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Urue-Ofong Oruko in the Days of Chief Okon Osung By Saviour Ekpe

Urue-Ofong Oruko Local Government Area is one of the last creation of local government areas in Nigeria by the then military junta led by General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida in Nigeria far back in the year 1991.

It has a population of more than 71,000 people and a landmass of 127.5km2. Urue Offong/Oruko Local Government Area has 33 villages, grouped into six clans. The clans are Okpo, Ibighi, Okiuso, Ubodung and Ukwong. The people are traditionally fishermen, traders and famers. It is very rich in sea-foods, palm oil and farm crops, the area is also rich in crude oil, much wells, it ranks among the richest in crude oil deposits found in Oro, Mbo, Okobo, Oron and Udung Uko. The other sister Local Government Areas in Oro nation are said to have 92,86,66 and 39 such wells respectively. Urue-Ofong Oruko since its inception has had Chief Dr. Esio Okwong Udo, Barr Nduonyi Ekpo, Hon. Remitus Asuquo, Engr. Etim Edet Okon, Barr. Efiong Okwong, Hon. Victor Mkpubre and Chief Okon Osung as Executive chairmen of the council at various times.

In the last Chief Okon Osung-led administration of Urue-Ofong Oruko Local Government Council, the area witnessed an administrative excellence as the immediate past Executive chairman who was adjudged the best local government chairman in Akwa Ibom State, South South region and Nigeria respectively by the House of Representatives Committee on State and local government. These recognitions, analysts described it as meritorious in the sense that Chief Osung within the space of six months, he embarked on what financial experts described as capital intensive projects which, according experts, no chairman beat his record since the inception of local administration in Nigeria.

When the people of Urue-Ofong Oruko Local Government Area gave him the mandate on the 11th of July, 2012 which lasted to July 9, 2015 to bring to bear his leadership prowess, it was thought that it would be “business as usual” of sharing the “national care” to perceived political elites and juggernauts only to discover that the first 100 Days in office was work throughout, which led to the complete renovation of the old building at the council headquarters; renovation of the Traditional Rulers’ Council giving it a first lift.

Chief Okon Osung, a Jerusalem Pilgrim who has traveled far and wide and given his exposure as a private business operator used these experiences to better the lot of the local council by embarking on gigantic projects, which he started, completed and were all commissioned by the then governor, now Senate Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio. One of these eye-opening projects to show that governance can thrive in the local governance is the construction of an ultra-modern secretariat office complex with well-furnished conference hall and offices, equipped with modern gadgets to accommodate all the principal officers in the executive arm of the local government in order to solve the acute shortage of office accommodation experienced by the council.

In a bit to raise the internal revenue of the council, Chief Osung built two ultramodern Halls in two communities in Eyekpifie and Oruko furnished with necessary equipment. No wonder as the internally generated revenue of the council, which hitherto was a paltry sum of N30,000 (thirty thousand naira) monthly before the assumption of office by Chief Osung, now grown to N996,000 (nine hundred and ninety six thousand naira) due to a dint of hard work, diligence, prudent managerial skills and accountability.

Other areas of direct intervention embarked upon by Chief Okon Osung administration include: payment of bursary to students of Urue-Ofong Oruko Local Government Area studying in tertiary Institutions across the globe; training of 25 indigenes of the area on adult and non-formal education, paid them allowances during school years; payment of monthly stipends to all youth associations in the local government; payment of stipends on a monthly basis to 72 members of different committees constituted to assist in the daily running of the council. This ranges between N20,000 and N50,000 per member; gave out N100,000 each to ten rural men and women monthly to set up businesses across the local government area; electrification of Ikpe community; the acquisition, clearing of site for the proposed Government Technical College in Oruko among many other projects. It could be noted that all these projects are carried out in Urue-Ofong Oruko Local Government Area that receives the least allocation from Federal Government.

It is on this imperative according to a popular adage, ‘reward for a work well done is more work to do’ and ‘one good turn deserves another’, the people of Urue-Ofong Oruko Local Government Area in realizing the leadership prowess of this energetic, forthright and committed young man should as a matter of encouraging upcoming leaders give him more opportunities to explore the potentials inherent in him for the good of the area.

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