Leaders of Socio-Cultural Organizations in Akwa Ibom State have been advised to close ranks and work for the sustainability of the prevailing peaceful co-existence among the various ethnic groups that make up the state.
The State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel gave the advice during the 70th Birthday Celebration of an Ibibio Monarch, the Ntisong Ibibio lll, Obong Essien Ekidem at the Lutheran Church of Nigeria, Enwe Street, Uyo – the State Capital.
Governor Emmanuel acknowledged that God has shown benevolence to Patriarchs in the state with the gift of robust heath as well as long life.
He commended the Ntisong Ibibio for his commitment to the service of God and urged him to use his exalted office to build bridges of peace and unity across the state.
The Governor who described life after fifty five years as a reflective phase where a person takes stock of his past life with a view to correcting his misdeeds and right the wrongs in the society congratulated Obong Ekidem, the Patriarch of Akwa Esop Imaisong Ibibio for joining the league of septuagenarians hale and hearty and celebrating his 70th Birthday as the father of Ibibio Land.
He commended Lutheran Church of Nigeria for it decision to uphold the tenets of its founding father, Martin Luther saying the installation of New Luther Ambassadors will open new vistas in the church administration and in the propagation of the gospel.
Mr. Emmanuel expressed appreciation to the honorees for devoting their time to the services of God and accepting the call to higher responsibilities noting that taking responsibilities in the Lord’s vineyard is not limited by age or status which an individual attains in life.
He called on the Luther Ambassadors to brace up to the demands of the new office noting that as leaders, they would be misquoted, misunderstood and misrepresented.
He pledged to support the Church in it development programmes and donated an SUV as birthday gift to the Ntisong.
The celebrator, Obong Essien Ekidem, in a testimony said that God has been faithful to him having been the reason for his existence and leading him from childhood to his present age.
He expressed appreciation to all who turned up for the service and prayed God to bless them abundantly.
Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Barr. Onofiok Luke, Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Sir Etekamba Umoren, Eket and Ikot Abasi House of Representatives Members, Deaconess Owoidighe Ekpoattai and Mr. Francis Charles Udoyok, Commissioners, Special Advisers, State PDP Chairman Obong Paul Ekpo, immediate past Minister of Housing, Mrs. Akon Eyakenyi, President, Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio, Akparawa Monday Etukakpan, President Lutheran Church Of Nigeria Most Reverend Christian Ekong among other dignitaries graced the occasion.