Some weeks ago, Channels Television reported on the point of no return in Esuk Mba Community, Akpabuyo Local Government Area of Cross River State and promised to bring another report on a practice, still in Esuk Mba, traceable to the 18th century which is still in existence.
Part two of the Esuk Mba story, takes us to the trade by Barter Market, where this form of exchange has refused to evolve irrespective of the importance attached to the Nigerian currency note in our contemporary times.
The Esuk Mba trade by barter market was a focal point in Nigeria’s dark era of slave trade which made delivery of about 30 percent of the total slaves shipped out of the country at the ‘point of no return’ through a bush track behind the market.
Many decades after the abolition of slavery, the Esuk Mba Market is still standing and plays host to traders from the neighbouring states and communities who bring in, the proceeds from their farms in exchange of what they do not have, but need at the moment.
Other products exchanged at the market are sea foods like the periwinkle popularly known as ‘Enfee- in efik language, crayfish, fish, fruits and other produce.
The market is a weekly one, it holds every Saturday from 7am and terminates at 10am for the barter section and on a day like this, you can be sure of getting value for what you are exchanging for.
Ambrose Akpanika, an elder statesman and a High Chief of the Calabar Kingdom, traced the root of this practise and its economic stability factor in the Nation’s currency.