Executive Chairman of Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area, Hon. Mrs. Akon Michael Asuquo has declared her readiness to align with the quest of engendering oneness among people of the old Uyo Local Government Area.
The council boss made the declaration in her office at the Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Council Secretariat, Nung Udoe, when members of the socio-political and sociocultural group, Atai Uyo Peoples Forum (AUPF) paid a courtesy visit on her on Thursday.
Pleased by the composition and agenda of AUPF, the chairman stated that she was also convinced with the group’s developmental drive and gave her acceptance to be part and parcel of the Atai Uyo People’s Forum.
“With the calibre of persons I’ve seen here and the agenda of this group, I want to be a part of the group. As Chairman of Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area, I have to commend this group for taking up this sacrificial objective of uniting Atai Uyo. The council will be supportive,” she noted.
She emphasized that present day Uyo, Nsit Atai, Uruan and Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Areas which form the Atai Uyo bloc should be repositioned and made to regain its headship position in the state.
According to her, “When there is unity of purpose, no challenge is insurmountable.
Earlier in his address, President General of the forum, Rt. Hon. Tony Asikpo said the visit was significant because Ibesikpo Asutan is the hometown of great Atai Uyo legends like Obong Effiong Okon Eyo (Eyo Uyo), Arc. Obong Victor Attah and other men and women who have left imprints on the society.
Rt. Hon. Tony Asikpo stressed that although the old Uyo LGA was split, the historical bond within the bloc remains intact.
Asikpo added that “the birth of Atai Uyo People’s Forum is therefore to galvanise this common bond and to a united voice for our people as well as to protect our common interests and aspirations within the state and beyond.”
The forum announced its “plans to engage in life-touching programmes, such as Scholarship awards to indigent students within the Uyo Federal Constituency; Engage in empowerment and skill development for our youths and other categories of persons; promotion of professional excellence through awards as well as offer interventions in education and Medicare, among others.”
Congratulating the chairman on her emergence, AUPF said the visit was significant: “permit us to observe a striking significance in this local government, to wit, when Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area was created October 26, 1996; the first Administrator was an amazon, Mrs Evelyn Etuk. Today, in the silver jubilee year of the Council, we have you at the helms of affairs.”
They also expressed delight with the chairman’s performance in the areas of waste evacuation, fixing the legislative wing of the secretariat, revenue management, fumigation, painting of the administrative block of the council, clearing of grasses at the secretariat and environs, and several other areas of intervention.
Speaking further, Rt. Hon. Asikpo acknowledged and appreciated the state government for masterminding “commendable human, infrastructural and economic development projects that are established and currently being executed in various parts of Atai Uyo” as well as “considering Atai Uyo to occupy the positions of the Speaker, Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly; the Head of the Civil Service; Commissioners in the State Executive Council, Chairmen and Members of Boards and other MDAs respectively.”
The group appealed for the immortalization of late elderstatesmen like the late Obong Effiong Okon Eyo (Eyo Uyo) and the late Obong Nyong Essien, insisting that duo are role models who must be celebrated.
In a vote of thanks offered by the AUPF Vice President, Rt. Hon. Tony Essien, encouraged the chairman of Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Council to remain committed to the service of her people, saying her humility and tenacity are worth emulating.
Other members of the AUPF who graced the event include: Elder Iniobong Obot, Secretary; Barr. Godwin Bassey James, Legal Adviser; Hon. Nathaniel Sebastian Udoh, Director of Contact and Mobilization; Elder Patrick Albert, Publicity Secretary; Hon. Effiong O. Ufe, Organizing Secretary; Samuel Udombang, Financial Secretary; Dr. Roberta Edem, Woman Leader and Unwana Orok, Assistant Organizing Secretary.
Others were Hon. Anthony Michael Asuquo, Assistant Secretary; Hon. Elder Nsikak Okon, Assistant Publicity Secretary; Obonganwan Mfon Udokpo, Hon. Ubong Mkpong, Mrs. Glory Offiong Patrick, Mr. Idorenyin Jacot, Elder Ini Umoren, Chief Fabian Emmanuel, Alexander Umo, Etubom David Bassey, Elder Akan Okon Edem and Mr. Uko Patrick.