The Ekid People’s Union (EPU) has set up a 30-man committee to supervise the moulding and erection of a statue in honour of her illustrious son, late Brig Gen Udoakaha Jacob Esuene.
The committee, headed by Hon Aniedi Ikoiwak, has a high-level representation from the four local government areas of Eket Federal Constituency – Eket, Ibeno, Esit Eket and Onna.
Esuene, born in 1936, was the first military governor of the old South Eastern State, which comprised today’s Cross River and Akwa Ibom States. He died in 1993.
While inaugurating the committee on Friday, July 16, 2021, the President General of EPU, Dr Samuel Udonsak, said the statue was in memoriam of a man, who made Ekid nation proud and proved to be a man of impeccable character both in private and public lives.
He recalled that in all his national assignments, Esuene bequeathed himself through dedication to duties, commitment to professional ethos, exemplary display of patriotism, sense of accommodation, among other virtues.
The statue, according to the EPU henchman, is to be sited prominently at the roundabout, near the location of the former Eket Post Office. He expressed the hope that the honour, which the Esuene family is fully involved in, will serve as motivation to others who find themselves in public offices, thus making them people-focused.
Between May 1967 and July 1975, Esuene initiated and nurtured to fruition the infrastructural renaissance witnessed in the South Eastern state shortly after the devastating effects of the civilian war.
An exceptional fighter pilot before his appointment as governor of South-Eastern State, Esuene had no dent in his career, though he was wrongfully retired when General Murtala Muhammad seized power in July 1975.
However, his ranks and military benefits were restored some years later by the Armed Forces Ruling Council led by the then Military President, General Ibrahim Babaginda, after a thorough investigation.