By Emmanuel Ayungbe
UYO- WHAT witch doctors in Akwa Ibom State labelled abomination occurred December 13, last year, when a fast moving vehicle rammed into Ekpo masquerades, along Nwaniba Road, Use-Offot axis, Uyo, the state capital, killing one of them on the spot.
The killer-driver on high speed tried to avoid another vehicle when he suddenly bumped into the masquerades. He sped off after the episode knowing what would befall him.
How I escaped death- Resident
A resident of the area, Ukpe Eno, said he narrowly escaped being hit by the vehicle if not for his swift flight to safety on noticing the uncontrollable movement.
He said it was unfortunate that the masquerade was taken by surprise as he could not make such a lift owing to the mask on his face.
The remains of the masquerade, whose identity was yet to be ascertained, was found lying on Nwaniba Road, Uyo, while other masquerades, bystanders, tenders and followers gathered in shock and disbelief.
Masquerades play undertaker
On the 13th of this month, all the members of Ekpo Society gathered to perform the burial rituals and offered prayers to the gods. Ekpo masquerades played the role of the undertaker at the ceremony.
In Akwa Ibom, Ekpo masquerades are regarded as representatives of the gods of the land by African Traditional Religion, ATR, practitioners. Nobody, no matter how highly placed, would have the temerity to unmask an Ekpo masquerade.
A member of the Ekpo Secret Society, who simply identified himself as Amanson, told NDV:
“I am a native of Nwaniba village, nobody dares touch or harm Ekpo masquerade and go free. Ekpo masquerade is a spirit from the spirit world. Nobody can fight for the spirit; the spirit will fight for the spirit.
“The Ekpo has gone to join the ancestral spirits. The gods are not happy and calamity will never depart from the footsteps of the killer driver,” he asserted.