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•••as Mkpat Enin bigwigs present him to public as Political Leader of Mkpat Enin

••we begged him for three months to accept Political Leadership – Hon. Umoattan

•••nobody is more Mkpat Enin than any other Mkpat Enin son or daughter – Council Chairman

Yesterday, about five thousand attendees witnessed the event that brought to an end the speculation or otherwise the successful and official declaration and presentation of Professor Eno Ibanga as the political leader of Mkpat Enin Local Government Area to the general public.

Professor Eno Ibanga at about twelve noon made a triumphant entry in Grand style to the venue of the event, and was received by Mkpat Enin traditional rulers at the gates of Council Secretariat with thousands of people witnessing the brief traditional rituals that took place at the gates of the venue.

In what could be described as a festival of honour, Professor Eno Ibanga was thereafter received and adequately celebrated in the presence of former Governor Udom Emmanuel , Barr. Emmanuel Enoidem, the Secretary to the State Government, Prince Enobong Uwah, and the dean of Commissioners and Special Advisers, Sir Monday Ebong Uko who led members of the state Executive Council and Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly to Mkpat Enin where a reception was held in honour of Professor Eno Ibanga and he was officially presented by who is who in Mkpat Enin to the general public as the political leader of Mkpat Enin.

The event took place under a very peaceful atmosphere and clement weather.

Speakers at the event, drawn from the highest political echelon in Mkpat Enin Local Government Area and across the state extolled the good virtues of Professor Eno Ibanga that has made him deserving the honour done on him.

At the event, the immediate past Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Udom Emmanuel congratulated Professor Eno Ibanga on the honour done on him by his people. “This honour given you by Mkpat Enin people is a testament to your maximization of the opportunity to serve in Government to the benefit of the people. I have no doubts that you and capable to do even more and carry the task ahead successfully. Once again congratulations”. He said.

Mr. Udom Emmanuel was represented by the immediate past member representing Eket, Onna, Esit Eket and Ibeno Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon. Pat Ifon. Udom Emmanuel’s presence was significant because he was the last Political Leader of Mkpat Enin, having taken over when there were crisis in 2016. He was on hand to congratulate Professor Eno Ibanga on his recognition as the political leader of Mkpat Enin.

In his goodwill message, the dean of Commissioners, and Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Sir Monday Ebong Uko who led a peck of Commissioners to the event, including the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon. Frank Archibong and the Commissioner for Health, Professor Augustine Umoh, extolled the virtues of Professor Eno Ibanga. He said that with what he has witnessed at the event, it was obvious that Professor Eno Ibanga is a man of the people and he assured Mkpat Enin people of the capabilities of Professor Eno Ibanga to lead them aright, adding that the celebration in mkpat enin puts an end to the “imaginary crises” read on social media about the local government.

In his welcome remarks the Executive Chairman of Mkpat Enin Local Government Area Hon. Anieokpon Ekpo applauded Mkpat Enin people and other well wishers from across the state for attending the event in such a large number.

He said that the event was the beginning of full independence and emancipation of Mkpat Enin Local Government Area from being leaderless. He added that nearly everyone who ought to be at the event to make it a success was present.

In his words, “as the chief security officer of the local government, I have declared in unity with our key Stakeholders that Professor Eno Ibanga henceforth is the political leader of Mkpat Enin Local Government Area, and he has our consent to represent us wherever decisions that bind us as a people shall be taken. Nearly everyone that should be here is present. Anyone that is not present here is not more Mkpat Enin than all of us put together. What we do today stands as the voice of majority of Mkpat Enin people, anyone is free to talk or write but no one can take away what we have done today”.

Notably, the Chairman of the occassion, the Rt. Hon. Bernard Udoh, a former three term (12year) member of House of Representatives in Abuja recalled how it took the members of Mkpat Enin Political Stakeholders nearly three months to convince Professor Eno Ibanga to accept their call to be the political leader of Mkpat Enin Local Government Area.

The Rt. Hon. Bernard Udoh said “The position of Political Leadership of Mkpat Enin Local Government Area has been vacant for a long time, since 2016 that the last occupant of that office officially declared that age is no longer favourable to him to act that duty. And three months ago, we sat down and agreed that we cannot be the only local government without a political leader. When we gathered and searched for who can lead us, we found no other person worthy than Professor Eno Ibanga. I would have been the one to take that position but I said no, I have found a man with capability. We have all agreed that he should lead us, and we pray God to strengthen him to do so.

Representative of the four clans of Mkpat Enin Local Government Area presented the position of their various clans.

Hon. Ephraim Akpan a former Local Government Chairman spoke for Ibiaku clan, Dr. Anietie Essien a board member spoke for Ikpa Ikono clan, Chief Inwang Inyang a senior Stakeholder spoke for Ukpum Minya clan, while Chief Friday Ayara a founding member of PDP from Mkpat Enin Local Government Area and chapter Chairman spoke for Ikpa Ibom clan.

All of them recognized and pledge the support of their clans to Professor Eno Ibanga and celebrated that Mkpat Enin is free from the era that any one man can decide for the generality of the people.

Specifically, Chief Inwang Inyang said “the bible says love your neighbour as you love yourself, we have seen a man that within less than three years in Government he has turned around his own community. And charity is supposed to begin at home. Anyone that cannot develop his own community cannot develop another community. We give him Political Leader because we have total confidence that given opportunity he will spread and attract development to the rest of Mkpat Enin Local Government Area”.

The House of Assembly member after singing songs elaborated that who is who in Mkpat Enin are with Professor Eno Ibanga.

‘If you look at this venue, you will see the Local Government Chairman, the House of Assembly member, three time House of Reps member from Mkpat Enin, all the former Local Government Chairmen of Mkpat Enin are here, former House of Assembly member. You also have here up to twelve ward chairmen out of fifteen, Councillors, supervisors, the front line women leaders in Mkpat Enin are here Lady Ekaette Usip and Mrs. Idara Ephraim Akpan are here, the youth Council Chairman Emem Alex, and the youth caucus Chairman Comrade Tony Evans. So please tell me which stakeholder in Mkpat Enin is not here. Apart from the Senator? The answer is that MAJORITY of those that should have a mouth in this matter are here in support”.

Chairman of Youth Council, Etubom Emem Alex extolled the compassionate and generosity of Professor Eno Ibanga. “We say that this man deserves to be honoured, we have seen him empowering men, women and youth. He has come to say that there are goodies in Government. Empowerments here and there. We the youth call for peace. There should be no more social media banters we should warm up to enjoy the dividend of democracy”.

Highpoints of the event were the presentation of certificate of recognition as Political Leader of Mkpat Enin to Professor Eno Ibanga by Mkpat Enin Stakeholders.

And the presentation of the sword of defense, signifying a symbol to use and defend Mkpat Enin Local Government Area from any aggression. Various groups in uniforms also made presentations and dances to celebrate Professor Eno Ibanga.

In his acceptance speech, Prof. Eno Ibanga thanked God for what He is doing in Mkpat Enin and for Mkpat Enin people. He expressed his gratitude to the Executive Governor of Akwa I on State, Pst. Umo Eno for giving him the opportunity to serve in the current administration and also extended his gratitude to his former boss the immediate past governor of the state who brought him fully into the government and politics, he particularly thanked his colleagues, members of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly and Chairmen of Councils who were present at the occasion.

Prof Eno Ibanga called on all Mkpat Enin sons and daughters to think first of mkpat enin before self interest. He thanked the stakeholders for the confidence and trust reposed on him as their political leader and assured everyone that he would be inclusive, exemplary, selfless and sacrificial in his approach on issues concerning Mkpat Enin.

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