The Royal Family of Akpabio Urua-Enang Ekaette Akpan Edor Nduot of Ikot Edor in Onna Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, in conjunction with the funeral Central Planning Committee, has announced the formal commencement of funeral rites of His Eminence, Akwa Edidem (Dr.) Akpabio Udo Ukpa JP, FCE, PFD, who, until his transition, was the Oku Ibom Ibibio 111 and Paramount Ruler, Onna Local Government Area.
The announcement followed earlier proclamations of the iconic monarch’s transition by the Akwa Ibom State’s Council of Chiefs and the Ibibio’s apex traditional institution, Ifim Ibom Ibibio.
The late Akwa Edidem Ukpa who was also the Chairman, ExxonMobil Host Communities Forum, was until his passage, the 1st National Life Patron of Traditional Rulers of Oil Minerals Producing Communities of Nigeria (TROMPCON).
In a release jointly signed by the Chief Mourner, Prince Ini Akpabio Ukpa and the Chairman, Central Planning Committee, HRM, Edidem U. J. Ntuk Obom xii, funeral and thanksgiving service in honour of the traditional icon would be conducted by the Quo Iboe Church at Onna Sports Stadium, Abat, on Friday, 7th April, 2017 at 10 am.
According to the release, the final funeral rites and thanksgiving service would be preceded by formal opening of mourning house, condolence visitations by family, in-laws, villages, clans, socio-cultural groups, royal fathers, government functionaries, well-wishers from Monday, March 20 to Thursday, April 6, 2017.
Monday, 20 – 27 March, 2017, is slated for formal opening of Mourning House as well as visitations by Ekpuk, Ikot Edor Village, Oniong Clan and In-laws.
Visitations by Ifim Ibom Ibibio, Eket Senatorial District TRC and ONNA Local Government Council are fixed for Tuesday, 28th March, while Eket Local Government Council and Mboho Iwaad Ibibio are billed to visit the bereaved family on Wednesday, 29 March 29, 2017.
The release also fixed for March 30, visitations by Eket and Ibeno TRCs, Clan Heads Forum, Mboho Mme Eteidung and Ibibio Academics Round Table, while Mboho Mkparawa, Afigh Iwaad Ekid and Akwa Esop Ima Isong Ibibio take their turn on Friday, March 31.
Other groups to pay condolence visits to the Palace on Saturday, April 1 include: Ndigbo, Hausa and Yoruba Communities in Akwa Ibom State, ONNA Youth Council and ALGON. Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Former Governors of the state, TROMPCON, AKS and Oniong West Elders Forum would have their turn on Monday, April 3.
Tuesday, April 4, the release further stated, is slated for visitations by ExxonMobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited, Total E&P Nigeria Ltd, Past and Present Ministers and Champion Breweries Plc.
Akwa Ibom State Executive Council, Ibibio Elders Forum and Former Chairmen, ONNA are billed to visit the Royal Palace on Wednesday, April 5, while the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), TROMPCON National Executive, ONNA TRC, past and present National Assembly Members as well as other groups, VIPs and institutions.
The late Akwa Edidem Ukpa, who was a member of the now defunct Eastern House of Chiefs, was also the President, Eket Senatorial District Traditional Rulers’ Council and Member, Oil and Gas Preservation Committee of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.