Uyo Book Club has joined Akwa Ibom sons/daughters at home and in diaspora to celebrate the state as she marks 33, describing her as land of limitless opportunities and hope for all residents.

This was the tone set by members of Uyo Book Club during their monthly meeting on Saturday.

In his opening remarks, the Founder, Dr. Udeme Nana, disclosed that the September monthly meet was a special one as it fell in the state anniversary week.

He noted that the Club’s session will center its discussion around Akwa Ibom history, the struggles, gains, pains and the present state.

During interaction, the Club members dwelled on the spirit of oneness exhibited by the founding fathers of the State which facilitated the achievement of ‘Six Merchants of Light,’ an attainment from community effort from all sections as a people without ethnic divide; having met brick walls as a minority to access educational facilities from the Government of Eastern Nigerian then.

In his contribution, the patron of Uyo Book Club, Barr. Ekong Sampson who is also the immediate past Commissioner for Environment and Petroleum Resources in the State, reiterated the need for the present generation of Akwaibomites to imbibe the true-spirit of brotherhood exhibited by the forefathers without ethnic sentiment. He added that ethnic sentiments can only slow the pace of development and need for urgent reorientation.

The Patron however urged leaders and all Akwa Ibom people to allow good policies to drive politics (governance) and not politics to drive policies.

Also, a veteran Journalist and one whom many high-profiled members of the club passed through his mentorship, Elder Nnamso Umoren, in his remarks, urged all never to forget the selfless template used by the forefathers to lay the foundation of the state today.

He called on Akwa Ibom leaders and youth of today never to forget the struggle which wrapped the history of the creation of the state as he quickly took members on memory lane of the events which heralded the state creation being a young reporter then in Calabar.

Still to commiserate the state on her 33 birthday, the founder, Dr. Udeme Nana and Dr. Martin Akpan rendered Songs for the state on her birth.

Further on, members were given opportunities to bear their minds on the 33 years of existence of Akwa Ibom as a state.

The years’ anniversary was described as one which offered the opportunity for deep reflection and solemnity enhanced by Covid 19 restriction protocols. The members saw the anniversary as best of its kind as its offered the people opportunity for solitude often beclouded by pomp and pageantry.

The group acknowledged the Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel for the commissioning of the state symbols which has further improved the identity of the state.

High point of the meeting was the cutting of birthday cake by the Patron which was presented to him by the Club to celebrate his nativity which fell on the state anniversary week.

Meanwhile, Uyo Book Club is a group of Akwa Ibom intellectuals poised to encourage reading culture and at the same time offer platform to satisfy reading hunger while using the tool to x-ray issues militating against the growth of the state and proffering solutions.

©Enwono-Abasi Elisha.


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