Today in history, the day MAY 14TH, 1956 can never be forgotten whenever the history of my life is written. This day was a very bright Monday morning at Afaha Ibesikpo, a very obscured village then. My father was then serving as a primary school teacher and was resident in that village.
It was actually the day which God had predetermined as the day of my BIRTH and ENTRY into this world. The EXACT TIME as recorded by my literate father was 8AM in the morning. The joyous moment came at exactly ONE YEAR (365 days) when my mother, a Princess from the Royal family of EDIDEM UDOFIA UDODIO of Nnung Ambon sub-family, young and beautiful CECILIA NYONG UDOFIA and my father, a Prince from another star ROYAL FAMILY OF UDO OKON MBANG UDO EBURUTU of NNUNG AKPAN UDO another subfamily of the biggest and largest NNUNG OBIO INUA FAMILY in MBIAKONG URUAN WERE JOINED in HOLY MATRIMONY by the then PARISH PRIEST REV FATHER KEOGH.The beauty in this historic birth is that God had planned it so well that their first product of that wedding on 14th May, 1955 was to come on exactly the date of their MARRIAGE ANNIVERSARY. It came on the 14TH OF MAY, 1956. Was this not A DIVINE ARRANGEMENT and HISTORIC too?
My parents, though late now, were themselves products of both PATRILINEAL and MATRILINEAL ROYALTIES. While my Father’s mother came from the Royal lineage in Nting family unit of IDU URUAN Village, my mother’s mother came from a prominent Royal lineage in Nung Akpan family of IFIAYONG USUK, all in CENTRAL URUAN. It is not just a coincidence that today I lead CENTRAL URUAN CLAN POLITICALLY, rather I see it as a continuation of the services my great grandfathers both paternally and maternally have had to render in these major Central Uruan villages of MBIAKONG, IDU URUAN and IFIAYONG USUK in their times. My present dispositions on key issues principally in support of EQUITY, JUSTICE and FAIRPLAY are HEREDITARY from their BLUE BLOOD running through my veins. My life is predicated on living peaceably with all persons and with a penchant to do ONLY WHAT IS JUST AND RIGHT no matter whose ox is gored.
It is unfortunate that due to the pandemic of today, I may not be able to celebrate this ripe age with my numerous friends and associates like we did at 60 some four years ago when all the associations and groups that I have had an opportunity to serve decided to come together to celebrate me under the acronym “CELEBRATING JB @ 60” at the then Le Meridien Hotel and Golf Resorts. These groups and associations who decided to honour me then were:
1) HOLY TRINITY OLD STUDENTS ASSOCIATION( Served as National President for almost a decade)
2) UNIVERSITY OF IFE OLD STUDENTS( Served as a one time NACRISS President in the University in 1980)
3) UAC OF NIGERIA PLC MANAGEMENT( Served the company for 23 years rising to Senior Management positions: PLANT MANAGER of General Motors Nigeria, TECHNICAL DIRECTOR of UAC Foods/ Mr Biggs Division and MD/CEO of Spring Waters Nigeria Ltd(SWAN)
4) ESOP NDITO URUAN INYANG ATAKPOR, LAGOS CHAPTER( Served as the President for 2 terms from 1985-1988, a period within which we came home with the “OBUFA URUAN” philosophy)
5) AKWA IBOM STATE COMMUNITY, LAGOS( Served as the FIRST VICE PRESIDENT in 1979)
6) AKWA IBOM STATE COMMUNITY, JOS ( Served as the PATRON for the 5 years I served as the MD/CEO of SWAN WATER, Jos)
7) AKWA SAVINGS & LOANS LTD ( Served as Member of BOARD OF DIRECTORS)
8) AKWA IBOM STATE POLYTECHNIC, IKOT OSURUA ( Served as CHAIRMAN of GOVERNING COUNCIL, 2015)
9) UNITED NATIONS POSITIVE LIVELIHOOD AWARD CENTRE ON PEACE( UNPOLAC- Served as NIGERIA COUNTRY PRESIDENT, 2001-2003)
11) FULL GOSPEL ASSEMBLY, NIGERIA ( Served and still serving as MEMBER OF BOARD OF TRUSTEES of the church since 2006 and currently the DISTRICT SUPERINTENDENT of CALABAR DISTRICT.)
I specially wish to use the medium of this 64th Birthday to once again thank these organizations and groups for planning and organising that beautiful evening in celebration of my 60th Birthday. I wish to thank in a very special way, my brother, friend and Governor of Akwa Ibom State, His Excellency, Udom Gabriel Emmanuel who made his presence felt at that event through the delegated presence of Hon Akan Okon, then the Commissioner of Finance. I cannot also forget my bosom friends Senator Emmanuel Ibok Essien, Senator Anietie Okon and my brother Okon Okon alongside other URUAN LEADERS led by our Political Leader, Obong Peter Atakpo who also joined me in the celebrations that night.
I decided to spend this much time on the echos of the 60th Birthday events as this year’s Birthday will, unfortunately, be marked under lockdown conditions. I owe God our Heavenly Father all the gratitude and appreciation for keeping me in very good health to see this day.
I am most grateful again to God for the manifestations of His promises in Psalms 128:1-6.
My very sincere promises to God this day of my birth are that I WILL leave no stone unturned to DO ALL THAT I CAN to live a LIFE OF PEACE and be a perpetual SOURCE OF BLESSINGS to every person who may come my way NOW and FOREVER. By the token of the beauty of today, I HAVE FORGIVEN all those who had offended me in any way and Pray to God to FORGIVE MINE TOO in like manner while also standing in the gaps for all those who seek His face.
I WILL CONTINUE to LIVE and ACT in HIS WAYS AND LIKENESS. SO HELP ME GOD