July 24, 2023

Kalabari Kingdom unveils 21-day burial schedule for late Amanyanabo

Kalabari Kingdom unveils 21-day burial schedule for late Amanyanabo

By Omeiza Ajayi, Abuja

The Kalabari Kingdom of Rivers state has fixed November 29 & 30 as the official date for the commencement of activities for the burial of the longest reigning monarch in the State, His Serene Majesty, King Prof. T.J.T Princewill, Amachree the XI and Amanyanabo of the Kalabari Kingdom.

Son of the late monarch, Prince Tonye T.J.T Princewill, confirmed this in a statement issued Monday in Abuja.

Princewill also disclosed that the date which signals the commencement of 21 days of ceremonies was agreed upon following consultations with various levels of Chiefs in the royal family, as well as titled Chiefs in Buguma and Kalabari land.

According to him, other stakeholders like Amanyanabo of Abonemma, King Disrael Bob Manuel, King Alfred Diete Spiff, the Amanyanabo of Twon Brass, other Kalabari leaders and key non Kalabari stakeholders were consulted in arriving at the date.

He said a formal burial committee will now be inaugurated to commence work towards ensuring a befitting burial for the Amanyanabo.

“Members of the committee are expected to cut across the length and breadth of the Kalabari Kingdom, other Kingdoms in Rivers state, Ijaw nation as a whole, the wider pan Niger Delta region and other regions in Nigeria. The King was of course a pan Nigerian who spent several of his years in Northern Nigeria”, he stated.

Prof. Princewill was born into the royal family of King and Queen Jacob Tom Princewill, Amachree the VII on 4th January, 1930 in Buguma City.

He attained his professorship in 1984 at the University of Port Harcourt where he was the first Head of Department of Microbiology, the first Professor of Microbiology and the first black Professor to be Dean, Faculty of Sciences, Rivers State University of Science and Technology.

He was installed King Amachree XI on 23rd March, 2002, thus making him the first Professor to become King of the Kalabari Kingdom and by extension Rivers State.

Prof. Princewill was appointed Chairman, Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers on the 1st of January, 2010 by His Excellency Rt Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, thus becoming the first Professor King to be Chairman, Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers as well as the first King of Kalabari extraction to be Chairman, Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers.

In 2011, he was honoured with the National Award of Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by the Administration of Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, former President and Commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.