AN ADDRESS BY THE INTERNATIONAL PRESIDENT ON THE OCCASION OF THE GRAND RECEPTION FOR THE GOVERNOR OF AKWA IBOM STATE
AN ADDRESS BY THE INTERNATIONAL PRESIDENT OF MBOHO MKPARAWA IBIBIO, AKPARAWA (ELDER) MONDAY ETOKAKPAN, JP, FCIL, ON THE OCCASION OF THE GRAND RECEPTION FOR THE GOVERNOR OF AKWA IBOM STATE HIS EXCELLENCY, GOVERNOR UDOM EMMANUEL ON SATURDAY, AUGUST 06, 2016 HELD AT MBOHO HEADQUARTERS, UDO UDOMA HOUSE, UYO, AKWA IBOM STATE
It gives me utmost pleasure to welcome you all to this epochal occasion of Grand Reception for the Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State, His Excellency Mr Udom Gabriel Emmanuel and his formal admission into Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio as a worthy Ibibio son.
Much as I have decided to make my address today a brief one permit me Your Excellency, ladies and gentlemen to remind you that as a proud off-shoot of the legendary Ibibio Union of yore, Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio was established in Calabar, Cross River State 29 years ago by 12 Ibibio visionary sons all of whom but one are still around till date. The aims and objectives of Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio is, as it was then, the promotion, preservation and protection of the Ibibio nation’s interest, culture, values and dignity at all times.
As most of us here know Ibibio in this context was a generic definition of the Mainland part of the then South Eastern State. Today the entirety of that subset is known as Akwa Ibom State which was defined by the great Ibibio Union of 1928 as comprising the people of core Ibibio, Annang and Oron. How well we have lived up to these ideals is best left for you and posterity to judge.
2.0 WHO ARE WE
Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio today has membership strength of over 20 thousand with 56 chapters spread across the world; 43 in Nigeria; 5 in Europe; 8 in USA/Canada; with one proposed in South Africa and another in Israel, Asia. The organization has established three institutions, a Nursery, a Primary and a High School. In its pipe line is the Micro-Finance Bank, about to take off any time soon. It has recorded several activities over the years, these include; series of Lectures and Awards; the Ibibio Language competition, University Scholarships to deserving Akwa Ibom persons, irrespective of their ethnic background. Mboho has conducted unity tour of the entire Akwa State; regular support of less privileged homes; networked with Akwa Ibom State Market women in Lagos for which a property has been acquired at Ojuelebga that is now begging for development and series of other Advocacy programmes in collaboration with UNICEF; Akwa Ibom State Government; and other NGOS/Investors.
In living our aims and ideals we have been very vocal and passionate in promoting and projecting the Ibibio nation’s interests especially whenever these interests come under threats. Also in doing these we stand up for justice, fairness and equity. Our 20,000+ members are in all fields of human endeavours: professions, academia, technocrats, business, sports, entertainment, ecumenical, military and politics. Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio provides and guarantees congenial atmosphere for people from different political tendencies, persuasions and parties to get together and work as one to promote our aforesaid objectives.
3.0 WHO WE ARE NOT
Much as Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio as a responsible non-governmental organization is not involved directly in partisan politics. We cannot afford to stand aloof and watch from the side line when matters of great interest are on the table. We are not in opposition to any constituted authorities, infact, we are partners in progress. We are not an appendage of any administration or political party. Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio is neither into armed struggle nor militancy. We are not a home for criminals and indeed we go to great lengths to screen our would-be members to ensure that they are men and women of integrity before admitting them into our fold.
4.0 OUR PLEDGE OF PARTNERSHIP WITH YOUR ADMINISTRATION
Your Excellency, we in Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio view your presence here today as a meeting of two partners desirous to see rapid all-round development of Akwa Ibom State and her people. As we join all well meaning Akwa Ibom people to celebrate your giants stride in your one year in office, we have accordingly resolved to work assiduously hard with you in this project to actualize your administration’s five-point agenda of Wealth creation; Economic/Political inclusion; Poverty Alleviation; Job Creation and Infrastructural Consolidation/Expansion. As I speak some credible investors with ready financing have started visiting Uyo to further discussions with your administration and engagement that Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio started with them during the Investment Summit Mboho organised in Bologna, Italy in June. We are currently carrying out validation profiling of more of such investors in Waste Disposal Management, Winery, Hatcheries, and Refineries.
We wish to assure Your Excellency that we in Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio do not only have the population but we are also blessed with deeply talented and well-developed professionals with the depth of experience and patriotism that your administration badly needs to push through your transformational agenda for the people of Akwa Abasi Ibom State now and in the remaining seven years of your administration, a pledge Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio has vowed to stoutly defend. All you need do is to always look inward first before going outside. Perhaps what you are looking for in far away Sokoto might just be right inside your sokoto outfit pocket. In Ibibio we say owo efen itukho owo edem iwuo isin. (a stranger is not permitted to rub your back down to your waist line).
Your Excellency one of the greatest things about civil democratic rule is the principle of rotation. Yes rotation of opportunities and patronage using criteria of; geography, demography or whatever.
And a time soon comes when the proverbial Talents Administrator calls his servants to account for what they did with their own talents when they had their opportunities. It is our sincere prayers in Mboho that Your Excellency will be proud to point to what and what he was able to do for his people when he had the opportunity of trading with it and doing so in trust for his people.
5.0 OBONG SAMPSON UDO ETUK THE UNSUNG HERO OF NIGERIA
Your Excellency Late Obong Sampson Udo Etuk was the pioneer president of Ibibio State Union who had done so much for today’s Akwa Ibom State through his visionary leadership. In August 1938 the singular news of the six Ibibio scholars having sailed abroad for higher education under the auspices and sponsorship of the Ibibio Union led by Obong Sampson Udo Etuk took Nigeria by storm. It was sensational. It was novel in the continent of Africa. It was topical and formed the subject of conversation throughout the country for a long time. It inspired editorial comments in many Nigerian Newspapers, which extolled the achievement of Ibibio Union coupled with exhortations directed towards other communities to emulate this rare example of benevolent leadership and organization. Taking a cue from this trail blazing example from the Ibibio leadership other tribes in Nigeria followed suit.
The points of those superlative reviews were the resourcefulness and prudence in mobilizing such amount of funds at a time of global economic depression. It was also the ingenuity and rancor-free selection of six students without dissension and disputes employing methods seen by winners and losers as fair and transparent and not the least the wisdom and vision in the choice of courses to be pursued: agriculture, law, medicine and education. The Ibibio Union under the Presidency of Obong Sampson Udo Etuk became a reference point in shrewd leadership excellence.
Please take a look at this table below.
|S.N||Student||Field of Study||District||Senatorial District Today|
|1||Bassey U. A. Attah||Agriculture||Uyo||UYO|
|2||Obot E. Antia Obong||Medicine||Itu|
|3||Ibanga U. Akpabio||Education||Ikot Ekpene||IKOT EKPENE|
|4||Asuquo U. Idiong||Medicine||Abak|
|5||Egbert Udo Udoma||Law||Ikot Abasi||EKET|
|6||James L. Nsima||Education||Eket|
1938 Ibibio Union Scholarship Beneficiaries (JUSTICE AT ITS BEST)
And then for the best, Obong Sampson Udo Etuk stoutly turned down all entreaties to have him included among the beneficiaries even though he was eminently qualified and rightly entitled to do so. His reason was that it would be self-serving to labour like he did to start a scholarship programme only to stand as one of the beneficiaries. To him it was nobler to serve others than one-self.
I have had to take you through this lengthy route to refresh our history of the Ibibio Union and its epochal leadership so as to lay the foundation of my call today. The call is that Obong Sampson Udo Etuk has remained an unsung hero for too long now and it is high time Akwa Ibom people set out to redress this injustice of none celebration of our heroes.
We are calling for justice to immortalize this father of Nigeria’s socio-cultural organization. We call for justice in naming important State or National monuments, Avenues and institutions after this pioneer of self-help and self-development.
We hereby make an appeal to Your Excellency, to work with the State Legislature to name an edifice and or a centre of importance after this icon of self-less service. Many of the products and bye-products of this visionary leadership have themselves become household names in socio-economic and political development of modern Nigeria. In doing this we would be celebrating Leadership, Patriotism, Vision, Entrepreneurship, Self-less service, Equity, Excellence, Resilience.
This is the true spirit of the D’AKK’ADA philosophy, itself a doctrine of impulsive renaissance and compulsive revival. Indeed it is always upon reflections on our once glorious past that we recall the exploits of the great Ibibio Seven; of General Wellington Bassey; of Prof. Eyo Ita; of General Philip Efiong; of Dr Clement Isong; of Dominic Cardinal Ekanem; of IGP Etim Inyang; of Atuekong Don Etiebet and many others in their cast that we in Mboho have come to align and totally imbibe the D’AKK’ADA mantra that indeed, Akwa Ibom was created to be great and that we must awaken and rise again to the faith of greatness.
6.0 OUR CHALLENGES
- MBOHO UNITY SCHOOLS
The Mboho Unity Schools (MUS) remain the centre-piece of our development agenda. As an off-shoot of the iconic Ibibio Union MMI understands that education is the surest way to empower, emancipate and equip a people to attain self-actualization.. the following needs to be addressed:
- Perimeter Fencing for security of lives and property
- Hostel Blocks for male and female Students
- Buses to enhance transportation
- Sporting equipment and other facilities
- Completion of the administrative block complex
- THE INTERNATIONAL SECRETARIAT/COMMUNITY CENTRE
Much still needs to be done at the International Secretariat/Community Center:
- Release of Government Survey Documentation for the Land
- Perimeter Fencing will help weed off trespassers
- External works and landscaping
The above are all begging to be addressed, and to tackle the highlighted issues, Your Excellency Sir, not less than N300 million will be required
Once gain we thank you our Guest of Honour and all of you good people of our State for being part of this special occasion. God bless you all.
Yak isong adot ukana.