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|A MONARCH & VETERAN JOURNALIST IS GONE by livefromnaija: 2:44pm On Feb 10, 2016|
The pioneer Paramount Ruler of Eastern. H.R.M Ubong (Apostle) Dr. Owen Sylvanus Ukafia Ede VI (JP) and Chairman Akwa Ibom State Council of Chiefs. King Ukafia, the father of Dr. Sylvanus Ukafia, the senior and founding pastor of Insight Bible Church.
King Ukafia-Ede VI, the pioneer first class monarch in Obolo (Andoni), was the Chairman of Eastern Obolo Traditional Rulers Council. Another higher appointment was when he was appointed Chairman of the Akwa Ibom State Council of Chiefs between 2003 and 2004. While in this position, his innovations were vivid in two aspects. First was the one thousand naira (N1000 .00) Nigerian currency note to honour late Dr. Clement Isong, a former Governor of the Central Bank before 1970 and also Governor of Cross River State, 1979-2003. This came up in his welcome address to President Olusegun Obasanjo during the latter’s visit to Akwa Ibom State in 2004. In 2005 it was issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Second, Ukafia-Ede utilized the same welcome address to prevent Obasanjo’s administration from transferring some oil wells in the Niger Delta to neighbouring states. His action was for the benefit of Nigerians as petroleum is our national economy. Here one would like to note that His Royal Majesty went macro in his contributions to nation-building. He was not after Obolo but his country, Nigeria, which he saved during the civil war between 1967 and 1970. It will be observed that his interest was Nigeria as a country and Obolo as a unit. On 16 November 2008 he celebrated his 75th Birthday Anniversary and his first son, Dr. S. O. Ukafia, declared a one week free medical services to humanity, irrespective of abode.
Eastern Obolo (Andoni) of King Ukafia-Ede VI is a Niger Delta community. It is economically significant as a major centre of petroleum resources in the Niger Delta. Okoroete Town where King Ukafia-Ede VI was born is the chief city and headquarters of Eastern Obolo Local Government Area where he traditionally ruled for thirty-seven years, 1977-2014. His contributions were towards its development as a way of nation-building.
Not many in Eastern Obolo were patriotic to the cause of Obolo (Andoni) in the Eastern Region, Cross River and Akwa Ibom States as Owen Sylvanus Ukafia. He loved and defended Obolo (Andoni) to a fault. He was the Obolo ‘anchor man’ in Aba and Calabar for decades, from1962 to 1982. He was using the media houses of his employ to champion and protect the cause of Obolo people. His residence in Aba was a common rendezvous for the Obolo that found himself in the Enyimba City without knowing anywhere to lay his head. Similarly was the case in Calabar. He provided support, protection and assistance for them. He was strongly connected in solving the problems of the Obolo in these cities. Anything Obolo earns his empathy wherever he finds himself.
In addition to the above, it can also be said that Ukafia’s life on earth was absolutely full of mentoring, not only to his biological children but also outside his nuclear family. He had wanted every child in his father’s compound to be well educated under his sponsorship. This initiative drove him to send his brother’s children, Sylvanus and Owen Amos Ukafia to good educational institutions. They ended as Army Public Relations Officer and a Venerable Archdeacon of the Anglican Communion, respectively. Similarly is his sponsorship of his cousin’s son, Richard Rogers Enemugwem, to Regina Coeli College, Essene, in 1965 and from there to Ibo National High School, Aba, in the later years. He also enlisted him and Chief Jonathan L. Arakpan Ukoima in the Nigeria Police Force. The latter retired as Superintendent of Police while Richard became the Chief of Iturougane’s Compound, Egwile.
Interestingly, his father’s compound produced the pioneer Professor in Okoroete Town and second in Eastern Obolo Local Government Area. He is Professor John Horace Enemugwem who is also the second Professor of History in Obolo (Andoni). Thus, the first Professor in the Local Government Area is Professor N. E. Dienye and the first Professor of History in Obolo is Professor N. C. Ejituwu. Professor Enemugwem is the Official University Historian and Dean, Faculty of Humanities, University of Port Harcourt.
Eyewitness accounts states that Owen Ukafia’s verbal encouragement of the retired pioneer Anglican Archbishop of the Niger Delta, Most Reverend Emmanuel Ebenezar Nglass, who is kindred of Eastern Obolo is factually correct.
On the whole, His Royal Majesty King Owen Ukafia Ede VI spent his 82 years life span in nation-building. The latter was his method of keeping peace and development.
Nevertheless, his dynamism from journalist to paramount ruler contributed to the development of this country. He saved Eastern Obolo in particular and Nigeria in general in many ways which only few are enumerated in this work. In recognition of his contributions to humanity, Columbus International University in the British Virgin Islands awarded King Ukafia Ede VI an honorary Doctorate Degree in 2003. The universe wishes him a perfect rest and his domain more fruitful years of nation-building in Nigeria. He is survived by a wife, nine children and numerous relations.
The inter-denominational funeral service of King Ukafia is as follows;
DATE: Saturday 13th Feb. 2016
VENUE: Government Field Okoroette, Eastern Obolo L.G.A, Akwa Ibom State.
TIME: 11am Prompt
For more info (Bio/Tibutes/Condolence Messages, etc. Visit http:www.ukafia.info
|Re: A MONARCH & VETERAN JOURNALIST IS GONE by livefromnaija: 4:22pm On Feb 10, 2016|
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