Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Former Deputy Speaker for burial Friday

Former Deputy Speaker for burial Friday

The remains of the immediate past deputy  speaker of the Akwa Ibom House of Assembly and former Head of Council, Ukanafun Local Government Area, Obong Okon Uwah shall be buried this Friday, May 22, 2015.

Uwah, aged 51, was killed by miscreants on March 18, 2015 at Nkek Village during a door-to-door campaign.

The funeral programme made available to newsmen by the bereaved family shows that mourning house will be opened Monday, May 18, 2015 with visits by friends and associates at his country home, Ikot Antia Afaha Obo in Ukanafun Local Government, while valedictory sessions would be held in his honour at the Ukanafun Council Hall and the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Thursday.
According to the programme, the remains of the former lawmaker would be committed to mother, Friday, after a funeral service by the Lutheran Church of Nigeria, Ikot Edong District at the Community Secondary School Ground, Afaha Obo by 10 am.

Eldest son to the deceased, Master Emmanuel Okon Uwah invites friends, colleagues and associates of his late father to join the family to give him a befitting farewell.
Already, many groups, individuals and institutions have sent letters of condolence the bereaved family.

A joint statement by the chairman of the burial’s Central Planning Committee and former commissioner for information in the state, Mr Census Ekpu and the chairman, publicity sub-committee and former secretary of Ukanafun Local Government Area, Mr Godwin Benson, said arrangements have reached an advanced stage to give the late Obong Okon Uwah a befitting burial.

Uwah attended Government Primary School Afaha Obo and obtained his First School Leaving Certificate, (FSLC), in 1978 from that same school and proceeded to Western Annang  Secondary Commercial School (WASCO)  Ukanafun, for his secondary school education, where he obtained his O’Level Certificate. The quest for more knowledge took him to the then School of Arts and Science,  Uyo and acquired his Higher School Certificate in 1985.  He later got admission into the then University of Cross River State to study Sociology/Anthropology and graduated in 1990. Thereafter he proceeded and obtained his MBA, Masters in Business Administration in 2002 from Ambrose Ali University Edo State. The penchant  for a more comprehensive education informed the Late Uwah’s enrolment in the Law department at the  University of Uyo, where he acquired a Bachelor of Laws degree LL.B (Hons) in 2012. 

Uwah did his National Youth Service Corps, (NYSC) with the Federal Ministry of Internal Affairs,  Abuja, from 1991 to 1992. After his NYSC service, he was employed as a supervisor with Citi Bank Plc in Lagos from 1992 to 2001 before he resigned to serve his people in the political field. 

He was elected as the president of Government Students Association, School of Arts and Science, Uyo from 1984 to 1985, a position he judiciously used to horn his political skill.  He was also elected president, Afaha Obo Progressive Association from 1984 to 1990 which served as a platform for community development and capacity building for youths. Between 1987 to1988, the late Uwah was the secretary general of National Association of Annang Students, University of Cross River State, (UniCross), Chapter. 

At a time when Ukanafun Local Government Area was  yearning for credible leadership,  the late Uwah, to the shock of many, took an uncommon brave step and resigned from his plum job at Citi Bank Plc to answer to the call to serve his people. Although the political water was mucky, Late Obong Uwah threw his hat into the contest ring and weathered the storm. He contested and won the chairmanship nomination on the platform of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in a landslide victory. Before elections were held for the position, he was appointed the Caretaker Committee Chairman for his Local Government Council in 2003. Later, he became the democratically elected Head of Council for three years between 2004 to 2007. 

During his tenure as Head of Council, Ukanafun witnessed great peace and infrastructure development. His Peace Initiative in the local government Area deepened harmony between various communities under his domain. His well funded community policing  systems assisted tremendously in curtailing crime rate during his tenure. As former banker and private sector person, he initiated a capacity development programmes which targeted the  youths thereby giving life and hope to a large chunk of the society. During his era as Head of council, the late Obong Uwah  exhibited unprecedented cohesive relationship between traditional rulers, political leaders, women and the Christian community. He was a giver, a motivator and a philanthropist. His habitual friends were the under privileged people in the society and he derived real joy by hanging around with them at his free time. 

Upon his election into the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly as the member for Ukanafun State Constituency in 2007, the late Uwah was elected deputy speaker and chairman, House committee on Boundary matters.  As deputy speaker, he was a mediator, peace maker and unifying force among his fellow honourable colleagues in the House.  His peaceful posture helped immensely to foster the harmonious relationship between the executive and the legislature during that era.    
Uwah was a committed member of the Lutheran Church of Nigeria during his life time. He was an ardent believer in the biblical creed that a Christian must practice what he preaches. The golden rule that says “do unto others what you will want them to do to you” was his guiding principle. This attitude translated into his good hearted nature and generous personality. He was a man with acute sense of justice and profuse love for the less privileged. As a tribune of the masses, he spoke openly and acted bravely in fighting the cause of the people.

 Uwah was married to his one and only heartthrob Mrs Inem, a beautiful woman that sweetened his life and trimmed some of his excesses. The couples were so bonded and loved each other with all the fibers in their hearts.  The union was blessed with two sons, Emmanuel and Imoh. This vacuum left behind by father of the house will be greatly felt by the young widow and teenage children.

 Uwah received several awards due to his hard work and integrity.   Some of the numerous awards include:  the number Eleven Honest man in Nigerian from Omega Bank Lagos in 2000.  He was a patron of the Nigerian Red Cross Society in  2005; Best Performing Legislator of the Year in Akwa Ibom State (AKIA ICONS AWARD) 2008;  Fellow of Certified Institute of Management (FCIM) in 2009.   In 2000, the Integrity Club, Lagos gave him an award for Honesty; he was a Pillar of Peace – World Peace Prayer Society; patron of the Boys Brigade of Nigeria, Nigeria Red Cross Society; recipient of the Rotary Int’l Cold Service Award for Humanitarian Services; Distinguished Leadership Award by the National Association of Akwa Ibom State Students (NAAKIS).

During his life time, the  late Obong Okon Uwah was awarded several chieftaincy titles include: Obong Unwana Ukanafun, Obong Uforo Etim Ekpo, Obong Atang Akpaniko of Northern Afaha, Abom  Afaha Obo and  Ubokudom Akwa Afaha.

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