ADDRESS DURING 30TH ANNIVERSARY OF MMI

ADDRESS PRESENTED BY AKPARAWA (ELDER) MONDAY ETOKAKPAN, JP, FCIL, INTERNATIONAL PRESIDENT, MBOHO MKPARAWA IBIBIO DURING THE 30TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION OF MBOHO MKPARAWA IBIBIO ON SATURDAY, AUGUST 5, 2017

Protocol

On August 1, 1987, Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio was founded and on Tuesday, August 1, 2017 Mboho marked a major milestone namely a 30th Anniversary.

I welcome you all on behalf of the leaders and members of Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio to the high point of our one week of festivities marking a generation of socio-cultural activism by an organization that has grown to meet and pleasantly surpass the dreams of her founding fathers.

Please join me in giving thanks to God almighty for sparing us from such internal and external forces that have interacted to send to their early graves many other organizations of comparable status to ours. It is also a personal honour and good coincidence that God has willed through you that I came into office when I did to preside over this special jubilee celebrations. My prayers are that He continues to be faithful in giving us many more jubilees to celebrate.

Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio (MMI) a socio-cultural organization of the Ibibio Youth was established as a pressure group to work with all progressive minded persons and agents for the emancipation of the Ibibios. One of the main activities of Mboho was in promoting peace and unity through equity, justice and inclusiveness – same principles for which the legendary Ibibio Union of 1928 was founded to cater- for the entire mainland part of the then Calabar Province.

Today Mboho can look back over the past 30 years to point at her success stories in promoting and actively leading from the front in the education of our younger generation through establishment of Mboho Unity Schools which caters for Nursery, Primary and High School education; award of scholarships to deserving students at all levels up to the university; seeking and ensuring redress for known cases of injustice meted out to Akwa Ibom persons in the country; insisting on fair recognition for the achievements of Akwa Ibom indigenes such as having the bust of Chief (Dr) Clement Isong on one of Nigeria’s currency bills; leading the fight for reinstatement of the 13 percent derivation of oil revenue to oil bearing communities; leading the crusade to ensure re-appointment of an Akwa Ibom indigene to complete the residual tenure of the headship of the Niger Delta Development Commission; contributing and influencing formulation of public policies and national discourse by making our voice count at the State and national level; undertaking that epochal Unity Tour across all the Local Government Areas of Akwa Ibom State; construction of a modern international conference centre in Uyo, the State Capital; expanding to 58 chapters including strong presence in countries and cities in Europe and America; establishing Ibibio Language Learning Centre in Manchester, United Kingdom; establishing and sustaining the Obong Sampson Udo Etuk Lectures and Excellence Awards Series to honour deserving Nigerians and persons wherever they are; and many more.

This year’s special anniversary programme had in its line up the below activities:

  • The 30 Anniversary Commemorative Tree planting by Founding members and past presidents of Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio.
  • The hosting of first Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio Global Convention in Uyo.
  • The organization of the 20th Obong Sampson Udo Etuk Biennial Lecture on the topic: “Overcoming Economic Recession Through Agricultural Revolution: Templates, Action Plans and the Journey so far in Akwa Ibom State”. And conferment of Obong Sampson Udo Etuk Excellence Awards and Presidential Recognition on patriotic and deserving Nigerians.
  • Award of Scholarships under the Obong Nyong Essien Education Endowment Fund.
  • The Ibibio Language Essay Writing Competition.
  • A Novelty Football Match between Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio and Esu Nlap Oro football team.
  • Charity Visits to Orphanage Homes in the State
  • Thanksgiving Service.

These events kick-started on August 1, 2017 will be rounded off with a thanksgiving service on Sunday 6th August, 2017 at the New Birth Church Osongama, Uyo.

OUR TRIALS, OUR TRIUMPHS

Over this past three decades Mboho has had her own fair share of plateaus and troughs, her happy as well as her sad moments, but it is gratifying that the organization has been able to wither the storms and still record above listed successes in spite of ourselves.

Our trials have been numerous and so have been our triumphs. Notable among our trials have been at least three litigations by members and one or two from outsiders. In all these the most breathe-taking in terms of resource consumption was the case in the United States of America where our name, brand and everything we pride in came under serious threat of theft by a few overly ambitious persons residing in the United States. We fought as trojans in the true Ibibio spirit to ensure victory in a legal battle that my administration inherited till April 14, 2015 when we eventually received favourable judgment. This put the usurpers to shame. This was however not without expenditure of money and times on several trips by leaders and past Presidents from Nigeria and the United Kingdom to the United States to join our faithful members in court appearances. To those who under-took those long and expensive trips I owe a debt of gratitude.

CELEBRATING THE FOUNDING MEMBERS

As we mark a generation of our existence as an organization, permit me to use this opportunity to celebrate the great twelve who co-founded Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio. Through their vision and patriotism, we are today very proud to be called Ibibio man.

To Late Akparawa Anietie Ekong (bless his soul), Akparawa Ikpong Essien Udom, Akparawa Udo Sam Umoatan, Akparawa Ntiense Mboso, Akparawa Emmanuel T. Umoh, Akparawa Udo Toby Udobot, Akparawa Amah T. Amah, Akparawa Akpan Micah Umoh, Akparawa Ntieyong Inyangmme, Akparawa Itoro Umoh, Akparawa Idongesit Udokpo, Late Akparawa Ubong Nda (bless his soul) we say thank you. The seed you sowed three decades ago has today grown to bear juicy fruits and provide shade for us all.

GRAND PATRONS

We pray for the continuous repose of the souls of our Pioneer Grand Patron, Sir Egbert Udo Udoma and his successor, His Excellency, Chief (Dr) Clement Isong. Their pieces of advice, encouragement and guidance helped to nurture the Mboho from cradle to adulthood.

To our third indefatigable Grand Patron, Air Marshal (Rtd) Elder Nsikak Eduok, CFR, we thank you and appreciate you for nurturing the Mboho in the past seven years. You have demonstrated your high sense of patriotism. We pray God to continue to keep you healthy and alive for us. Once again, thank you Sir for being there for us.

THE GREAT BUILDERS

We acknowledge the contributions of the past presidents in their leadership of Mboho Mkoarawa Ibibio. Your valued leadership attributes led us to this success story today.

We appreciate our Founding President, Late Akparawa Anietie Ekong who presided over the initial take off of the great boat which has come to accommodate all of us and still sailing. You did well. May God in His infinite mercy continue to grant your soul eternal rest in Christ Jesus, Amen.

Akparawa (Sir) Valentine Attah, Ph.D: You began the process of expanding Mboho by establishing the first chapter of Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio outside Uyo in Itu Local Government Area where you preached against the politics of “etokeyen syndrome” – a gospel that was used to deny our vibrant and educated young men and women the opportunity to serve in political positions in Government. You were the apostle of equal opportunity for the youth. Despite the fact that you paid dearly for this crusade, you never looked back and today you have been vindicated as this has gained currency in the new “not too young to run” campaign in the ongoing constitution amendment process.

Akparawa Okon Imerh: The apostle of expansionism, the man who has come to be so proud of the title ‘Akparawa’ that even while serving in government he adapted this as his only title till date, even when others opted to shy away from the title using it only when it suits their selfish purpose. We are proud of you. Through divine providence, you came to the rescue of Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio when Herod of our time threatened the infant. For having the heart to face the music, in order for Mboho to survive, we say thank you.

Akparawa Udo Sam Umoatan: You are the giant and pride of Ibibio Nation. Your presidency helped in consolidating the work of your predecessors. You stood firm to protect and defend the Mboho brand in the face of early threats of extinction. We say thank you.

Akparawa (Dr) Okon J. Emah: You dreamed and worked assiduously for the manifestation of that dream. Your leadership gave Mboho the first home when you led the drive and efforts to build and commission the first Ibibio House, Sir Udo Udoma House which was later pulled down by Akwa Ibom State Government to give way for our current International Secretariat/Community Centre. Your administration undertook the revamping of the Ifim Ibom Ibibio which had been dormant after the demise of the first Oku Ibom Ibibio, His Royal Majesty Thompson Uyoata Udo Akpabio.

You undertook a unity tour of all the Local Government Areas of Akwa Ibom State and ensured that Mboho accommodated all through our Unity football competition. A man of discipline we say thank you Sir.

Akparawa Godwin Ntukudeh, Ph.D: A man of timber and caliber. A Lion that would roar and things happen. Single-handedly, you built and donated Mboho Unity Schools to us. You established the first Chapter of Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio in the diaspora and commenced the construction of the present International Secretariat complex. You set in motion the initiative of Micro Finance Banking in Mboho when you donated N1.5 million of your money for distribution as soft loans under the Mboho Investments Limited to members. We acknowledge your contributions to the growth and sustenance of the group.

Akparawa Sylvester Akpan, Ph.D: The soft spoken President. You are a great builder, a great leader, a principled follower and a symbol of humility. Your leadership stood firm against dismantling of the gains of your predecessors, rather you consolidated on their successes. Your wealth of experience in life has been brought to bear when you worked earnestly toward the expansion of Mboho in the diaspora in spite of challenges; you continued the construction of the present International Secretariat of Mboho building from where your predecessor left off. You also ensured that Mboho sailed smoothly during your time and landed safely on the solid shores. Congratulations and thank you!

Akparawa (Elder) Nse Ubeh: For deploying the formidable potential and influence of Mboho to work and to ensure that this Secretariat building was taken to an enviable height and first Phase commissioning. You also did not lack behind in ensuring the expansion of Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio both at home and in the Diaspora. You did well. Thank you Sir.

Akwa Ibom State Government Partnership

I cannot fail to put on record here the years of unflinching support and active partnership we have enjoyed from the Government of Akwa Ibom State in material, moral and social terms. In deed there is very little we could have achieved without their hand of fellowship. So to Akwa Ibom State Government, we say a big thank you.

CONCLUSION

As we begin to wind down this flagship of our triple header festivities in my last Obong Sampson Udo Etuk Lectures and Excellence Awards today I like to thank all the members of Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio for their various contributions in ensuring that the Mboho spirit is kept alive despite our misgivings. And for the good, the bad and the ugly that might have been recorded in our 30 year journey we must learn to say thank you God, for He alone knows the end from the beginning.

Dear distinguished guests and mkparawa, thank you for your patience in listening to this unavoidably lengthy address. God bless Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio, God bless Akwa Ibom State. God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

God Bless you all.