-By Unwana Assam, Eket
The name, Utitofon Maurice Edoho has been used by people of goodwill in Esit Eket and outside, especially those he had, for several years, touched their lives. He is an indigene of the ancient village of Ntakinyang, Esit Eket local government area of Akwa Ibom State; Utitofon Edoho is an engineer by profession, calm and humble in nature.
From time immemorial, there has always been a proverbial redeemer structured in every community to salvage the situation of his people and in the contemporary era, Utitofon is the redeemer of his people in his community.
As a philanthropist, touching the lives of his people has become his hobby and way of life. We live in a society where people help to achieve reward. People help and expect same in return. But, that of Utitofon Edoho is different. The wit, charisma, grace and zeal he puts in lifting the lives of his people are as if his entire life depends on it.
In Esit Eket, there have been people who had worked and spent their lives in the corporate world such as multinational companies like ExxonMobil, assuming everything evolves in there and lived a different life entirely thereby perceiving their people as aliens but that of Engr. Utitofon who believes in the dictum “live and let’s live” has been disparate.
People get into philanthropy for different reasons, perhaps to attract favour in return but Engr. Utitofon Edoho philosophy of touching lives is unique and inherently borne out of genuine love for his people. He believes that since God has blessed him above his peer group of those days in his community, he has no reason not to reciprocate the grace and blessings of God on his people who some have lost their lives, focus and destiny due to poverty and frustration.
Summing through his antecedents, Engr. Utitofon had embarked on several developmental and different empowerment projects for his people in Esit Eket including start-up money for petty traders, education support for students under severe condition in school, scholarship for the bright students, annual financial support for the widows, building of houses for the less privileged etc. It takes a man of sufficient grace and God’s love to dispense his hard earned resources on his people and that, Utitofon has been doing at will and in an extraordinary way.
Being an aboriginal area, Esit Eket has produced people of diversed characters and atributes and that of Utitofon is very unique and significant. The calm handsome looking oil and gas expert is happily married and blessed with children.
Utitofon is not the only person nor the last God has ever blessed in his community and political zone but it seems the grace to do exploit and impact lives is exclusively imbued in him and he handles it very well without being envious of others who have but can’t extend it to others.
Politically, as the political leader of his community and one of the decision makers in Esit Eket politics who has had his share of being the sole financier in Esit Eket politics, Utitofon has distinguished himself to be a refined gentleman who is into politics to contribute his quota for the betterment of Esit Eket and its people rather than the usual pull him down syndrome and backbiting political philosophy traditionally played in Esit Eket.
Disliking the smashing of people’s image for political favour which had become a daily activity in this part of the world is an understatement. He believes that no matter the position one is looking for in politics, blackmailing others or defaming people’s character to get favour is not and can never be the best but if not for his people, he can as well concentrate with his family with what God has blessed him with through his work and business. It’s in this philosophy that, Utitofon has always gone out of his way to be a blessing to his people and he does it in the way that pleases God. It is a gesture very rare in our clime and one can only but pray that, God should give him the grace and good health to continue to be a shining light not just for his Esit Eket people, but beyond Akwa Ibom State.