Paramount Ruler of Ikono Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, His Royal Majesty Edidem Nyong Udo Obop has been officially pronounced dead by the Akwa Ibom State Council of Chiefs.
The council’s proclamation was made at the Council Chambers, Wellington Bassey Way, Uyo, by the chairman, Akwa Ibom State Council of Chiefs and Oku Ibom Ibibio, His Eminence, (Dr.) Ntenyin Solomon Daniel Etuk on Thursday.
“Today I have to discharge the unpleasant burden of making a proclamation and it is hereby proclaimed that this great man, selfless and revered leader, His Royal Majesty, Edidem Nyong Udo Obop (JP) has joined his ancestors.
“By this proclamation, the State, Local Government, interested parties and organization are urged to open Condolence Register in his honour.
May I use this opportunity to appeal for the fullest co-operation of all the Traditional Rulers, people of Akwa Ibom State, friends and well-wishers throughout the duration of the funeral activities. I also appeal to the Media to accord the obsequies wide and adequate publicity,” Ntenyin Etuk announced.
Describing the deceased as a man of honour, Ntenyin Etuk, who is the President General of the Supreme Council of Ibibio Traditional Rulers (Ifim Ibom Ibibio), lamented that the late royal father, would be sorely missed in the council of chiefs.
Accordingly, a minute silence was observed in his honour with a prayer for the repose of his soul.
Born on December 6, 1929 in Ibiaku Ntok Okpo, Ikono, the late HRM Obop obtained his Cambridge School Certificate from Methodist College, Uzuakoli in 1951 and further possessed an advanced R.S.A. Certificate in Accountancy in 1957. He also obtained a college diploma in accounting from Yaba College of Technology in 1964, a Senior Certificate in Financial Management from the Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON) in 1972 and advanced certificate in government accounting from the University of Ibadan in 1975.
The proclamation speech also indicate that he served his community in several dimensions ranging from his chairmanship of Nkari Clan Land Dispute Committee, National President of Ikono Development Association, Vice President, Akwa Ibom State Conference of Village Heads to the Mkpisong and Akwa Iko, Akwa Esop Ima Isong Ibibio, amongst others.
He became Village Head of Ibiaku Ikot Ukana in 1996, Clan Head of Ikono Clan in 2006 and the Paramount Ruler of Ikono LGA in 2013. While in public service, he rose to the rank of Auditor General of Akwa Ibom State.
In a tribute, Paramount Ruler of Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area, HRM Edidem Ime Udousoro Inyang, said he has lost an ally and a man of valour in the departed monarch, HRM Edidem Nyong Udo Obop.
While asserting that the psychological vacuum left behind in Ikono would be difficult to fill, the monarch implored the immediate family, council of chiefs and the general public to emulate the principled lifestyle of the departed elder statesman.
Earlier, His Highness Etebom Godswill Okon Udo Isang, Clan Head of Ndiya Clan, had on behalf of the delegation from Ikono, accompanied by other clan heads, village heads, and eminent stakeholders from Ikono LGA, had solicited that the Council of Chiefs make an official proclamation on passage of the monarch in keeping with the traditional protocol on transition.
Presenting a vote of thanks, former Executive Chairman of Ikono LGA, Hon. Itoro Columba, applauded the council of chiefs for the show of solidarity, and appealed for heightened support from all quarters as preparations commence for the obsequies of the departed monarch.
Columba said as first class traditional ruler and monarch of Ikono, the acclaimed origin of the Ibibio tribe, the departed deserves a glorious farewell.
He acknowledged his glaring contributions to the growth of Ikono, Akwa Ibom State and Nigeria.
The delegation announced that they would officially approach the council of chiefs to offer briefs on funeral plans as well as receive inputs from the council.
Wife of the deceased, Akwa Obonganwan Margaret Nyong Udo Obop and her children, Vincent, Esin and Ama, were present at the event.
Also, as part of the Ikono delegation were: His Highness, Etebum Etim Nnana Itang, Clan Head of Itak; His Highness, Udo Ben Akpan, Clan Head of Ediene, and a host of village heads.
The political class was well represented by Hon. Nyakno Okoibu, Executive Chairman, Ikono LGA; Sir Sunday Udo Akpan, former Commissioner for Finance; Barr. Godwill Umoh, Chairman, Assembly Service Commission; Senator Aloysius Etok, former Senator representing Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District; Obong Udo Ekwere, Barr. Moses Akpan, PDP State Organizing Secretary; Sir Victor Etefia, SSA to Governor Udom Emmanuel on Petroleum Matters, Barr. Ekemini Uba and several others.