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Akwa Ibom State: God’s Home Land  By Joe Etokudor

Akwa Ibom State: God’s Home Land By Joe Etokudor

God is Almighty in all ramifications. He makes choices by His sovereignty. And none is wise enough nor has the audacity to criticize Him. For example it is recorded in the Bible that when Rebecca was conceived twins, He chose one to love and hated the other. As it is written, Jacob I love, but Esau I hate. (Romans 9:13).

This has been God’s attribute from the genesis. He separates people and places for Himself in all generations. So has He chosen Akwa Ibom State as His homeland in this generation. He has carried it out for His will and purposes. Consequently, He has abundantly blessed the state.

It could be aptly confirmed and testified that Akwa Ibom State, God’s homeland which has been experiencing transformation in rapid successions will soon rank the enviable nations of the world. A glance at the astoundingly endowed state shows that it is one of the most populous states in Nigeria, the giant of Africa. The geographical space christened Akwa Ibom State had experienced several reformations and borne various names. This happened because the Nigerian state had applied numerous revolutions and modifications in several attempts to evolve a suitable federation. The national transformations or alterations of conversions always influenced the status of Akwa Ibom State since it does not exist in isolation. Specifically, there was a stern agitation for the creation of a separate state for minority clusters in the former Eastern Region, which the local now named Akwa Ibom State was a segment in 1953. Such struggles continued year after year and resulted in the creation of South Eastern State by General Yakubu Gowon – led administration in 1967 which the present Akwa Ibom State was a constituency. General Murtale Muhammed – led junta renamed the South Eastern State, Cross River State in 1976. However, the development did not give the mainland people (people from the Akwa Ibom part of the old Cross River State) maximum satisfaction, so they refused to give up the agitation. They kept submitting and resubmitting memoranda for the creation of Mainland State. Fortunately, the answer to their earnest prayer, faith and hardwork came on September 23, 1987 when the then Military President and Commander – in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, General Ibrahim Bandamasi Babangida (IBB), announced the creation of the long expected state.

The colourful celebration that accompanied the state creation was convincing that it was the dawn of total emancipation for the Akwa Ibom People. What a great dream come true it was the dawn of a total freedom from political, spiritual, financial and psychological slavery. Only God did this for the Akwa Ibom People.

It is widely believed that Akwa Ibom People Originated from a common ancestral stock. Yet, the state has three cardinal nations or ethnic groups: Ibibio, Annang and Oro. These great nations, in particular and other minor tribes in general have different dialects and clusters. But they are not barriers in communication across the state since Ibibio is spoken and understood among all the linguistic clusters. The population of the Akwa Ibom State is about 3.92 million, according to 2006 National Population Census. Though so numerous a p-people, we are culturally homogenous with Christianity as the dominant religion. All these constitute a strong bond of affinity among the hospitable, resourceful and industrious people. There are confirmations that the state is naturally one. Therefore, the people are duty bound to sincerely love, appreciate and share with one another, Akwa Ibom State is a wondrous place. If one voyages across its length and breadth, one will behold beauty in diversity. Its topography is naturally congenial, amusing and inhabitable. However, there is no rose without a thorn. There are erosion sites and other geographically attributed problems. but they are not prominent enough to threaten habitability, productivity and conformability of the naturally endowed zone.

One meets diverse people with similar cultures and backgrounds. The three major intra-ethnic entities share parallel mythology, dances, folklore, food and beliefs. There are regions where daily life is shaped by time- honoured tradition and cultural influences.  There are prosperous families, villages, markets, industries and institutions of learning spread across the nature – favoured locale. History reveals that Akwa Ibom State has a total landmass of about 8,412sqkms. It situates prominently in the wealthy South-south Region of Nigeria, the heart beat of Africa. It lies between Latitudes 4’33’and 5 ‘33’ North and Longitudes 7’35’ and 8’25’ East. The state is tremendously rich in minerals.

God has already blessed the land and tremendously. He will send abundance of rain accordingly. He has assured safety and uninterrupted supplies and increase as the state accepts and respects His Sovereignty.

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