…says Ex party chair helped translate his govt’s vision as Commissioner
Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel says the former State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Obong Udo Ekpeyong, was a formidable ally who helped translate the visions of his administration.
The Governor who spoke at the funeral service in honour of the departed party Chairman in Ukanafun said, ever since his path crossed with the late Ekpeyong, their shared journey of selfless service to the people showed Obong Udo Ekpenyong as a formidable ally, “a man whose words meant everything; a man of sterling principles and integrity, deep in faith and deep in convictions, a man who, once he was committed to standing with you, will remain unshaken or unmoved by the tempest or the undulating tidal waves of loyalty that sometimes characterize the human condition. In Udo Ekpenyong, I found a general you could depend upon to execute agreed strategies of victory and, who, will hold dear to his heart the underlying articles of faith without betrayal”
He stated that the deceased served his administration admirably as the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs and helped to translate its vision of mutual engagements especially with Traditional Rulers in the task of ensuring that Government policies and programmes trickled down to the masses.
“How do I come to terms with the fact that one of my most trusted and loyal lieutenants, Honourable Obong Udo Ekpenyong, our able and dependable State Party Chairman is gone? How do you begin to describe in past tense a man who few days to his sad passing had shown great and comforting signs of recovery and was looking forward to returning to do what he knew how to do best: Gathering people to advance the continuous growth of our Party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its dominance in the political stratosphere of our State?”
“How do I begin to address in past tense the man who was rock-solid in his convictions, was unwavering in doing all that was proper, right and noble; a man who would not bend his beliefs on the fleeting passion of herd mentality or a follower of issues layered in conventional wisdom? A man whose force of character was furnaced and shaped on the steel of loyalty, discipline and character”, he lamented.
He regretted that just when he was getting ready to continue with another assignment of huge responsibility as the Chairman of the PDP, a position he held for a few months, death took him away, and admonished that though Udo Ekpenyong may be physically gone, the memories of his good deeds, his admirable character, convictions, integrity, loyalty, faith in God and in His unseen Hands to perfect that which was once thought impossible, “all these great and ennobling memories will continue to be placed in us, whom he so sadly and painfully left behind. We will miss him dearly and deeply”, he declared.
He note that the mood the state felt or experience since January 19th, though painful and sad as it is, however, is rooted in love; love for a man who was a walking vessel of loyalty, dependability, trust and faith in institutions of governance and its defining Symbols.
Hear him, “We are gathered here to mourn and bid farewell to a man who was grateful for what God and providence had thrown his way, and correspondingly did all he could to live his life in fulfilment of such grace and in appreciation and loyalty to the earthly agents of grace God had brought his way”.
“We are gathered here today in deep grief, pain and paradoxically in over-flowing love. Grief, if I may add, is an emotion that is rooted in love. We grief for those we love dearly and deeply. Her Royal Majesty, Queen Elizabeth 11, captured this sentiment so poignantly when she once said that “Grief is the price we pay for love.”
“My dear Friend, Compatriot, and dependable ally, the late Hon. Udo Ekpenyong, esiereee! May your soul rest in the bosom of our Lord and Creator, Amen”, he submitted.
Also speaking, the National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, who was represented by the National Secretary PDP, Sen. Umaru Ibrahim Tsauri, described the death of Udo Ekpenyong as a great loss to the PDP family, to the state and the nation at large.
According to Prince Secondus, “As for the national working committee, we have lost a formidable pillar, a pillar that supported the PDP at the center. We have lost a fortune. We commiserate with the family of Udo Ekpenyong and the good people of Akwa Ibom State”. He commiserated with the family of late Udo Ekpenyong over the painful exit of a confidant and a formidable pillar whom he said will be greatly missed, praying God to give the family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
Delivering a homily at the event, Pastor Ita Ukana Ekpenyong of the Delightful Christian Church International, Uyo, admonished the people not live on assumptions. Drawing from the lessons in the story of Sampson who, in Judges 16:20, assumed God was still with him when he was no more, said any other assumption could be pardonable, but that the most expensive was to assume having the presence of God when it has actually left.
The cleric said the dead is done and gone but that the living who still have an opportunity to appraise their lives and make amends should endeavour to retain the presence of God and not make the mistakes of Sampson.