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The Day Ibesikpo Asutan Monarch was Crowned

By Ekemini Simon


It was a day of fanfare, grandeur and splendour as the Paramount Ruler
of Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area, His Royal Majesty, Edidem III, Clement Francis Ekpenyong was formally crowned on on Saturday, November 9, 2019.
The ennobling ceremony which took place in the beautiful locale of Akpautong, Asutan Ekpe in Ibesikpo Asutan local government area witnessed women ululate as the sound of drums, trumpets and flutes filled the air, men and children displaying their artistic dance steps with royal gunmen firing several volleys to mark the coronation of the respected traditional monarch.
Eminent sons of Ibesikpo Asutan including former Governor Victor Attah, Air Marshal Nsikak Eduok Rtd, government functionaries, captains of industries among other notable personalities were at hand to experience this epochal event. Interestingly, the occasion attracted personalities across the 31 local government area of the State and dignitaries from other States of the Federation. Some estimated that about 100,000 people flooded the Primary School, Akpautong to catch a glimpse of the enthroned monarch. But why would this occasion attract such assemblage of dignitaries and crowd? The answer lies in the uniqueness of Ibesikpo Asutan and the personality coronated.
Ibesikpo Asutan, one of the seven Local Government Areas created on October 1, 1996, was excised out of Uyo, on the North and former Ekpe Atai Local Government Areas. It is made up of two clans and about 80 villages.
Ibesikpo Asutan, probably the closest local government area to the State Capital, plays host to key facilities in the State. It is noteworthy that the areas known as the Central Business District (Banking Layout), Udo Udoma Avenue is in Afaha lkot Obio Nkan Ibesikpo, just as the Ebiye Housing Estate, like the Ibom Tropicana, is situated at Afaha Etok Ibesikpo lands. Apart from the immediate entrance to Shelter Afrique Estate, 70 per cent of the Estate is within the lands of Afaha Atai lbesikpo and Nung Ette lbesikpo while the Police Headquarters is in Ikot Akpan Abia lbesikpo as well as Akwa Ima Estate. The NTA is in Mbierebe Obio lbesikpo.
The aforementioned are the contributions of lbesikpo Asutan as joint hosts to the State Headquarters. Indeed, the people would not want to miss out on the coronation of a monarch who wields such power owing to the strategic location of his kingdom. Yet, the uniqueness of this local government area would not serve as the only factor that attracts people. The personage coronated gives a clue of a traditional ruler worthy to be reckoned and associated with.

A scion of the family of Francis Uko Ekpenyong from Akpautong in Ibesikpo Asutan Local government area, the monarch, was born on Sunday, 6th September, 1953.
Clement Ekpenyong who travelled out of the country in pursuit of intellectual gains studied and obtained diploma in Health Care Management before record time at Highland Park Community College, Highland Park, Michigan.
He proceeded to University of Michigan, Dearborn and completed programme with B.Sc in Health Care Management. He again proceeded to University of Detroit, Detroit, MI and studied Health Care Services Administration HCSA, at (MA) Masters Degree. He studied and became gerontologist from Madonna University of Livonia, MI. He ended up studying for diploma for specialist Education at Wayne State, University, Michigan to avoid government policy on foreign students. He worked at FEMI II Power Plant and extension Edison Company, Detroit and in various hospitals, Grace Harper Hospital, Detroit, Mercy Hospital, Mount Carmel Hospital – Detroit, Life Care Centres of America with awards at fortuned moment he started his own business called Covr Medical Supply and Equipment.
At the peak of his carrier, the call to return to Akpa Utong, subsequently included Asutan Ekpe and lbesikpo Asutan for traditional roles curtailed the seeming brighter age.
On returning to his homeland, his ascension to the traditional stool witnessed rapid rise. Months after the mantle of leadership beckoned on His Royal Majesty to emerge as the Village Head of Akpautong in Iwawa group of villages, he was subsequently selected as Clan Head in July 2017. In August 2017, he emerged Paramount Ruler of Ibesikpo Asutan Local government area. On September 25, 2017, Governor Udom Emmanuel swore him in and presented to him staff of office. Two years after receiving staff of office, the time finally came for the Royal crown to be bestowed upon the head of the monarch. Interestingly, this coronation was performed by the Traditional Rulers in Akwa Ibom State led by Oku Ibom Ibibio and Chairman of the Akwa Ibom State Council of Chiefs, His Eminence, Nteyin Solomon Daniel Etuk. Notwithstanding the coronation, who really is His Royal Majesty Edidem 111, Clement Ekpenyong in the eyes of Akwa Ibom State Government?
Edidem Ekpenyong in the Eyes of The State Government. The Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr Udom Emmanuel at the coronation noted that he is delighted over the quality of the Paramount Ruler crowned.
He commended the Ibesikpo Asutan Traditional Ruler’s Council for giving the State a Royal Father whose educational profile among other credentials are highly rated.
The Governor equally applauded them over the orderly manner and rancor-free selection process which culminated in the coronation. The Governor then pointed out what the State expects from the Monarch: “ The vision and expectation of government is to see our traditional institution grow in status in line with the realities of the modern world where, for instance, the British monarchy serves the background purpose of that countermanding father figure which calls the boys to order when the excesses of democracy drive things to the precipice.”
Just like the popular Oliver Twist,the Governor is desirous for more. He says “I hope to see Akwa Ibom monarchy evolve into a veritable custodian of that galvanizing myth which a people must have as an insurance against social disintegration.”
Nevertheless, for these expectations to manifest, Governor Emmanuel advises that the subjects of the Crown Monarch must learn to work together with the monarch for the common good of the people, knowing fully well that power comes from God. In the same vein, he maintains that government expects that the new Monarch will work harmoniously with everyone, even if some persons may have shown any form of opposition to his emergence.
What is more, the Chief Executive Officer of the State wishes His Royal Majesty well in his reign.
He notes “ It is my hope that under the reign of His Royal Majesty, peace, harmony and general development will continue to characterize the life of the people of this Local Government Area and the State in general.
“ Once again, I congratulate you on your emergence as Paramount Ruler, and pray that the Almighty God grant you the grace and strength for productive service to the people in this high office.”
In spite of the glowing expressions from the Governor, what is the thought of the Monarch’s subject over their newly crowned traditional ruler?
Newly Crowned Monarch in the eyes of Ibesikpo Asutan people
The Chairman on the occasion, an eminent son of Ibesikpo Asutan, Air Marshall Nsikak Eduok notes that the coronation marks a great day, not only for lbesikpo Asutan people, but also for sister Local Government Areas in Akwa lbom State, considering what he described as the distinguished services and quantifiable contributions of the celebrant to the State.
Air Marshal Eduok who describes the celebrant as a consummate, cerebral and epic gentleman says that from the quality of his royal personage, the crowned traditional father is an exemplary counselor and mentor of highest breed. He states that with the coronation, the stage is set for the repositioning of Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area in order to begin leadership, especially at the traditional levels.
He adds “ I hereby call on our sons and daughters at home and in the Diaspora, to rise up and cooperate with our Edidem in order to transform lbesikpo Asutan into a Model Local Government Area.”
Moreover, former Governor, Obong Victor Attah states that although leadership responsibilities, particularly the traditional institution involve a lot of careful balancing of the interest of the community and its people, he is confident that considering His Royal Majesty’s training, disposition and attributes, he stand highly advantaged to acquit himself satisfactorily in the role of a crowned Paramount Ruler.
Attah explains that events such as the coronation have the potential to engender unity and communal cohesion amongst the subjects with attendant peace.
While wishing that the Traditional father’s reign promote peace in abundance, he adds “ I am personally delighted to be associated with this epochal event and it is my prayer that Your Royal Majesty’s reign shall usher in a period of peace, progress and development in our Local Government Area and beyond.” Yet, with all the expectations and wishes, is the Monarch really ready for the task ahead?
Crowned Monarch Unveils plan
In his inaugural speech, Edidem (111) Clement Francis Ekpenyong, the paramount Ruler of Ibesikpo Asutan local government area says he is not ignorant of the fact that he was recommended and selected into the traditional stool in lbesikpo Asutan because his people believe in his capacity to liaise with the government and to protect their cultural, political and traditional heritage. He assures of his readiness to live to expectations.
The Monarch says he will always appraise the people of the mission achieved in the journey of leading the people aright.
He pledge to project and protect the envisioned ideals for progress, peace and unity of lbesikpo Asutan that would entice the government closer home on development schemes.
The Monarch says already he has set sail in his responsibility explaining that as at now he is part of the revitalization of lbibio nation prestige under the watch of Governor Emmanuel. He says “ I am proud to be reckoned with the rebirth history-making of this organization, The lfim lbom lbibio.
“Fortunately here represented is the enthusiastic personality, His Eminence, Ntenyin Dr. S. D. Etuk with crowns of dignity as Chairman of State Council of Chiefs, Chancellor of Akwa lbom State University and the Oku lbom of lbibio. His emergence, I am convinced will bring peace, unity and harmony among the races in Akwa Ibom State and beyond.”
However, the Monarch is desirous of more strides. He appeals to the Governor to assist his Community, Akpautong by using what he describes as a sort of wasted massive land that could be harnessed into Agric University/Research Centre. He points out that such research farm would vivify those abjectly deprived of good chances; than flocking shopping centers for wrong opportunities.
He adds “ Second, the abandoned Mount Carmel Hospital by the Catholic Proprietorship is a big loss before it went into decay; it was described as a viable general hospital with one hundred and sixty to two hundred bed capacity. The three wards housed the famous children ward male and female wards. The state of the art theatre, the administration block, the outpatient the 10 staff quarters and admitting departments are located on the massive unoccupied land useful for any expansion along Nung Udoe Eket Road via Air Force School.
“If it is rehabilitated, it could provide employment to various skilled and unskilled personnel and most of all the time exit to nearest hospitals to the citizens would save many lives and provide other advantages. I appeal to His Excellency to deploy his policy against inhumanity, to save the people of these rural areas.”
The newly crowned monarch completed his responsibility by extending the blessing of the day to others through the conferment of traditional chieftaincy titles and awards of excellence to notable sons of the area and beyond.

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