Makurdi — It was a day of pomp and pageantry for the people of Adikpo community in Kwande Local Government Area of Benue State as they converged at the ACC playground in the area to celebrate their own newly installed king.
Aikpo-London as popularly referred to by its indigenes was agog with diverse traditional dance reminiscent of the days of their forefathers when tradition played a prominent role among the Tiv speaking people.
It was obvious from the local peoples display to various dance steps and songs in their native attire of 'A'nger' that, indeed without dispute Kwande remains the ancestral home of the Tiv nation.
The ceremony was the official coronation of the new Ter Kwande, HRH, Chief Hilary Ityosula Ikima after his emergence as the traditional head in charge of the Local Government following the demise of his predecessor over a year ago.
It was a beauty to behold, people of all shades and social class in the society come from far and near in their gorgeous dressing to witness the installation of a new traditional leader of the Kwande people.
Needless to say, age long differences among the Tivs' were set aside to honour one of their own in the most outstanding manner despite religious, social and educational bias.
The cultural dance groups such as the Shangev Dancers, A'nger Dancers, Ibaar and the prestigious cat dance known as Nyam Tsawm added no small excitement to the occasion as cheering crowd applauded their various dance steps.
For the new royal father who retired as a permanent secretary from the state civil service, it was yet another milestone in his journey of life as Adikpo, the headquarters of the Kwande local government council on that day turned to a 'Mecca' of some sort with both human and vehicular movement unusually busy criss-crossing the area to demonstrate their love to the installed Ter.
The Kwandes' according to history are celebrated for their bravery and strict adherence to the culture and tradition of the land which was again replicated in the quest intended for a new traditional head shortly after the former Ter Kwande, Chief James Azape passed on to the great beyond leaving his stool vacant.
Hence, the selection procedure ensued which was followed by due process to produce Chief Ikima as the Ter Kwande III who is now expected to fly the banner of his ancestor without fear or favour and doing justice to all in the land.
Chairman and Chairlady of the occasion included business mogul, the Managing Director of Pleasure Travels Motors Company Limited, Mr. Paul Ubwa and the Vice Chancellor of Benue State University (BSU), Professor (Mrs) Charity Angya.
Highlight of the ceremony was the presentation of traditional tools to the newly installed Ter Kwande by the district head of Tondov I, Tyoor Nyor Tyochivir who was acting Ter Kwande until December 29, last year following Ikima emergence.
In his acceptance speech, the new Ter, Chief Ikima thanked the Kwande people and all present for the opportunity to serve in that capacity and promised to continue to justify the confidence reposed in him.
Speaking after the traditional handing over rites, the paramount ruler of the Tiv nation, Tor Tiv, Chief Alfred Akawe Torkula who was represented at the occasion by the Ter Ushongo, Chief Ambrose Iortyer described the ceremony as the best in recent times and appealed to the people to support the newly installed traditional ruler to enable him succeed.
There were goodwill message from Senator representing Benue North West Senatorial District, Chief Barnabas Gemade who described the new Ter Kwande as a hardworking man whose antecedent exhibits the virtues of transparency, discipline and dedication to work.
Others who also spoke at the event included; the member representing Makurdi/Guma federal constituency, Barr. Emmanuel Jime, former chairman of Kwande Local government area, Chief Terlumun Akputu and the incumbent Chairman of the local government, Bem Tseen extolled the virtues of the new Ter Kwande and called on the Kwande people to support him to succeed.
Meanwhile, the occasion accorded many prominent sons and daughters of the land as well as their friends to renew their relationships again after so many years of sojourn in other climes just as food and drinks was enough for everyone to feed on.
Indeed, the celebration of the new royal father cannot be forgotten in a hurry by the people of Adikpo-London in Kwande Local Government Area of Benue State for the singular reason that dying culture and tradition was revived once more.