In a comical manner, a popular Nigerian clergyman has admitted to belonging to all the registered political parties in Nigeria.
The Prelate of Methodist Church Nigeria, Dr. Samuel Chukwuemeka Uche went satirical on Friday, September 25 at the funeral service of Elder Udo Umoren Akpan at Ukana Ikot Ide in Essien Udim Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.
Uche extolled the laudable contributions of some notable politicians from Akwa Ibom, particularly Chief Godswill Akpabio, then the state Governor, to the overall development of the state.
According to him, “I belong to all the political parties. I am a friend to all politicians, and non-politicians alike.”
The clergyman reading from Ecclesiastes 7:1 harped on the need for people to go for excellence and reputation during their lifetime on earth.
Uche said “Be serious about life. Do not live extravagantly and frivolously. Frivolities lead to vanity. Pursuit of wealth is common among people. Wealth brings happiness, but good deeds are lasting. It is better to live well.
“You can be surrounded by disgruntled men but you will be appreciated by people who live a decent life. Let God be at the centre of your life.”
He reasoned that if tertiary institutions manned by human beings who are imperfect could issue certificates to their graduates based on character and learning, then human beings have to live and bequeath a life of honour to the living.
The clergyman, therefore, praised Akpan as a man of impeccable character and transparency, noting “One day, you will lie down in a casket like this. We shall go to our Maker and give account of what we did on earth. If go to church, do not look for wealth, but look for honour.”
A biography read by Dr. Mfonobong Etekamba Umoefik described Elder Udo Umoren Akpan as a brilliant scholar though of limited opportunities.
Umoefik, a grand-daughter, said the deceased served as secretary of Ukana Ikot Ide Development Union from 1979 to 1984; contributed to the registration and development of market and village square; resuscitation of Pes Vocational School and conversion to Community Technical College now transformed into Police Secondary School, Ukana Ikot Ide; opening of Ukana Ikot Ide Postal Office; electrification and commissioning of electrification project from Ikot Ngwo to Ukana Ikot Ide.
Sir Etekamba Udo Umoren, the first son, wrote “Papa, you were epitome of discipline, simplicity, humility, hard work, determination and loyalty and these are exactly what you taught me.
Umoren who is also a Chief of Staff to Senator Godswill Akpabio, Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, noted “Papa, you were a father like none other. I will forever remain proud of you for giving me a pride of place.”
In his tribute, Anietie Udo Umoren, the third son, penned “You named me Akaneren. Oh! How prophetic you were. Others in your family called me Umo’n; inferring that I was like your father.”
Anietie, a medical doctor, said “When I gained admission into University of Benin, School of Medicine, you had to sell your land in 1981. It wasn’t that you had many lands. You chose to live like a pilgrim who could behold a better glory afar off.”