Presidents Address at Gala Nite of 19th Obong Sampson Udo Etuk Excellence Awards




It gives me utmost pleasure to welcome you all to the grand finale of this year’s Obong Sampson Udo Etuk week and to our excellence awards and gala night.

Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio prides itself as an off-shoot of the legendary Ibibio Union. And so we celebrate this unsung hero and father of Nigeria’s socio-cultural development biannually.


On the 28th April, 1928 Obong Sampson Udo Etuk and his friends got together to form Ibibio Welfare Union. This Union later amalgamated with the Ibibio Mainlanders Association earlier formed in Calabar to form the Ibibio Union. Mr Sampson Udo Etuk was then elected the first National President of the Ibibio Union. This Union was the sole propelling force for the education, economic and social emancipation and development of the Ibibio people.

The thrust of the programme of the Union was to award scholarships to deserving Ibibio students to study overseas mainly in the United States of America and the British Isles to acquire skills in critical areas of human endeavours and to return to lead the emancipation drive of the Ibibio nation.

However shortly after the formation of the Union came the Great Depression of the 1930s which has remained the worst global economic recession in the last century far worse than the recent economic melt down our own generation has experienced since 2009 to date. Trade was all but non-existent. Shops were closed down here and there. The quays and docks and the rivers in Calabar, Eket and Ikot Abasi (then Ibekwe Opobo) that used to teem with British and foreign ships had become totally idle. For example a tin of palm oil, our only produce, which was selling at 10 shillings before the recession crashed down to 10 pence a drop of over 1000 percent. The situation was totally gloomy and hopeless. Yet undaunted, the pioneer leadership of the Ibibio Union with Obong Sampson Udo Etuk’s encouragement remained focused and pressed ahead, having braced themselves for action and drawing down from the sterling qualities of creativity, resilience and entrepreneurship of the leader of the Ibibio State Union himself.

And so 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 suite.

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.


S.N Student Field of Study District
1 Bassey U. A. Attah Agriculture Uyo
2 Obot E. Antia Obong Medicine Itu
3 Ibanga U. Akpabio Education Ikot Ekpene
4 Asuquo U. Idiong Medicine Abak
5 Egbert Udo Udoma Law Ikot Abasi
6 James L. Nsima Education Eket


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 main call tonight. This call is that Obong Sampson Udo Etuk has remained an unsung hero for too long now and it is high time we the Ibibio Nation got up and redress this injustice.

We are calling for justice to immortalize this father of Nigeria’s socio-cultural organization.

We call for justice in naming important State and National monuments and institutions after this pioneer of self-help and self-development.

We hereby make an appeal to the Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State, His Excellency, Mr Udom Emmanuel 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 social, economic and political development of modern Nigeria. To be honoured this night is one of the off-spring of the famous Ibibio six.

In celebrating Obong Sampson Udo Etuk Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio celebrates

  • Leadership
  • Patriotism
  • Vision
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Self-less Service
  • Equity
  • Excellence
  • Resilience



This year’s awards are in the categories of leadership, patriotism, public service, entrepreneurship, creativity and self-less service,

As in the previous editions the selection process was rigorous and breathe-taking. This was due to the high number of worthy nominees in every category. And in keeping with our tradition we chose to keep the number of awardees low deliberately to continue to make the awards highly coveted honours. Usually those not accommodated this year receive consideration in the next edition. It is Mboho’s version of the Nobel Prize and we are working and hoping to complement the tokens with material and monetary value. Awardees are usually taken by surprise and there is no room for lobbying whatsoever.


From the humble beginning of 12 young men nearly three decades ago in a small apartment, Mboho has grown up to become a brand with an audacious presence of over 20,000 members in 55 chapters across four continents of Africa, Asia, Europe and North America. It is now sitting in an imposing Community Centre in the prestigious Udo Udoma Avenue, Uyo with a group of schools catering for Nursery, Primary and College needs all housed in MMI’s purposed-built facilities in Idu Uruan, Uruan Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.

Our members have served, and are still serving, in various capacities in the private and public sectors at State and national levels at various times and in various dispensations. Just two weeks ago we had taken our brand and presence to strategic nerve centres in Nigeria and abroad notably the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja where we have been received by the Senate Minority leader in the National Assembly. Overseas Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio continues to be a cynosure of all eyes, a model and an example of a people proud and desirous to retain their identity.

We are strong in the United States and Canada with 5 vibrant chapters and still counting. We are very strong in the United Kingdom where we have 4 strong chapters in London, Manchester, Essex and Heathrow. Plans are afoot to establish a chapter in Italy during the first quarter of 2016.

We have concluded plans, after a pre-inauguration visit, to establish a chapter in South Africa. Assessment is still on-going for a prospective chapter in Israel as a stepping stone into the Asian Continent.

We recall here some of the battles we have taken on and won to protect and restore the interests of Ibibio and Akwa Ibom people which came under attack in the leadership, hierarchy and administration of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (Mfon Usoro in NIMASA), Nigerian Customs Service (Faith Umoh in NCS), Nigerian Maritime Academy Oron, Resource Control Agitation (AKS and 13 Percent Derivation Struggle).

We recall here the leadership role MMI played in ensuring that an Ibibio son, former World Heavy Weight Boxing Champion, Samuel Peters was brought back to receive his due honour and reward from both State and Nation for his gallant contribution in projecting the country in bright lights in his field of endeavour.

In the unification of the State we recall the elaborate, expensive and innovative Mboho Unity Tour around the 31 Local Government Areas of Akwa Ibom State in our self-imposed tedium and drudgery of campaigning through the State to help pull it back from tipping over following unpatriotic and self-serving disposition of our political leaders which left the State precariously divided and dangerously polarized along ethnic lines. This had pushed the State to the precipice and stressed the strings of unity that hold the It to its elastic limits.

Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio also single-handedly sponsored and facilitated the amalgamation of all Akwa Ibom State Clergies in Lagos numbering over 100 under one umbrella known as Akwa Ibom Clergy Forum (AICLEF) under the pioneer headship of Pastor Daniel Akwatang of Qua Iboe Church, Lagos. Also noteworthy is the one-day MMI/UNICEF Consultative Forum which we invited UNICEF to come partner with us to combat human-trafficking of Akwa Ibom children into slavery in Lagos at the height of this societal ill in the years 2000 and 2001.

In practical terms MMI has now acquired a number of landed property which are at various stages of development in addition to our International Headquarters complex in Uyo. Notable among these are one in our birth place, Calabar in the prime location of Murtala Muhammed Highway- a property donated by the Grand Patron of Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio Elder (Air Marshal) Nsikak Eduok; another one in Lagos in the bubbling centre of commerce Ojuelegba- property donated by Nka Ikemesit Iban Ibibio, Lagos; then one in Eket Town and one in Nsit Ubium both acquired through members’ contributions. As I speak a number of our chapters in Akwa Ibom State are not left behind in this drive for establishment of physical presence wherever we are.

In the past we have made tangible efforts at empowerment of members with some results through ventures and programmes like the Mboho Microcredit Scheme, Mboho Farms and Mboho Cooperatives. Presently having learnt from our experience we have come out to promote a more ambitious model The Mboho Microfinance Bank. We are confident that with blueprints from the subject-matter experts amongst us, the strict regulatory framework, the vast experience and the fail-proof safeguards in place the MMFB will be there to meet our twin needs of returns on investment and empowerment of members who often stand in genuine need of cheap credit lines.

The review of the Mboho’s constitution is ongoing and at advanced stages of completion. It is expected that the product when completed will make it more adaptive to our circumstances, peculiarities and contemporary needs.

The Mboho’s Microfinance Bank project is still gathering momentum and we again appeal to all our members to invest in this economic venture.

As part of these reviews we are tinkering with the idea of consolidating and globalizing our yearly Conventions and rotating these among the three continents where MMI has strong presence namely, Africa, Europe and North America..



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. We understand too, that education is not cheap after all. This is why the MUS has remained the single largest consumer of our financial resources. Each review the operation of the schools we easily come to the conclusion that our group of schools can, and, indeed, will attain a self-sustaining status that we all wish it does but some minimum investment needs to be made first in order to take it to the standard of learning centre of excellence.

Specifically we are in need of financial support to the tune of

  • N5miilion to complete the perimeter fencing.
  • 2 Hostel blocks for boys and girls in the high School section
  • Recreation facilities and equipment for both indoor and outdoor games
  • Nursery playground,
  • Basket ball pitch construction,
  • Handball pitch construction,
  • Volley ball pitch
  • Lawn tennis facility.

I should inform you that your interventions in the schools are yielding the desired results as the students have been doing excellently well in all external examinations of Junior and Senior Certificate categories returning 100 percent pass rates.


I hereby appeal for the support of Akwa Ibom State Government, all our members, friends and other partners towards the completion of all the on-going projects and programmes of the organization.


Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio turned 28 years some months back. After 28 of existence we have come of age, indeed the age of maturity. We might have achieved quite a lot. But a lot more remains to be done. We must strive harder to remain, in all material particulars, in the vanguard for the unity, prosperity and emancipation of the Ibibio nation through economic and fiscal autonomy.

My administration will continue to keep our doors open for objective and useful suggestions and criticisms. It is our collective responsibility to build a strong and virile organization upon the foundation already laid so that the labours of our founding fathers shall not be in vain.

Yak isong ado ukana.


May God bless Mhoho Mkparawa Ibibio.

Akparawa ( Elder ) Monday Etokakpan, FCIL, JP.

International President,

November 07, 2015