BY: VITALIS UGOH,Calabar
The Paramount Ruler and Clan Head of Edem Odo Clan in Akpabuyo local government area of CrDoss River State, His Royal Majesty, Etinyin Maurice E. E.Nya, has called on the state government to come and renovate the “Slave Trade Beach and Market” into a tourist site.
It would be that the beach was established by the white man in the 17th centuries, according to our investigation.
The call was made by the paramount ruler and Clan Head of Edem Odo clan, His Royal Majesty, Etinyin Maurice E. E. Nya, in an exclusive interview with our Reporter recently.
The beach and market are situated both in Akwa Esuk Iyamba village in Akpabuyo local government area of Cross River State.
Etinyin Nya said that beach was the largest route for the white men who came from England and Germany during the slave trade era.
“This beach in Akwa Esuk Iyamba river should be developed into a tourist site to be tell our children of what happened to our great grand fathers who were sold out to the white man’s country.
“By so doing, the history of Slave trade in this community will not completely wiped out given the role it played. There are evidence to show that the white men especially the Germans lived in Akwa Esuk Iyamba Village “.
From stories our great grand forefathers told us, we have today as “the bell” is always rung whenever the ship for slave trade arrives the beach, informing slave trade merchants to move their slaves down the beach.
Also we have in this community, a “big bowel” only God knows for what purpose it was meant for with us. It took over 30 young men to move it out from the beach to the Paramount Rulers residence.
He said that the “Uruwa Esumba” or trade by barter market still holds from 5am to 7am every Saturday as people from riverians areas will come with their goods to sale. It was called Ebon Christian. The Germans were all living along the beach too”.
Narrating the story further, High Chief Duke, said “Akwa Esuk Iyamba is one of the major beaches in Nigeria. The beach had existed since 17th century. That is the only root and road for slave trade market in those days. The White man had a wharf where their slave trade ships berth. There was also a bridge down the beach, he said.
The bridge collapsed because we are minority. They neglected us and we had nobody to speak for us. Up till today, the trade by barter market is still existing