…As Ikono Holds 2020 Armed Forces Remembrance Thanksgiving

By Mberekkeobong Essien

The Chairman of Ikono Local Government Council, Hon. Itoro Columba, has lauded the gallantry and patrotic sacrifice of Ikono citizens who served the country and paid the ultimate price in the course of protecting and defending the territorial integrity of Nigeria during the 2nd world war and civil war.

Mr Columba made the commendation on Sunday at the solemn occasion of Armed Forces Remembrance Day Thanksgiving Service celebration to honour the gallantry of ex-servicemen, dead and alive, held at the Apostolic Church, Nung Ukim Ikot Udom, Ikot Ekpene Field.

The Ikono Chief Executive used the opportunity to call on the entirety of Ikono people to celebrate the ex-soldiers in the area, urging congregants in Church not to forget those sacrifices they made, but to show compassion and love to them and members of their families as people who were once elated and signed up to defend their Fatherland inorder to keep Nigeria in unity and peace.

Addressing the congregants during worship, the Ikono Council helmsman thanked the leadership of the Church for their warmest reception and commended them for providing the facilities, saying that he decided to worship in fulfilment of the promise he made to celebrate with ex-service men there.

While lauding the sacrifices of heroes who lost their lives for the country, Columba charged natives of the area not to forget such gallantry in a hurry. “Today, we came here to celebrate with Ikono citizens who fought to defend and protect the territorial integrity of this great country during world war and civil war at different times that soldiers of this country went to war”.

“Today is particularly set aside in Nigeria to mark and celebrate the gallantry these men exhibited in the course of serving us. Our prayer is, that we should never go back to the path of war and whatever it takes to avert war, we should do it, because development can only thrive where there is peace. It is a solemn moment to reflect on their sacrifices”, he stated.

He donated in support of the work of the church.

Responding on behalf of the celebrated heroes in Ikono, the Legion Chairman in-charge of the area, Captain Willie Johnson Rtd., appreciated God Almighty for His unwavering love and grace that abound. He applauded the Chairman of Ikono whose assistance, he said, helped accord them hope, while praying God to sustain them for the remaining days of their lives on earth.

Earlier in his homily, the Area Superintendent of The Apostolic Church, Ikono Area, Minister Effiong Edet Luke, charged congregants to maintain integrity while holding public offices, knowing that they shall give account of their stewardship on the last day.

Speaking further on the topic, “We Shall Give Accounts Of Our Deeds”, drawn from Luke16: 10 and Matthew 25:14-30, the clergyman advised congregants to be productive in little things allotted by showing commitment to service as servant-leaders in the spirit of patrotism. He admonished everyone to ensure proper use of talents endowed them by God and remain appreciative of inherent gifts.

While eulogizing the Council boss, the man of God applauded him for timely redeeming the pledge made to the Church during his last visit and prayed for God’s mercies and divine guidance upon him and members of his family.

Highpoints of the thanksgiving service was ceremonial decoration of public officers with emblems, the 1st Bible reading taken from Matthew 25:14-30 by the council boss, Remarks by Legionaires, financial donation by the Chairman and the House member, Hon Asuquo Nnana Udoh for Church growth, special renditions, intercessory prayers for the country, among others.

Prominent among dignitaries who attended the event included Ikono representative at the House of Assembly, the Vice Chairman of Ikono, Hon Idotenyin Etokobong; Council Secretary, Obonganwan Ofon Michael; Leader of Ikono Legislature and councilor representing ward 4, Hon. Samuel Udoh; Ikono PDP Chairman, Obong (Barr) Moses Akpan; Chapter Vice Chairman, Hon. Itoro EtukUdoh; Head of service, Otuekong Usoroh; Former Vice Chairman of Ikono, Hon. Gabriel Okoko, etc.

Also in attendance were the DPO In-charge of Ikono, CSP Sunday Digha; Director of Health, Mrs Rose Akai; Director of Works, Mrs Arit Usoro, NULGE chairman, Prince Esin Obop; the Paramount Ruler of Ikono represented by Nsobom Etim Nnana Itang; Village Heads and other members of Ikono TRC; Ikono PDP women Leader, Obonganwan Idorenyin Akpan; Members of the Nigerian Legion; All Councillors, Supervisors, Aides to the Chairman and Security Operatives.

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