The tenth stanza of the National Anthem reads thus; ‘the labours of our heroes past, shall never be in vain’, for this reason, the Paramount Ruler, Ibesikpo Asutan LGA; His Royal Majesty, Edidem Clement Francis Ekpenyong (III), has expressed the need for the State to give a befitting burial to the late Obong Effiong Okon Eyo, popularly called ‘Eyo Uyo’ as well as immortalize him.
The famous ‘Eyo Uyo’, who hailed from Mbierebe Akpawat in the present Ibesikpo Asutan LGA, was the foremost Champion for the creation of Akwa Ibom State. Before his death in 1985, he suggested the name “Akwa Ibom” as against “Kwa Iboe” and among others, proposed that Akwa Ibom State should consist of three ethnic groups of Ibibio, Annang and Oron.
The Paramount Ruler, who gave the charge, Monday, when the Executive Council of a socio-political and cultural organization; Atai Uyo People’s Forum (AUPF) paid a courtesy call on him at his palace, urged the group to join in the crusade for the unsung hero to be accorded the pride of place he deserves.
His words: “For such a dreamer, who gave his all for us to have a State of our own to die and we do not give him a befitting burial, spells doom for our sons and daughters.
“Have we paused and reasoned why there’s no genuine love among us? Have we reasoned why we don’t have peace and harmony? the Monarch asked rhetorically, saying, “We need to go back to the drawing board.”
The Royal Father regretted that the supreme sacrifice paid by ‘Eyo Uyo’ in the interest of the State has been consigned to the dustbin of history, due to what could be referred to as ‘intransigence’ of the past leaders to immortalise him, urging the present to break the jinx.
While giving his Royal blessing to Atai Uyo People’s Forum, Edidem Clement Francis Ekpenyong, advised members of the group to continue supporting the administration of Governor Udom Emmanuel.
He described the governor’s style of governance as selfless, people oriented and exemplary leadership, adding that his performance so far is unmatchable as his administration has undoubtedly left lasting footprints in the sands of time.
Earlier in his address, the President General, Atai Uyo People’s Forum (AUPF), Hon Tony Asikpo, said the socio-political and cultural organization is divinely inspired to serve as the umbrella for sons and daughters of the four local government areas in Uyo Federal Constituency, namely; Uyo, Uruan Ibesikpo Asutan and Nsit Atai.
While acknowledging the positive impact of the Monarch in the area since since his ascension to the royal throne as the Paramount Ruler, Asikpo announced his organisation’s resolve to carry out Scholarship awards and empower indigent sons and daughters of Atai Uyo to acquire skills that would make them employers of labour. He said AUPF was also ready to intervene in the provision of educational resources and Medicare among others within the Uyo Federal Constituency.
Atai Uyo, through their leader commended Governor Udom Emmanuel led Administration for some commendable human, infrastructural and economic development projects that are established and currently being executed in the Federal Constituency.
Hear him: “These cover health facilities at St. Luke’s Hospital Anua and Methodist Hospital Ituk Mbang, and the additional building of a specialist facility – the Infectious Disease Control Centre and the ongoing construction of Ring Roads, improvement of infrastructures and, amongst others. We are also happy that the Government has commenced the fencing of public primary and secondary schools in the municipal centers of Uyo to check insecurity and abuses in the schools’ premises.
“Worthy of note too, is the consideration by His Excellency, Governor Udom Emmanuel’s administration to 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.”
Meanwhile, Hon Tony Asikpo was accompanied on the visit by other Executive Members namely; Rt Hon Anthony Essien, Vice President and Barr. Godwin James, Legal Adviser.
Others were: Hon. Effiong Ufe – Organizing Secretary; Elder Patrick Albert, Publicity Secretary; Hon. Alexander Akpanumo, Youth Leader; Dr. Roberta Edem Women Leader; Etubom David Jackson, Treasurer, Chief Fabian Emmanuel, Director of Protocol; Hon Anthony Michael Asuquo, Assistant Secretary; Hon Nsikak Okon, Assistant Publicity Secretary; Samuel Udombang, Financial Secretary and Hon Akan Okon Edem; Assistant Financial Secretary.