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Solidarity Mounts For Oku Ibom Ibibio As Life PG Of A’Ibom Traditional Institution

It was a day set aside to affirm support for the newly created Akwa Ibom State Supreme Council of Traditional Rulers. It was also a day for paying tributes to the President General of the Supreme Council, Ntenyin (Dr.) Solomon Daniel Etuk, CFR.


Thursday, September 28, 2023, will remain evergreen in the history of Akwa Ibom State as socio-cultural groups from the three senatorial districts of the State swarmed the Palace of the Supreme King at the serene village of Ikot Ukobo in Nsit Ubium Local Government Area, to congratulate and celebrate his permanent headship of the traditional rulers’ council in the state.


The Akwa Esop Imaisong Ibibio, Ibibio Elders Forum (Adaha Ibibio), Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio, Afigh Iwaad Ekid, Eket Peoples Union, Mboho Ndito Nsit, and several others, were unequivocal in thumbing support for the permanent stool of the President General of the Supreme Council.

Oku Ibom Ibibio As Life PG Of A'Ibom Traditional Institution

Their stand was backed by academicians, under the aegis of the Ibibio Academic Roundtable – the forum posited that Ibibio is the umbrella tribe in Akwa Ibom State and that other ethnic groups are subsets of Ibibio as evidenced in the dialects.


Akwa Ibom people under the aegis of Ibibios in Diaspora also sent in their message of solidarity. Ceremonial displays comprising mostly Ibibio traditional dances were equally in full glare.

Related: The Remaking Of Akwa Ibom State Traditional Rulers Council

Akwa Esop Imaisong Ibibio led by Ntisong Pius J. Okon, and parading elders of Akwa Ibom like Mkpisong Ememobong Essien, among others, said the elevation of the Oku Ibom Ibibio as permanent head of the Akwa Ibom Traditional Institution was to revert to the age-long configuration of Akwa Ibom existing as one, strong entity.

Oku Ibom Ibibio As Life PG Of A'Ibom Traditional Institution

Its spokesperson, a former Senator representing Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District, Senator Aloysius Etuk, described the development as a new dawn for Akwa Ibom as the “unity project” propagated by the founding fathers of the State becomes “resurrected and actualized under the reign of the present Oku Ibom Ibibio.”


He said the Oku Ibom Ibibio’s membership of the National Council of Traditional Rulers of  Nigeria (NCTRN) shall bring good tidings to Akwa Ibom State, as he (Oku Ibom Ibibio) would have enough time in his hands to project and protect the state’s interest at the national level.

Oku Ibom Ibibio As Life PG Of A'Ibom Traditional Rulers Council

Senator Etuk announced the unflinching support of Akwa Esop Imaisong Ibibio to the Oku Ibom Ibibio and the traditional institution.


Ibibio Elders Forum, in a message of solidarity, read by its Chairman, Dr Emmanuel Akpanobong, said the forum had always longed for a revered identity for the Akwa Ibom State Traditional stool at the national level, and thanked God that the dream has finally come to fruition.

Read Also: A’Ibom At 36: Oku Ibom Ibibio Calls For Stronger Bond Of Unity, Love And Peaceful Co-existence

The forum prayed for wisdom and tolerance upon the Oku Ibom Ibibio and wished him a successful and productive reign.

Oku Ibom traditional rulers

Members of Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio were equally present in great numbers to pay homage to the supreme traditional king of Akwa Ibom State. Enumerating the various benefits accruable from the permanent stool, the International President of the organization, Akparawa James Edet mentioned that it would foster unity as was witnessed in decades past.


He added, “Akwa Ibom is Ibibio, Ibibio is Akwa Ibom, we are all one. Let’s unite for peace and progress. Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio Worldwide is ready to defend the Oku Ibom stool at any given time.”

Furthermore, Edet conveyed a message from the Ibibios in Diaspora frowning at the “divisive actions” of “some persons who went to Uyo LGA to pour libation and protest against the Ibibios.”


Next up was the Ekid Peoples Union led by Hon Samuel Udonsak, the President General. They were equally unequivocal in their support of the Oku Ibom Ibibio. Abongiwad Isaiah Abia, who spoke on behalf, said the mandate given to Oku Ibom was divine and should be distracted by voices of dissent.

Mboho Ndito Nsit comprising of indigenes of Nsit Atai, Nsit Ibom, Nsit Ubium and Okon people of Eket, also thumbed support for the Oku Ibom Ibibio and the Akwa Ibom State Supreme Council of Traditional Rulers.


Its president, Otuekong Elder Ndueso Jackson said Ntenyin Solomon Daniel Etuk has lived up to his name ‘Solomon’, who was very wise as recorded in the Bible.


According to Jackson, the Oku Ibom Ibibio has always exemplified wisdom in running the affairs of the traditional institution and expressed confidence that he would not be found wanting as he assumes permanent control of the Supreme Council of Akwa Ibom State Traditional Rulers Council.


The messages of solidarity were laced with intermittent applause of approval from the audience made up of members of the over 10 prominent socio-cultural groups.


Adding gloss to the endorsement was the Ibibio Academic Roundtable. Its Chancellor, Otuekong Dr. Uduak Eshiet, speaking on behalf of his members, firmly declared that the Oku Ibom’s headship of the Akwa Ibom traditional institution is in synchrony with history.

Dr. Eshiet urged Akwa Ibom people to consult the past to be guided in their actions and utterances:


“Ibibio is an umbrella just like Yoruba, Hausa and Igbo. This doesn’t imply that the people within the umbrella with slight dialectical differences will divorce themselves from the union. In pursuing national interest, we must implement this particular template that has worked in other places. Let’s be properly guided lest we derail.”


Eminent dignitaries at the historic event included Dr. Asikpo Essienibok, Chairman of the Elders Council,  Otuekong Sunny Jackson, Arc Ekong Etuk, Prof Etok Ekanem, Prof Etie Ben Akpan, Chairman, of Elders Council of Nsit Nation and Dr. Iniobong Essien.


In his remarks, Dr Asikpo Essienibok outlined the importance of the new law on the traditional institution in the state as a just and expedient action and congratulated Ntenyin Etuk for being the first President General of Akwa Ibom State Supreme Council of Traditional Rulers. He wished him a successful reign.


Other groups and individuals equally gave their endorsement to the supreme traditional king.


The Chairman-in-Council, Ifim Ibom Ibibio, HRM Okuku Dr Ime Udousoro Inyang, Paramount Ruler of Ibiono Ibom LGA, described the day as historic in the sense that Ibibio’s stand for peace and unity has been reinforced.


On the Oku Ibom Ibibio, the Okuku referenced the first line of the Ifim Ibom Ibibio Anthem: ‘Ibibio edemme ke idap ke ekemini’ (Ibibio has woken up at the appointed time). He said Ntenyin Solomon Etuk has fulfilled the “prophecy” embedded in the anthem.


“May peace, unity and progress resonate in Akwa Ibom land,” he prayed.


Amid the joyous atmosphere, the Oku Ibom Ibibio said he had taken stock of the presentations made by the various groups and individuals but reiterated that the reconfiguration of the traditional institution was not for him but for Akwa Ibom State: “You have spoken well. I have listened to you all. This development is not for me but for the people of Akwa Ibom State.”


Ntenyin Solomon Etuk implored Akwa Ibom people to eschew divisive antics, and embrace a united approach “because our forebears gave us one united family, not splinter groups.”


He continued: “Let today’s event humble all of us to be of good cheer to God Almighty, let this be a time for positive reflection, let it be a time that all of us realize that we must live as one indivisible body to drive development, love, peace and unity of this great state. Let peace, unity and progress be our watchword.”


I commit this throne to God. May God Almighty sustain what he has started. I am a symbol of peace and unity. Peace radiates in me. I only have one project: to pull ourselves together, work in peace and harmony, and ensure that we continue to be one in Akwa Ibom State,” he added.


The event was also graced by all the Paramount Rulers of Ibibio Nation.

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