His Royal Majesty, Edidem (Obong) Cosmas Akpan, the Paramount Ruler of Essien Udim has been recognized for celebration as the oldest and longest serving Paramount Ruler in both Akwa Ibom and Cross River States.
The recognition of the monarch is in line with the 33 anniversary celebration of the creation of Akwa Ibom State.
A visit to the Paramount Ruler’s Palace in Uruk Obong 11, Ekpenyong Atai in Essien Udim LGA by the Akwa Ibom Celebrates team, it was revealed that the royal father, Obong Cosmas Akpan was among the 10 front-liners who signed the treaty for the creation of Akwa Ibom State, an act deserving of commendation and applause.
According to records, Obong Cosmas Akpan, was a Grade 11 Handwork Teacher before he was nominated by his people to serve them as traditional ruler and the custodian of the people’s culture
The teacher turned monarch had led his pupils then at St. Anthony Catholic Primary School, Ekpenyong Atai to perform at the 1977 all black Festival of Arts and Culture, FESTAC, with their popular, “Ododuok Ekpo”, won laurel for the State.
With his high sense of responsibility, the young and hard-work teacher was sought after to take over the leadership of his clan after the death of his father about that time, which made him resign voluntarily from the teaching service and was officially recognized as a Paramount Ruler in 1979, a position he is holding till date.
The records also show that in May 1988, he was appointed the Chairman, Akwa Ibom State Council of Chiefs and was instrumental to the resolution of long boundary dispute between Ukanafun and Etim Ekpo as the then government had appointed him as the Chairman of the Ukanafun/Etim Ekpo Boundary Dispute Resolution Committee.
In 1983, Obong Cosmas Akpan who was the youngest Paramount Ruler then in Cross River State, was sent to receive the then Military President of Nigeria, General Muhammadu Buhari, who was on working tour of the old Cross River State with Essien Udim then Essien Annang as an integral part.
The Royal father who is over 95 years of age is a staunch Catholic faithful and holds several titles and Awards including the “Longest and Oldest Paramount Ruler in Akwa Ibom/Cross River State” by the Catholic Province of Calabar and a Fellow of the Institute of Administrative Management of Nigeria.
As Akwa Ibom celebrates His Royal Highness, Obong Cosmas Akpan based on his invaluable contributions to the development of the state, the Royal father in turn has prayed God to continue to bless the people of the State, the Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel and wished all a successful celebration of 33 years anniversary of state creation.