The sleepy agrarian Ijom Abayong community in Biase Local Government Area, Cross River State, over the weekend witnessed an ‘invasion’ of some sort as an exceptionally large crowd of dignitaries travelled to the community to grace the climax of a week-long of double celebrations to mark 50 years on the throne and 85th birthday of their monarch, His Royal Highness Onun Johnson Ukam Ejekor, Onun Usor of Ijom and Clan Head of Ijom Abayong community.
Rev. Ene Oku, pastor of the Presbyterian Church of Nigeria, Ijom Abayong Parish, who spoke at a religious ceremony marking the occasion, while extolling the good works of the monarch, was particular that apart from the monarch’s dedication to all Presbyterian church activities since 1947 when he was baptized in the church, his style of leadership has ensured that in the time he has been on the throne, Ijom Abayong, situated in a very volatile part of Cross River State, known for incessant communal conflicts, has remarkably not gone to war with any of her neighbours. He prayed that God who has brought the monarch this far, will grant him unceasing grace in the days ahead as well as the wisdom to guide and rightly direct his people.
President of the socio-cultural group, Erei Ise Mi Ise Worldwide, Owali Ilem, who also spoke at the occasion, commended highly, the leadership role played by the monarch within and beyond Biase in the past 50 years and thanked God for the life of this “exceptional monarch”. He prayed too that God will add more years to his life.
Edodi Ejekor, son of the monarch, exclusively told www.calitown.com on the side that he was quite elated and thankful to God for the life of his father. “I cannot thank God enough for giving our father life and the singular opportunity to be an excellent traditional ruler. He has written his name in the sands of time we know that the good Lord will complete with him, what he has begun.”
“I can only say, thank you to God for all these years and the opportunities he has graciously given me”, the monarch, told us.
Saturday’s well attended grand finale which began at 10 in the morning had guests treated to a colourful display of the rich culture of the Abayong people, complimented too by a lush Efik cultural and traditional display brought on by in-laws of the celebrator. In attendance was the Chairman and Executive Council members of Biase LGA, Paramount Ruler of Biase LGA and all members of the Biase Traditional Ruers Council, Emil Inyang, CRUTECH Governing Council Chairman, former chairmen of Biase traditional rulers from all the neighbouring communities of Ugep, Ebom, Usumutong, Efik community etc.
Goodwill messages for the monarch came from Senator Gershom Bassey, representing CR Southern Senatorial district, Rt. Hons. Daniel Asuquo Effiong & Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe, members, House of Reps, Sen. John Owan Enoh, amongst several other dignitaries and government agencies.
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