Centenary Celebration: Oku Ibom Ibibio Identifies With Obong Afangideh

…as Obong Afangideh reveals secrets of his good health, longevity

By Nseobong Umoidem


The Oku Ibom Ibibio, Nteyin Solomon Daniel Etuk, JP was among the many dignitaries and well wishers who paid respect and solidarity to the political leader of Essien Udim Local Government Area, Obong Michael Afangideh, OON (JP) as he marked his 100th birthday.

Nteyin Etuk, patriarch of Ibibio and chairman, Akwa Ibom State Council of Chiefs, who led Ifim Ibom Ibibio to show solidarity to the centenarian, appreciated the Almighty God for preserving Obong Afangideh to the fulfilled age of 100.

He admitted that God’s grace on the celebrator was as a result of his rare qualities, noting that Obong Afangideh is a peace-loving, disciplined personality who has remained committed to the peace and development of Essien Udim LGA in particular, and Akwa Ibom State as a whole; and through his leadership examples, he (Obong Afangideh) has shown them (Traditional fathers) the path to follow in order to maintain peace and growth for the people.

The Oku Ibom Ibibio stressed that as traditional fathers, they will always follow the legacies that Obong Afangideh has left on the sands of time both in Annang nation and Akwa Ibom State, so as to live long and attain the age of 100 as Obong Afangideh. The Oku Ibom Ibibio tapped into Obong Afangideh’s grace and prayed God to keep him and members of the Ifim Ibom Ibibio to also witness their centenary days.

Nteying Solomon Etuk urged the younger generation to learn from Obong Afangideh’s patterns of life, thus, they should not engage in acts that would shorten their lifespan on earth.

In their separate birthday wishes, the Paramount Ruler of Onna, HRM Edidem Timothy Raymond Inyang, that of Uyo HRM Edidem Sylvanus Okon; Ibiono Ibom, Okuku Ime Udousoro and their counterpart from Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area, HRM Edidem Clement Ekpenyong, expressed their gratitudes to God for the life of Obong Afangideh. They eulogized the Essien Udim political father for being a model of leadership worthy of emulation, describing him as a bridge builder who brokered peace between Akwa Ibom State and the people of Abia State on their boundary disputes. Members of the Ifim Ibom Ibibio prayed God to add more years to Obong Afangideh and grant him good health.

Revealing the secrets of his longevity and good health, Obong Afangideh said that he makes it as a point of duty to obey the Ten Commandments of the Holy Bible and ensures that he presents himself for regular medical check-up and observes personal hyigene. He added that he keeps his principles intact, and always endeavour to shun any practice that would make him betray or jeopardize his people’s interest. “I believe in giving unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, and I maintain the principle of “Live and let live. I wake up very early in the morning, before 6.00am and ensure that I have a clean shave and maintain my personal cleanliness”, Obong Afangideh hinted.

While thanking members of Ifim Ibibio for the gesture done Obong Afangideh, the Paramount Ruler of Oruk Anam Local Government Ares acknowledged that Obong Afangideh is a man that is loved by God, adding that he has brought stability to the political atmosphere of Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District, and prayed God to continually bless and preserve him beyond 1 00 years of age.

Obong Afangideh At 100: Looking Younger At Old Age

It is no more news that Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District and indeed the entire Akwa Ibom State was agog on Saturday last week, as family members, Akwa Ibom State Government, friends and well wishers rolled out their drums to celebrate a man who has been one of the pillars of the state-Obong Michael Afangideh OON (JP)- as he marked his centenary celebration. Just like it happened when Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem of Judea, people from all walks of life visited the centenarian (Obong Afangideh) to identify with him and tap into the ‘looking younger at old age’ anointing. The State governor, Mr. Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, Speaker and Members of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, traditional rulers, Commissioners and other high ranking public officers in the State visited Afangideh like the three wise men visited the new born baby Jesus Christ to exchange gifts and receive their ‘Aaron(ic)’ blessings from the centenarian.

Obong Afangideh is a rare gem and a living legend of our generation who has enjoyed tremendous favour from the Almighty God in all spheres of his life. At 100 years of age, Obong Afangideh still bubbles in good health with a sound mind. He sees, and reads very well without the aid of eyeglasses, hears without hearing aid and walks without walking stick. Upon interaction with Obong Afangideh, he revealed that the secret of his youthful looks, even at old age, is not far from the fact that he still maintains the age-long health and hygiene principles of waking up very early to attend to morning chores to meet up with office duty at 8.00am. These daily routines energize him to still preside over community, business and political meetings and contribute reasonably to discussions that foster unity and development among his people.

Born on 25th November 1919, Obong Afangideh has journeyed through places, lived among people, witness several life events, and today, he can be better described as an enigma. As at 25th November 2019, Obong Afangideh who is 100 years on earth is said to have seen about 1,200 months, 5,200 weeks, 36,525 days, 876,600 hours, 52,596,600 minutes, 3,155,765,000 seconds of his life. He is described as an adventurous man who, in his quest to break the jinx of poverty in his family, ventured into the automobile business in 1974, a development that gave birth to Afangideh Motors which metamorphosed into a situation where he could give out his cars for hire for as low as N500.00 daily.

Many people poured encomium on Obong Afangideh on his centenary celebration, following his unwavered determination in ensuring that equity and peace prevailed in the state, especially during the 2019 Governorship election.

The State Governor, Mr. Udom Gabriel Emmanuel maintained that Obong Afangideh is a man of impeccable character. His words: “He is a man of impeccable character. If he supports you, he supports you to the end. You can never buy off his conscience or his integrity. He’s been a good father of the political movement of this state; very straightforward man with character and life principles”. He prayed more of God’s blessings strength and good health on Obong Michael Afangideh.

On his part, the state Deputy Governor, Mr. Moses Ekpo pointed out that Obong Afangideh possesses an unprecedented virtue of integrity which has earned him several titles as: Adaha Akwa Ibom, the Iroko of Akwa Ibom Politics, Okuku Annang, among others.

The secret of his youthful looks as revealed by Obong Afangideh himself, lies in his daily strife to obey Biblical commandments as well as respect the golden rule. “I live according to the teachings of the scriptures. I take people as myself, I don’t suppress other people’s rights. I want people to be better than me in all aspects of life. I feel very happy when I help people to succeed in life. I try as much as I can to care for the needy or the poor around me”, he revealed. He also espoused that he eats plenty of fruits and green vegetables and hates a sedentary lifestyle.

A few lessons from Obong Afangideh’s 100 years existence on earth coupled with his immaculate lifestyle are that, a life wholly guided and directed by the admonitions of the word of God and strict adherence to health rules, is sure bet for a vibrant health and longevity. Why our forefathers lived long and fulfilled lives, even though many of them did not know God as we profess today, was because they feared God and walked according to His commandments.

The younger generation needs to borrow a leaf from the lifestyle of Obong Michael Afangideh, and by extension our forebears. They should shun act (or practices) that are not in accordance with the Scriptures or moral principles, so as to live long on earth (as the Bible commands in Ephesians 6:1). In those good old days when our society was not perverted by some anti-social vices like stealing, armed robbery, kidnapping, rape, murder, etc., one could sleep with the two eyes closed, doors were left open at nights and no cases of thefts were reported.

When valuable items were forgotten at public places, they were either taken to the owners if identified, or left where they were, untouched until the owners recovered them. These values were explicitly in line with the admonition and teachings of the Scriptures. By adhering wholly to such teachings and practices today, we are bound to be blessed by God with good health and longevity, as well as with riches and honour. These are the secrets of good health and longevity; and it is God’s intention for us today.

With his youthful looks at the age of 100, it is indeed worth saying, Obong Afangideh’s 100 years on earth may have contributed to a change of mind by many scientists, even about the shape of the world.

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