By Kufre UMOEFON
It is an incontestable reality that God, in his known magnanimity does not starve any generation of leaders who, in total humility bridge the dichotomy between leadership and followership by passionately and selflessly living for the people. Although many learned the art (of leadership) out of unbroken passion or surreptitious motives, God-ordained leaders like Otuekong (surv) Felix Emmanson, are not difficult to spot out. Their daily lives and activities tell more of them than the best psychological assumption and prediction.
Politically speaking, Otuekong Felix Emmanson is a blessing God, in his generosity of spirit, has given to Ikot Ideh village in Nto Edino Ward 1, Obot Akara LGA where he hails from. From all indications, leadership runs in him as blood does in human nerves – he is a born a leader. Every indispensable particle of leadership qualities are embellished in him; that is why wherever he goes – like the golden fish which has no hiding place – he is often spotted out effortlessly and handed scepters of leadership.
Besides his exclusive creation which comes with every physical and mental endowment that perfectly defines a handsome man, Otuekong is simultaneously endowed with a complete set of attitudinal bequests: he is a man of uncompromised integrity; an enigma of forthrightness; a citadel of humility; a fortress of kindness; a reservoir of wisdom; an icon of hope; an advocate of justice; and a God-fearing man. His visionary eyes are always focused; his listening ears widely open for advice and constructive criticism; his calculating head loaded with innovative ideas and plans; his generous hands, a dispenser of philanthropy; his steps always show the way. Everywhere he enters, his presence is a present (gift) and blessing to his people. What a leader!
It’s not a surprise that, aside from several leadership positions he had proficiently held and meritoriously served, his ever-green legendary legacy as a pioneer Local government Chairman of Obot Akara has been unprecedented; his leadership style as chairman, Ati-annang – a socio-cultural organization of international repute, Obot Akara Chapter is exclusively estimable; and his accumulated professional experience as a seasoned Surveyor of great repute earns him the state chairman of the Akwa Ibom state surveyors. As charity begins at home, it is interesting to mention that – influenced by his obdurate loyalty and interminable affection to his party (even when offended and cheated) – Obong Felix Emmanson is the political leader of his ward (Nto Edino Ward 1) whose strategically inspiring leadership style remains a study specimen.
As a foresighted leader, he understands that destitution is a highly suicidal and regrettable condition which makes victims most vulnerable to all forms of life’s challenges – health hazards, societal neglect and stigmatization, common among widows, children and the elderly. He knows that it is either a self-inflicted or fate-induced injury. He strongly believes that it was for the sake of this helpless category of people God commanded man to embrace philanthropy in Deu 15:11 “For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land”.
As an unrepentant benefactor who has touched and changed so many lives not only in his immediate community but also in every capacity he is privileged to serve – Philanthropy is a lifestyle. Therefore, as always, none was taken by surprise that – consequent upon the lockdown order of both the state and federal government, occasioned by the regrettable arrival of the grotesque Covid-19 pestilence in Akwa Ibom state, which has made life almost unbearable for citizens; aside from the palliatives he gave to party supporters and leaders in his ward (as far as his hands could reach) alongside stipends to cushion the regrettable effect of the novel pandemic – Otuekong Felix showed an innovative angle of leadership by putting the Most vulnerable widows, children and elderly across his ward at the centre of his benevolence as he showered them with palliatives and encouragement. The joy in the hearts of these helpless and almost always forgotten people was better imagined. Should the axiom: “too much of everything is disease” be true, then Otuekong Felix Emmanson would have been sick and probably died of excessive fervent prayers and blessings from this special class of people.
As a thoroughbred Christian, he did this quietly and humbly without waiting for accolades and praise singers, in accordance with Matt6:3-4. It must be noted that this great philanthropist did all he did with his personal money. Yet, despite the fact that his loyalty to the party is in totality – even when there was exodus of party heavyweights from the party – since he left the LG council as chairman, he was not given the fare share of deserved recognition as his counterparts in terms of state or Federal appointments. This did not go down well with his teaming followers who are beneficiaries of his benevolence.
Clad with the foresightedness prowess of the present government with commitment to use best hands and experienced brains to achieve her set goals and objectives, I join the teaming groups and organizations to appeal to His Excellency, Mr. Udom Gabriel Emmanuel to recognize and carry along this trusted loyal party man, with untapped intellectual resources, whose strategic role in the gallantry success of the party at the 2019 elections was hugely and inexplicably commended.
Otuekong (surv) Felix Emmanson, you are great and I am, as others are, heartily proud of you. God Bless you, our pride.