By Ogar Monday
The annual Tinkoriko dance procession is aimed at uniting youth groups and bringing to them, a sense of their cultural heritage says the organizer, Hon. Orok Duke.
“Today everyone will drop their differences and they will all become one as they play Tinkoriko,” Orok told CrossRiverWatch at this year’s edition which according to him brings youths from diverse backgrounds, creed and gangs together as one.
He continued: “There is no way you will play Tinkoriko with someone today; you danced with him, held the drum for him or he held it for you, and share in the joy of what is being celebrated here and still go home and want to harm him or her.”
Orok, who is also the chairman of the Cross River State Sports Commission sued for sponsorship for the event which is in its 27th year to allow for more participation.
“The event started in Calabar South but now we have youths from Calabar Municipal, Akpabuyo and Odukpani participating, this is to show you how big an event this is, all we need (for it) to become bigger is sponsorship of tee shirts, we need more tee-shirts to accommodate the crowd that turns up.”
He dismissed insinuations that the event has political undertones, arguing that it began before the advent of the current political parties and has members from many political parties in attendance annually.
Also, the Special Adviser to Governor Ben Ayade on Inter Party Affairs, Mr. Austin Ibok who participated, averred that the event was used to educate the youths on their roles as citizens and on issues like the “Not too Young to run Bill.”
The procession which kicked ofg at Efut Street in Egerton Calabar South went through Hawkins, Chamley, Mary Slessor roundabout, Barracks Road, 11-11 roundabout, Calabar road, Watt roundabout and ended at Egerton where it commenced.