Friday, 1 January 2021

Why we suspended this Year's 'Tinkoriko' Parade - Orok Duke

Chief Orok Duke, founder of a Calabar based registered socio-cultural group named Tinkoriko group, has given further explanations to why the 2021 'Tinkoriko' annual New Year Parade was suspended. 

Speaking with newsmen, Duke citited the Novel Covid-19 pandemic second wave has the reason behind the suspension of the parade, stating that though it was painful its to the best of interest of its members and the state in general.

In his words, "consequent upon the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent circular by the state government on the need to observe COVID-19 prevention protocols, the leadership of Tinkoriko had deemed it necessary to suspend this year's parade for the overall interest of its members and the general public".

"We have been carrying out Tinkoriko parade at the end of the year, which is a platform that brings youths together to celebrate their surviving the year. But when you consider the pandemic, everything should give way. So in deference to the pandemic, we have decided not to go on the street. Incidentally, we've gone ahead to print the T-shirts… Maybe if we are strong enough we may go out on Easter Monday. But for now we are urging everybody to stand down. We won't parade on January 1st, 2021, We won't risk the lives of the youth on the street for whatever reason. We are not in competition with anybody. So we don't want them to parade.", he said.

The group which was founded in 1993, but became a corporate entity when it was officially registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission in 2018, have throughout the years created a platform for youths from diverse political, social, economic and cultural leanings to embrace and accept each other even as they celebrate the gift of a new year. Membership into the group cuts across persons from the various strata of the society which helps to propagate the gospel of zero tolerance for violence, cultism, drug abuse, kidnappings, human trafficking, other deviant behaviours and it's associated lots in the society. For this year's event which stands suspended, the message centered on, "Say no violence, cultism, militancy, kidnapping, child trafficking in alignment with the policy thrust of Government in the formation of Operation Akpakwu.

Also speaking the President of Tinkoriko, Barr. Emmanuel Eyo, said, inasmuch as we had desired to celebrate this year's event in a special way, recent events has called for a sober reflection which calls for the group's parade for the year to be suspended, which cited the second wave of the novel Covid-19 pandemic. However, he added that members should keep the spirit alive with the hope that the future is bright which would allow for a better celebration. He said that it is only those who are healthy and alive can celebrate Tinkoriko.

It should be recalled that the state's Commissioner for Health, Dr Betta Edu, had earlier released a guideline stipulating a gathering of not more than 300 persons, Tinkoriko "could have like four clusters and then still go ahead but it is much more than that. We discovered that in Abuja, 7 out of 10 COVID-19 tests were positive. In Cross River, someone at the Teaching Hospital told me that it's 9 out of 10. So why risk the youths. People find it difficult to wear masks on the street. In a situation where there is Tinkoriko, monitoring the health side would be difficult; so the best thing is to shut it down."

Still on the notion of Government interferance, Duke made available available a letter from Government dismissing the notion that the suspension was not harped on insecurity but on Covid-19 protocols. It's best to give government all the necessary support to ensure that Covid-19 prevention protocols are fully observed.

Find attached copy of the letter

The letter reads in parts, "l have the directive of this office to inform you that due to the spread of the second phase of COVlD-19 Pandemic, the State Government hereby bans every gathering of more than fifty (50) persons including cultural display such as Tinkoriko, Nnabor and other masquerade during the 2020 Christmas.

"In view of the above, you and the entire Leadership of Tinkoriko is advised to suspend any plan to display during the Christmas festivities.", the letter reads.

Chief Orok Duke ended with a strong note of warning to members of Tinkoriko not to go out on parade under any guise or risk being arrested for violating Covid-19 protocols