The immediate past Akwa Ibom Commissioner has died, less than one month after he was dropped as a member of the State Executive Council.
Ime Okon Ekpo, who was the Commissioner for Lands and Town Planning from 2015 to December 2020 under Governor Udom Emmanuel administration, is said to have died in Germany.
A source close to the family said ‘’The governor dropped him because of his health challenge and appointed his kinsman, Pastor Umo Bassey Eno from the same village, to replace him.’’
An accomplished architect and career civil servant, Ekpo was a native of Ikot Okoro Ubium, Nsit Ubium Local Government Area.
The 64-year-old retired as Director from the state Ministry of Housing and Urban Renewal before his political appointment.
An alumnus of Hope Waddell Training Institute, Calabar, Cross River State, he held a Master of Science degree in Architecture from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife in Osun State.
He was a member of the Nigerian Institute of Architects and had served as a director in the Ministry of Housing and Urban Renewal.
Married with children, Ekpo was the General Overseer of God’s Own Ministry Int’l, Uyo, Ekpo.
In a tribute on her Facebook page, Uduakobong Isong wrote ”I’m still trying to grapple with a loss that is too profound for words.
”My dearest Uncle, we will miss you so much – you were a brother, husband, father, friend, pastor, teacher, coach and so much more. You were kind, gentle, humble, and had a heart of pure gold.
”You were selfless, full of love and wisdom.
”You were patient, insightful, and you made us laugh.
According to her, ”Without a doubt, you are one of a kind and these are just few reasons why your mark in our lives will remain always.
”I bless God for bringing you into our lives and for using you to bless the lives of all those who knew you.
”We love you and will miss you very dearly.
”Rest on Rev. (Arc) Ime Ekpo (FNIA).
”Adieu and good night, till we meet to part no more.
#neverforgotten,’’ Uduakobong, wife of Franklyn Isong, a journalist, concluded.