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Mbre Esa Edidem: Nsit Ubium Bubbles For Oku Ibom Ibibio

By Ofonime Honesty

Euphoria enveloped the Ikot Ukobo community as sons and daughters of Nsit Ubium Local Government Area gathered for a sit-out with the Oku Ibom Ibibio and President General, Supreme Council of Akwa Ibom State Traditional Rulers, His Eminence, Ntenyin Dr Solomon Daniel Etuk, CFR.

Not even the scorching sun could temper the infectious mood that swept through the palace. Seated on his royal throne mounted on a raised platform, the Oku Ibom Ibibio, flanked by his wife, Akwa Obonganwan Philomena Solomon Etuk; wife of Akwa Ibom Governor, Her Excellency, Pastor Patience Umo Eno; Executive Chairman of Nsit Ubium LGA, Arc Iniobong Orok; Commissioner for Lands, Captain Iniobong Ekong (Rtd.); Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Dr Ini Adiakpan, senior aides to the Governor, local government chairmen and other dignitaries looked like a painter’s canvass as their ceremonial attires blended with the colourful ambience of the palace.

Nsit Ubium for Oku Ibom Ibibio
His Eminence, Ntenyin Dr Solomon Daniel Etuk CFR, and Wife Akwa Obonganwan Philomena Etuk

Christened “Mbre Esa Edidem,” the event had the trappings of a festival. Cultural troupes and masquerades were spectacular in thrilling the audience. Different varieties of the ekpo masquerade; Ekpe, Nnabor, Ebre, Obio okpo, Ubom and others were present.

As the exhilaration enveloped the Palace of the Oku Ibom Ibibio, many, in a bid to preserve the historic moment, recorded video clips and took snapshots with their mobile devices.


His Eminence, Ntenyin Dr. Solomon Etuk, CFR, Wife, Akwa Obonganwan Philomena Etuk and wife of Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Pastor Mrs. Patience Umoh Eno (right)

An array of traditional delicacies were on display and savoured by the ecstatic crowd.
Not only food but palm wine and assorted drinks were served.

Anchored by foremost compere, David Sergeant (Utang Akwa Ibom), who was assisted by a couple of other comperes, the event was glossed by topnotch indigenous moderation and commentary.

Chairman of the planning committee of the event, Hon. Johnson Jimmy, in his address, hailed the Oku Ibom Ibibio as a worthy custodian and ambassador of the Akwa Ibom tradition, who has exemplified dexterous and progressive leadership.

He said Ntenyin Solomon Etuk has not flinched in his responsibilities and has handled tasks and challenges with wisdom and maturity.

His Eminence, Ntenyin Dr. Solomon Daniel Etuk, CFR (middle) and Wife, Akwa Obonganwan Philomena Etuk and HRM Odidem Bassey Etim Edet, Chairman, Akwa Ibom State Supreme Council of Traditional Rulers and Paramount Ruler of Udung Uko LGA (left).

Jimmy thanked Ntenyin Etuk, Hon. Iniobong Ekong, and other stakeholders for deeming him and other members fit and reliable to plan the event, being the maiden Mbre Esa Edidem.
He wished the Oku Ibom Ibibio a very successful reign.

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Wife of the Governor, Mrs Patience Umo Eno, in her speech, expressed joy over the event and prayed for continued good health and wisdom for the Oku Ibom Ibibio.

“You are a good father, and we are very elated to celebrate with you,” she asserted.

The First Lady admitted that the gathering was very necessary because the Oku Ibom Ibibio had to unwind and have fun with his people, away from the round-the-clock dedication to official duties.

The Governor’s wife pledged continued support to the throne and apologized for the absence of the governor, whom she said was out of the country on official assignment.

The event, intermittently punctuated by entertainment by multiple cultural displays and choral renditions, witnessed copious goodwill messages.

Leading the pack of offerers of goodwill messages was the Chairman of Akwa Ibom State Supreme Council of Traditional Rulers and Paramount Ruler of Udung Uko LGA, HRM Odidem Bassey Etim Edet.

He described the event as a befitting honour for a trusted leader and ally who has done nobly to accept the task of being the face of the mission of emboldening the State’s traditional institution.

Chairman of Nsit Ubium LGA, Hon. Arc Iniobong Orok was glad that it is in his tenure that the Oku Ibom Ibibio ascended the reins of power as president general of the Akwa Ibom TRC in perpetuity. Orok pledged continued solidarity with the throne.

Read Also: A’Ibom Progress, Unity Very Sacrosanct – Says Oku Ibom As Etinan Leaders Pay Homage

Etebom Noah Udoewah, Clan head of Ubium in Nsit Ubium LGA; Commissioner for Lands, Captain Iniobong Ekong (Rtd.); Honourable Political Adviser to the Governor, Hon. Prince Godwin Ntuk Udeh; Obonganwan Patricia Ekpo, Dr Patrick Wilson, and Elder Nse Ekefre, former Permanent Secretary, completed the list of those who offered goodwill messages.

The fun gathered speedy momentum and amid the frenzy, it was time for the audience to listen to the revered monarch.

“This is one of the happiest days of my life,” he exclaimed amidst thunderous ovation.
Ntenyin Etuk was all smiles as he took the audience on an eloquent but succinct tour of the throne’s past.

According to him, Akwa Ibom State now has a huge opportunity to use the throne in consolidating the sacrifices made by traditional rulers in years past.

He acknowledged the roles played by traditional rulers in the birth of Akwa Ibom, the unity of the state and its overall well-being.
His speech was however laced with sober reflections as he recalled the gruesome assassination of his predecessor and biological uncle, the Late HRM Edidem Robert James Obot.

He preached unity, loyalty and cooperation to constituted authorities for sustainable development to be achieved.

Furthermore, he appreciated the planning committee and particularly thanked Captain Ekong (Rtd.) for facilitating the event.

“This shouldn’t be a one-off thing; it should be a regular ceremony. This show of love and unity has to be sustained,” he stated.

It was not just an Nsit Ubium affair as well-wishers from across the state including Paramount Rulers, political office holders like Prince Godwin Ntuk Udeh, Political Adviser to the Governor; Hon. Emem Ibanga, Chairman Nsit Atai Local Government Council; Hon. Precious Selong, Member representing Urue Offong Oruko State Constituency; Hon. Selina Ukpatu, member representing Eastern Obolo State Constituency; Dr Ini Adiakpan, Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development and others joined the celebration.

As the Oku Ibom Ibibio and Paramount Rulers retreated for a closed-door session, the crowd fully concentrated on savouring the cultural shows on display as well as being treated to varieties of delicacies and drinks. The merriments continued into the night – hours after the ceremony officially ended.
It was indeed something to remember.

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