* Speaker Luke addressing Edidem Akpan, yesterday
By Itoro BASSEY
Speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Mr Onofiok Luke, Monday, praised the Paramount Ruler of Essien Udim local government area, Edidem Cosmas Akpan, for his unassailable character, visionary leadership and selfless service to Akwa Ibom State and humanity.
Specifically, Mr Luke eulogized Edidem Akpan for utilizing his energy, intellect, courage and tenacity of purpose as one of those who motivated members of the traditional rulers council during the struggle for the creation of Akwa Ibom State.
The Speaker poured the encomiums on Edidem Akpan when he paid a courtesy visit to the monarch who, Propeller Newspapers gathered, is the only surviving traditional ruler among the ten paramount rulers that signed the resolution for the creation of Akwa Ibom in the 1980s.
In his message of congratulation to Edidem Akpan on the 31st anniversary of the state, Mr Luke commended the monarch for his perfect understanding of his surroundings, disposition to the wishes of his people, his dedicated service, wise counsel and guidance.
He said, “I want to use this opportunity to thank you. By extension, I like to thank all of those, and their families living, who worked and advocated in one way or the other for the creation of Akwa Ibom State.
“I’ve have heard that there are persons who went to meet His Excellency (former military leader) Ibrahim Babangida at the time of the struggle for the creation of our state, but based on the available document that I’ve seen; I want to thank everyone who spoke to the then Head of State, and those who went to Niger and Kaduna States to push the struggle.
“I am using you as a point of contact to thank all of you on behalf of this generation of Akwa Ibom people led by His Excellency, Governor Udom Emmanuel who happens to be an in-law of the then President of Traditional Ruler’s Conference, Obong Sampson Udoidiong.
“If we had never come to say thank you, I have come today as the mouthpiece of the state legislature. As the Speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, I stand here on behalf of Governor Udom Emmanuel to say thanks to you and all those families who worked, agitated, suffered for the creation of Akwa Ibom State.
“We had Obong Sampson Udo Idiong, then President of Traditional Rulers Conference and Paramount Ruler, Ukanafun LGA; Obong Simon Tom Akpan- Nsubong11, Vice President, Traditional Rulers’ Conference & Paramount Ruler of Etinan who later became paramount ruler of Nsit Ubium, my local government; Obong Thompson Udo Uyoata, Treasurer, Traditional Rulers’ Conference and Paramount Ruler, Eket LGA; Obong Ekpe Obong Atakpa, member in Traditional Rulers’ Conference and Paramount Ruler, Itu LGA; Obong E.U.A Arthur (Pastor) J.P, member, Traditional Rulers’ Conference and Paramount Ruler, Abak LGA; Obong C. O. Akpan, Member, Traditional Ruler’s Conference and Paramount Ruler of Ikot Ekpene LGA; Obong Jacob Akpan, Member Traditional Ruler’s Conference and Paramount Ruler Ikono LGA; Obong Aman Umoessien, Member Traditional Ruler’s Conference and Paramount Ruler Ikot Abasi LGA; Obong Okon E. Isong, Member Traditional Ruler’s Conference and Paramount Ruler Oron LGA; Obong Ekpenyong Udoekong, Member Traditional Ruler’s Conference and Paramount Ruler Uyo LGA.
“And then we had your humble self as the then Paramount Ruler of Ikot Ekpene, Obong Cosmas O Akpan, who by the grace of God, is the only surviving of the ten persons who signed that resolution.
“This shows the seed of unity that you all sowed in the state by not looking at where you came from, but making the unity and progress of Akwa Ibom paramount. This also goes to show the force that the traditional institution commanded then, which we wish they should continue to command same force in the present times”.
While hinting that surviving monarchs who worked during the struggle for the creation of Akwa Ibom State are to be honoured by Governor Udom Emmanuel, in continuation of the celebration of the 31st anniversary of the creation of the state, the Speaker said:
“We want this present generation to learn those lessons of unity, and those lessons of togetherness. And we thank God that in the state today, God has given us a governor in the person of Deacon Udom Gabriel Emmanuel who is working towards that Unity, and who is looking at building the state as a common front, not looking at where people come from, or looking at the things that divide us, but looking at those things that build, those things that leed to the unity and prosperity of the state.
“I wish that everyone who has opportunity to head this state from one position or the other, would reflect on the concluding part of the resolution that we are doing this to leave behind a legacy for our children that will ensure and enhance development, national stability, easy maintenance of law and order. Those are the very strong ideologies that were fabricated by those who signed that resolution”.
The Speaker, who is in the race for the Etinan Federal Constituency seat in the 2019 National Assembly election, also received the blessing of Edidem Akpan.
See other photos of the occasion: