A Belgian-based Non-Governmental Organization, Ette Ibibio, has reinstated its commitment to humanitarian services and the promotion of Akwa Ibom culture through tourism development.
Ette Ibibio, founded in 1998 by Mr. Effanga Peter Essien, made this known recently when it led the Jamaican High Commissioner to Nigeria, Ann Scott, alongside some Belgium diplomats and a Space Scientist, Alexander Karl, to the historical sites of Mary Slessor, a Scottish missionary.
The Team, in collaboration with Akwa Ibom Dignity and Integrity Defenders Foundation (AKIDIDEF), was received by Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State, who seized the opportunity to solicit for more Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in developing the state’s maritime and tourism sectors.
Speaking, Mr. Essien said the rich cultural heritage; hospitable disposition of Akwa Ibom State has placed it on centre stage in the comity of nations within and outside the shores of Africa.
He said the organization’s venture into the life and times of Mary Slessor was borne out of her genuine dedication and commitment to the civilization of Akwa Ibom, maintaining that “Slessor’s extraordinary contributions to the health and wellbeing of twin and their mother” has been unparallel.
Ette Ibibio founder, who promised to always bring the best to the state, charged youths and the people of the state to take advantage of the inherent rich cultural heritage by making wealth from them.
On her part, the Jamaican High Commissioner to Nigeria, Ann Scott, said the age-long brotherly identity existing between the people of Akwa Ibom, Jamaica and Belgium would also help in building bilateral ties in various sectors.
She thanked the Akwa Ibom State Government for immortalizing late Mary Slessor by naming streets and celebrating her role in the abolition of the killing of twins, adding that the visit was to seek more areas of cooperation between them and that the cordial relationship would be maintained.
Also speaking, Alexander Karl, a Space Scientist, said the many historical sites in the state were very interesting and second to none in the world.
Karl, who said he was granted the permission two years ago by the International Astronomical Union through the initiative of Ette Ibibio foundation to name an asteroid after Mary Slessor (4793 Slessor), appealed to the people of the state to endeavour to preserve its rich cultural heritage for the benefit of the unborn generations.
In his remarks, the Director of Media and Publicity of AKIDIDEF, Mr. Kufre Umoefon, said “AKIDIDEF chooses to partner with Ette Ibibio Foundation on Mary Slessor’s project because of the common visionary alignment they share – promoting, protecting and projecting men and women of distinguished philanthropic services enshrined in integrity, whose lives touch(ed) lives, especially, that of the less privileged – in other to encourage others. In the case of Mary Slessor, it is our belief that by projecting her golden virtues, we are recreating more Mary Slessors in Akwa Ibom State and the multiplier effect would redefine love.”