Ibiono Ibom @ 24: Indigenes pay tribute to founding fathers
…Seek forgiveness for Akwa Ibom and Nigeria over death of martyrs.
It was a mixture of jubilation and sober reflections as indigenes of Ibiono Ibom across all walks of life gathered to commemorate the 24th anniversary of creation of Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area.
The jubilation came against the backdrop of the happiness the people felt as Ibiono Ibom clocked the remarkable age of 24 since the creation of the Local Government area in 1996.
Chairman on the occasion and former Commissioner for Education Akwa Ibom State, Professor Antiabong Ekong while declaring the event open lauded the people for deciding to come together to commemorate the 24th anniversary of creation of the Local Government, stressing that Ibiono Ibom has come of age at 24 to do great exploits.
Paramount ruler of Ibiono Ibom Local Government Okuku Ime Inyang in his remarks at the event said he was elated about the celebration given the historical significance it holds for the people, stressing that with the collective decision of Ibiono Ibom to plead for atonement from the families of those who lost their lives during the struggle for the creation of the Local Government, a golden sun will continue to shine of the land and its people.
The Paramount Ruler of Ibiono Ibom however berated some Public Office holders from Ibiono Ibom whom he said are prime beneficiaries of the ultimate sacrifices made by the 5 “Martyrs” , yet will always stay away from events of the Local Government after getting the mandate they hold in the name of Ibiono Ibom.
Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Information and Strategy and leader of Ibiono Ibom Progressives, Comrade Ini Ememobong while addressing the gathering noted that the people of Ibiono Ibom have taken an important decision to use the 24th Anniversary of the creation of the Local Government to recognise and seek for forgiveness from families of the people whose lives were sacrificed in order for Ibiono to be created.
“Today, we are asking the families of the slain ‘martyrs’ to forgive Akwa Ibom State and Nigeria for the unwarranted death of our brothers who were killed as a result of the genuine agitation for the creation of our Local Government.” The Akwa Ibom Information commissioner stressed.
He said the Ibiono Ibom Progressives has, with immediate effect, instituted an endowment fund which will cater to the needs of the families on areas cutting across Formal education, non-formal education and empowerment.
President-General of the Ibiono Ibom Welfare and Development Union, Obong Effiong Inyang in his address noted that the people of Ibiono Ibom owe the Almighty God immense gratitude for taking them through the journey of creation of the Local Government till the significant age of 24, maintaining that at 24, there is need for the people to strengthen the bond of unity amongst them and devote efforts to the pursuit of the ideals that drove the founding fathers of the Local Government.
Leading a solemn Assembly during the event, Uyo Field Secretary of the Apostolic Church Nigeria, Apostle George Akpan noted that Ibiono Ibom people have reasons to thank God for the journey the Local Government has had since creation, prophesying that the future holds brighter prospects for the land and the people.
Prayers were offered for the family of the slain martyrs by Bishop Gabriel Nkanang who was represented Dr Emmanuel Antia.
The 24th Anniversary celebrations which will climax tomorrow will feature Anniversary Lecture among other side attractions and will have Akwa Ibom State Governor His Excellency, Mr Udom Emmanuel as special Guest of Honour.
The event was graced by eminent sons and daughters of Ibiono Ibom cutting across diverse professions and callings, including the immediate past Member Representing Ibiono Ibom at the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Rt Hon. Ime Okon, former Commissioner for Science and Technology, Dr Iniobong Essien, Vice Chairman of Ibiono Ibom Local Government, Hon. Dominic Udoatan, Chief Isreal Utit, Hon. Nicholas Andy, Pastor Joseph Udoh, Secretary of Ibiono Ibom Local Government Council, Mmandu Esoh, Professor Dominic Akpan of the Department of History and International Relations, University of Uyo, Leader of the Ibiono Ibom Legislature, as well as Secretary-General of IWADU, Prince Godwin Okon.