By Magnus Effiong
A foremost youth group in Cross River state, Nka Ikemesit Mkparawa Essien Efik Duopeba, has concluded arrangements to honour some prominent Efik personalities for contributing significantly to the welfare and human capacity building of the Efiks in particular and Cross River state people in general.
The President-General of the group, Mr Ekpo Ekeng, who was flanked by other youth leaders from all Efik ancestral clans, in a chat with our reporter, said the event is billed for Saturday October 23 at the prestigious African Club.
He gave the names of those to be given the prestigious ‘Patron of the Nka Ikemesit Mkparawa Essien Efik Duopeba’, as Senator (Prince) Bassey Edet Otu, High Chief (Prof) Eyo Etim Nyong, High Chief Edem Duke, High Chief (Dr) Jenifer Banobi, former Deputy Governor Efiok Cobham and Etubom (Arc) Bassey Eyo Ndem.
Ekeng said “the choice of these distinguished Efik sons and daughter is on the basis of what they have done in impacting our people positively especially the youths. They are those we could describe as light bearers and we are proud to have them as our models.
“They do not blow the trumpets of their humanitarian gestures and achievements but we are witnesses of their kind hearts. When you look deeply at their track records, you will discover that all of them are uniquely passionate about the welfare of our people, and had in various occasions taken steps to pull our young people out of poverty and criminalities.
“While most of the recipients of the honour have played significant roles in areas of community infrastructural development, some have been on human capacity building, empowering our youths educationally through scholarships, and others have caused our people to have food on their tables through skills acquisition trainings. On Saturday, we will explain more what these great sons and daughter have achieved for us.” he stated.
The President-General of the Socio-cultural youth group explained that the Nka Ikemesit Mkparawa Essien Efik Duopeba was out to ensure youths eschew criminalities and embrace peace so that the developmental strides of government would become meaningful. He added that some criminal acts seen in Calabar were imported cultures which were strange to an average Efik man.
“Many cases of criminalities seen in Efikland are alien to us, they are imported cultures which tend to undermine our values as Efik people, and regrettably some of our young people have copied those wrong cultures. Our group seeks to help youths to pattern their lives in line with our values and culture.
“We advocate violent-free society. Many of our youths had been killed through cult-related activities thereby frustrating their destinies and bringing shame to their parents and immediate families. We can no more watch and see them destroying themselves.
“We thank God for having our patrons around to continually preach peace and a return to the industrious lifestyle of the Efik man of old. The honour is just our own little way of saying thank you, and to encourage them to do more,” Ekeng stated, while commending Gov Ben Ayade for his industrialization strides across the State.