The late Arc Ime Okon Ekpo, FNIA
Rev Dr Sylvanus Ukafia, the Head Pastor of the Insight Bible Church, Uyo, as afternoon of 5 March 2021 approached, while delivering his admonition at the Commendation Service held in honour of my departed brother and senior colleague, Arc Ime Okon Ekpo, in Ikot Okoro Ubium, my maternal home in Nsit Ubium LGA of Akwa Ibom State, offered to tell the congregants and sympathisers at the funeral to "Be Prepared", so that when death comes, it will meet everyone prepared.
He said that those who will go to Hell will not be there because they were sinners, but they woukd be in Hell for refusing the sacrifice of Jesus, which blots our sins, and washes them away. Rev Dr Ukafia reflected on the character of the departed former Commissioner, and member of the Akwa Ibom State Executive Council, recommended his emulation.
The wife of the deceased, Mrs Mabel Ime Ekpo and their younger son
Recounting his experience inside an aircraft one day: how the plane stumbled into inclement weather, and the winds enveloping the carrier kicked up threatening gallop, in a way that even Muslims perssengers on the flight all shouted "Jesussss!" Everyone, in the plane started praying, even when it was against regulations to so do. He relayed how the lady who sat next to him queried why he was not a part of the prayer chorus in the aircraft but sat unperturbedly calm. Such approach to the fear of death, according to Dr Ukafia would never be necessary with person who knows Jesus Christ.
On his mind, according Dr Ukafia, was the prayer he said quietly when he was boarding the aircraft. He had declared the aircraft safe, and he knew he needed to fear nothing. So he insisted that every one should prepare himself or herself for death one day. When a person is ready for death, he needs no longer to be scared of death.
Professor Koko Okon Ekpo of the Faculty of Education, CRUTECH, and the oldest brother of the deceased.
Late Rev Arc Ime Okon Ekpo, until his death in a German hospital in the early hours 10 January 2021, was a two termed Member of the State Executive Council, and served as the Akwa Ibom State Commissioner of Lands and Town Planning, at first instance, and later as the Akwa Ibom State Commissioner of Lands and WaterResources. Arc Ime Okon Ekpo, who sacrificed himself in the service of the Akwa Ibom State government, did excellently well in his service to his State, and paying with his life for being a faithful servant of his people. He may have lived longer but God knows best.
The late Arc Ime Okon Ekpo, who was an Alumni of Hope Waddel, Calabar and the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, had the memebers of the Old Boys Associations of both institutions paying their tribute at his obsequies. The late Rev Arc Ime Okon Ekpo was also a Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Architects, and a one time representative of Alwa Ibom State on the Board of the Architects Registration Council of Nigeria. That institution was ably represented by its National Secrrtary and members of the Akwa Ibom chapel.
Pastor Uwemedimo Okon Ekpo, Immediate younger brother of the deceased
The late Arc Ime Okon Ekpo, who was fondly called "Imi", a nick his beloved mother have to him, and upon whose mouth it sounds the most soronously, was a full time civil servant who rose from being an Assistant Technical Officer to the position of the Akwa Ibom State Director of Housing. He supervised numerous projects for the State. And as a professional, after his voluntary retirement from the State Civil Service, he undertook some consultancy handles on behalf of ExxonMobil Nigeria.
The funeral Service, which enjoyed the presence of the Deputy Govermor of Akwa Ibom State, Dr Moses Ekpo, who represented the State Governor, His Excellency Mr Udom Emmanuel. In attendance at the funeral Service was the wife of the Governors of Akwa Ibom State, Dr Martha Udom Emmnauel. A roll call of State Commissioners who came to pay their last respects were also identified. The Funeral Service, which was a out the briefest I have witnessed gave way for the interment of the deceased at about 2pm on Saturday 5 March 2021. He will be greatly remembered as a good, kind and a wise man.
May his soul find eternal peace with Christ Jesus, Amen.
The older son of the deceased and his older sister returning from paying their tribute to their father
Pastor Uwem Ekpo returning g from paying his tribute to his departed brother.
Yours truly: late Arc Ime Okon Ekpo was my cousin
Cousins: Pastor Bassey Abraham and Mrs Magdalene Richmond
Cousin: Mrs Enamikpong Ukoha
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