As preparations for the interment of the Late Elder Gabriel Emmanuel Nkanang, father of the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr Udom Emmanuel, gathers momentum, eminent Nigerians have arrived the state to commiserate with Governor Udom Emmanuel.
From the political class, both governors of the Peoples Democratic Party and the All Progressives Congress and senators, have buried their political differences to identify with Governor Udom Emmanuel and the larger Nkanang family, over the demise of their beloved father and Patriarch, late Elder Gabriel Emmanuel Nkanang. The family has also received the forum of former governors and deputies Governors; enlarged state exco of the state; the state civil service; members of the National Assembly from the state; members of the state House of Assembly as well as ALGON.
Also among groups that have paid condolence visit to Governor Emmanuel, are religious groups, traditional institutions, the leadership of Hausa/Fulani community in the state and students’ group among others.
Receiving the different groups on a condolence visit, Governor Udom Emmanuel, said his family was humbled by the superlative expression of love shown his family. He said his family was happy to receive sympathizers across party lines at this period of grief.
“This is one death that knows nothing about political parties, politics is meant to strengthen us as a people and not to divide us. This thing is like a relay race once you finish you hand over the baton”, Mr. Emmanuel said.
While paying tribute to his late father, Governor Emmanuel, said the Late Elder Nkanang was as a man God whom God honoured in return of his service to Him.
He recalled fond memories of his father as a lover of his family, disciplinarian, reputable teacher and missionary who aided the propagation of the gospel in Kogi, Nassarawa and Niger states, then known as the Ighala Conference of Qua Iboe Church and expressed appreciation to God for giving him the grace to live up to ninety years.
He attributed the accomplishments of the progenies of the Nkanang family to his father’s moral values and character and discipline. The Governor said, “I feel proud to have been a son of this kind of man; through his discipline, forthrightness and the grace of God, we are where we are today”.
The Deputy Governor of the state, Mr. Moses Ekpo, who condoled with Governor Emmanuel and the bereaved family on behalf the State Executive Council, described Late Elder Nkanang as a colossus who, though dead, will live on through his indelible legacies in his family and by extension the entire Akwa Ibom State and urged the family to be so consoled.
“The legacies of your father will live on even after his death. In the upbringing of his children, he left such a legacy that the state will continue to enjoy, through his offspring …as one of you has been donated to serve the state as governor”.
Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga (Rtd.), speaking on behalf of former Governors and Deputies, described the death as a necessary end that both the rich and the poor, young and old, innocent and guilty will eventually experience but urged the bereaved not to mourn without hope as their father’s profound legacies will remain enduring. He assured Governor Emmanuel and the entire family that the leaders and people of the state are strong with them throughout their season of grief.
Arc. Obong Victor Attah, the former Governor who led the Ibibio Elders forum on a visit to the family in his message of condolence assured the Governor that the prayers of the Ibibio Elders remained with him and his family.
He thanked God that the deceased elder bequeathed to his children Christian ideals as lived by Governor Emmanuel.
Also, this Akwa Ibom State Commissioner of Police, Mr Imohimi Edgal, and service chiefs in the state have paid a visit to the family.
Edgal who spoke on behalf of the service chiefs said with what they have gathered, the deceased was a man of honour.
He prayed for God’s consolation to the family of Nkanang, pledging the commitment of the service chiefs to maintain peace and order in the state during the funeral.
Meanwhile, the Chairman, Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), Mr Frank Archibong, who led Chairmen of Local Governments Councils for a condolence visit, have said the good legacies of late Elder Gabriel Emmanuel Nkanang are evident in the light that Mr Udom Emmanuel, his son, has turned out to be for Akwa Ibom State, by instituting godliness in the affairs of the state across all levels.
Also, the Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Akwa Ibom State Chapter, Rev. Dr. Ndueso Ekwere, urged the Governor to take solace in the fact that God has assured that He will not leave nor forsake them, adding that CAN will always maintain the intercessory role of praying for the success of the State.
The Akwa Ibom contingent in the National Assembly, led by Senator Bassey Albert, the Eket Senatorial District Elders Forum led by Chief Ndueso Essien, Traditional Rulers Council led by the Oku Ibom Ibibio and Chairman Akwa Ibom State Council of Chiefs, His Eminence Ntenyin Solomon Etuk, a coalition of women organisations led by the State Commissioner for Agriculture and Women Affairs, have also paid condolence visit to the family.
Meanwhile, the first son of the deceased, Mr. Gabriel Nkanang, has lauded the kind gestures of the various groups towards their family and prayed for God’s blessings on all Akwa Ibom people.
Mr. Nkanang, invites Akwa Ibom people to join the family on the 14th and 15th of February 2020, for the night of songs and tributes as well as the funeral of the Late Elder Gabriel Emmanuel Nkanang.