Happy Anniversary as Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio Clocks 27 August 1, 2014

 

A year ago, precisely August 1, 2013, Akparawa Ikpong Essien-Udom posted the below on his Facebook page.

HAPPY BIRTH DAY!  Today, 26 years ago, 12 Ibibio sons – Anietie Ekong, Ikpong Essien-Udom, Ubong Ndah, Ntieyong Inyangmme, Udo Toby Udobot, Ama T. Ama, Idongesit Udokpoh, Udo Sam Umoatan, Emmanuel Umoh, Itoro Umoh, Ntiense Mbosoh and Akpan Micah Umoh – started what has become the largest socio-cultural organisation in southern Nigeria, MBOHO MKPARAWA IBIBIO. That first meeting, presided over by Akparawa Anietie Ekong (now late) with Akparawa Ikpong Essien-Udom as founding Secretary General, was held at No.7 Bonny Street, Calabar, Cross River State. The aim was, and still is the promotion of Ibibio tradition, culture and dignity. Ibibio was defined as the Mainland part of the then state (which today is Akwa Ibom State) as recognized by the great Ibibio Union of 1928 i.e the people of core Ibibio, Annang and Oron.  Today 26 years after, the organization is still surviving and waxing stronger. From 12 (as the disciples of Jesus Christ), membership has grown to many thousands. From one group, we now have over 40 chapters in major cities of Nigeria and other parts of the world including United States of America, Canada, Cameroun and Israel. And from a borrowed meeting place, we have a magnificent secretariat – Sir Udo Udoma House – located in Udo Udoma Avenue, Uyo.  When I look back, as a trustee from the beginning till today, knowing what the organization has achieved in 26 years, I always feel proud to be counted among the founding members. Congratulations Akwa Ibom State! Congratulations Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio!! Congratulations the Great 12 Ibibio Sons!!!”

Fast-forward by 12 months and the time machine takes you to today. Look at the post above and you only have to substitute 27 years for 26, 50 chapters for 40, fifteen thousand for many thousands and by the time you add South Africa to the list of MMI’s footprints you would have updated Ikpong Essien-Udom’s condensed treatise of this burgeoning Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) at 27.

To some Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio is not “politically active enough”. To others MMI has got to be more spartan in fighting Ibibio cause while yet others contend with the fact that some leaders of MMI take to partisan politics. This is where it is instructive to read and note from one of the founding fathers of the organisation and no less a person than the founding Secretary General of the Mboho that “The aim was, and still is the promotion of Ibibio tradition, culture and dignity”.

So as we roll out the drums on Friday, August 1, 2014 to mark our 27 years of unbroken experience in service to fatherland we show a trajectory that is moving northward. The gradient could actually be steeper than it is but that might well be because YOU are outside instead of being inside the “house”. Like it is said  “in my father’s house there are many mansions there”. There is still room for you. Come on in and ride with us.

Akparawa Anthony Udoekong

International Public Relations Officer