The serene community of Ibiaku Ikot Usen in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area was on Monday December 26, 2016 a beehive of activities as indigenes of the area home and in the Diaspora organized a Grand Reception in honour of their Monarch, Eteidung Edem Udofia Akpan.
The event which coincided with the 2016 celebration of Ikot Usen Day took place at the Ikot Usen Village Hall, following an earlier endorsement and issuance of Certificate of Recognition to the new Village Head, Chief Edem Akpan by the Akwa Ibom State Government.
Setting the tone for the event, the Chairman on the occasion, Dr. Uwemedimo Ekanem, said it was pleasant to see the people of Ikot Usen turned out en masse to receive and honour their monarch, adding that any community without a people-oriented leader is prone to anarchy and under-development. He therefore extolled the virtues of Eteidung Edem Udofia Akpan, alias “Akpan Ikot Usen”, whom he described as trustworthy and most qualified to lead the people of Ikot Usen who have been noted for orderliness and greatness.
Presenting Chief Akpan subsequently to the village, the Chairman of Ikot Usen Village Council, Chief Dennis Umoh, further described him as a pioneer and first-class intellectual, a community leader, a man of peace and respected custodian of traditions and customs of Ibiono Ibom, who by his exploits has shot the name of Ikot Usen to national and international reckoning. A brief profile showed that Eteidung Edem Akpan was amongst the earliest from Iko tUsen to be educated, a renowned teacher and foremost engineer from Akwa Ibom State who has worked with the Federal Government in many states and at various capacities.
The high point of the event was the actual decoration of Eteidung Edem Udofia Akpan in full royal regalia by the Paramount Ruler of Ibiono Ibom, Okuku Imeh Udo Usoro Inyang, who was represented by a Member of the Ibiono Ibom Traditional Rulers Council, Chief Patrick. Before performing the function, the royal father emphasized on the importance of peace and respect for elders as well as any constituted authority in any given society and therefore categorically thanked Ikot Usen Elders and people for the patriotism, cooperation and orderliness they have demonstrated in the choice of Eteidung Edem Akpan as their leader. In his words, “Every power or authority comes from God for the purpose of maintaining order and peace in the community. Whoever therefore opposes it may actually be fighting against God, and we all know the dire implications. From today, Eteidung Edem Akpan is the Village Head of Ikot Usen and must be so recognized and respected.” Seated on a royal stool, Eteidung Edem Udofia Akpan was then decked in a royal gown, a traditional cap, shoe, feathery fan and a staff as insignia of authority. A duly signed certificate of authority was then shown to all present.
In his acceptance speech, Chief E. U. Akpan thanked God and all those who found him worthy to lead the people of Ikot Usen, whom he described as “a blessed people” from time immemorial, promising to lead by example and in the fear of God. “I am highly honoured to be vested with the great responsibility of leading Ikot Usen people. I however shall not lead alone. I therefore expect and welcome your pieces of advice, contributions and cooperation to help me succeed in the general interest of all. Thank you very much for this honour”, the Eteidung enjoined.
Also expressing gratitude for the reality and beauty of the day, the Chairman of 2016 Ikot Usen Day Planning Committee, Ambassador Engineer (Deacon) Kufre Ekong Inyang, who was also the chief financier of the event, thanked other members of the Planning Committee, the elders, youths, women and all others for their cooperation and support for the success of the day. He particularly congratulated the newly-inaugurated chief and asked for continued blessings from God upon him and the Village. Looking at the village in retrospect, the UN-Ambassador called for peace, cooperation and unity amongst the villagers and promised that as long as God gives him the Grace, he will never relent in supporting the community in all ramifications.
Present at the event also were head of families making the Ikot Usen Village; great sons and daughters of the village including Professor Offiong Ekop of the University of Uyo, an Advocate of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, Barr. Imeh Asanga; chiefs of neighbouring communities, women and youth, as well as cultural organizations that added colour to the day.
pic:Elder of Ibiaku Ikot Usen Community in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area with their Monarch, Eteidung Edem Udofia Akpan during a grand reception in his honour, recently.