Long before now, names were given to children based on circumstance, place, time etc with an unclear vision of the effect of those names on their children. In a recent time, parents adopted the name Goodluck for their kids because parents of this generation have come to understand that there are so much attached to names than just answering them.
Let’s take our minds off the national and narrow it to Akwa Ibom State to point our search light on Senator Emmanuel Ibok Essien whose name is synonymous with not only saviour in the Bible describes Emmanuel but that the Ibok and Essien take how it has contributed to the life of our distinguished senator of very high repute.
In Ibibio land, ‘Ibok’ could be seen in two ways as drug (medicine) or an oracle. Both of these have the power to perform wonders. Medicine when properly applied to the sick could get well and an oracle has the ability to see beyond human capacity and can detect what could be done to remedy a situation. Anything that is good and noble would be done in the full glare of the public hence; the combination of any ‘Ibok’ outside where everyone would see means that such is for the betterment of all and would bring joy and happiness to those close by. No wonder he was born 10 days before Christmas whose birth triggered happiness that transcended to that of Jesus Christ by Christians. Yes! His birth after four years, Nigeria got its independence.
As every child, though with unique essential qualities, the Ikot Abia Idem born senator and entrepreneur came into the family of Rev. Peter Ibok Essien started his primary education at Methodist School, Ikot Abia Idem/ Ikot Ewang from 1962 to 1967 then completed at Ituk Mbang in Uruan Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State due to the interruption of the civil wars.
Few years passed by, he had not only bagged his West African School Certificate but immediately proceeded to the Erstwhile College of Technology, now Cross River State College of Technology where he got his National Diploma in electrical/electronic engineering and the ‘Ibok’ in him began to magnify to the world that Emmanuel as he was mostly called as at then was not just a name but a clear indication that he is a potential saviour who would salavage not only the mental state of Akwa Ibom people but Nigerians at large that he was picked to further his studies on Canadian Bureau for International Aid Scholarship to Carlton University, Ottaire, Ontorio, Canada where he grasped Second Class Upper Division, Bachelor of Engineering (B. Engr.), Civil Engineering in 1982, then registered to become a member of Council for Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria and fellow, Nigerian society of engineers.
On his return to Nigeria, the ‘Ibok in him began to work again. Not on the inside but because it was time for him to begin to proffer solutions to the needs wherever he finds himself both private and public sectors had to rush for his employment with Mobil Producing Nigeria, now Exxon Mobil, was lucky to engage him.
His duties also spread through Imo State Ministry of Works and Housing, acting director of works and services of the Federal Polytechnic Mubi, Adamawa State and currently the Chief Executive Officer, Ritman Nigeria Limited well as Ritman Ivory companies. Seeing these charismas in the young Emmanuel, he was unanimously elected into the senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as Senator representing Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District between 1999 and 2003 and served as Deputy Chief Whip of the Senate among membership of various committee of the senate.
He served in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as member, Board of Trustees Member, the National Executive Committee member, National State and Local Government caucuses of the party. To his credit too, he is the first Akwa Ibom Legislator to serve in the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) Parliament and elected Deputy Chief whip of the senate from 2000-2003. He was chairman governing council, Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic, Ikot Osuru; Chairman Federal Medical Centre, teenage, Bayelse State.
The ‘Ibok’ in him for greatness kept working, he was appointed commissioner in Revenue Mobilization and Fiscal Commission, Abuja from December 2010 – November 2015 and at present he has occupied his rightful position as the founder/Chairman Governing Council of Ritman University, Ikot Ekpene which fulfill what his names connotes to salvage people from ignorant and illiteracy at all level.
Now, one would see that the essence of every ‘Ibok’ where everyone could see is for the betterment of the people and to heal them from their sicknesses or guard against any possible attack which is the aftermath of Ritman Nursery and Primary School as well is Ritman University.
He is happily married to Mrs. Grace Emmanuel Essien with three kids. As a politician, clergy, educationist, philanthropist and business man, he still addicts his time to enjoy good music as well as reading to add to his wealth of knowledge.