting had its rest.
During their grudge they held the meeting hostage several times. It was like the hippopotamus against the Rhinoceros in a tussle. They will each shout their saliva over our heads in every meeting. Thank God this problem is over! Ekpe confusions always end up destroying the peace of the community. Today with Ekpe activities in abeyance MECA GA enjoys relative peace.

Until then, Ekpe plays a strange role in the lives of the Manyu people.

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