As Chief Nduese Essien marks 80th birthday anniversary, his former colleagues in the House of Representatives (PDP), Akwa Ibom State, have joined other people and groups in congratulating him on the event.
A congratulatory message signed by Rt. Hon. (Obong) Eno Akpan, Chairman of Forum, said ‘‘We are proud to identify with you for your unassailable attainments as a two-term member, pioneer Chairman South South Caucus, as well as Minister of Lands and Housing.’’
In the message made available to Straightnews, the forum noted ‘‘Your stellar performances and camaraderie in those offices portrayed you as a pragmatic, passionate and firm leader. Specifically, we recall with relish your dignified role as one of the resource control champions and astute crusader against injustice and victimisation of people.
‘‘Kudos as you enter octogenarian class, and we pray God Almighty to bless you with more wisdom, long life and sound health.
‘‘Happy birthday, our revered colleague and eminent Political Leader of Eket Senatorial District,’’ they wished him.
Meanwhile, such groups as Ekid Peoples Union, Afigh Iwaad Eket and traditional rulers, among others paid him a solidarity visit in his country home, Ikot Ibiok in Eket Local Government Area on Friday, February 2.
Essien has fixed Sunday, February 4, 2024 to celebrate his birthday thanksgiving service, at Qua Iboe Church, Ikot Ibiok in Eket.
However, in an emotional tribute by Assam Abia, the public commentator describes Essien as ”the seventh child in a family of four men and three women and the only surviving one today.”
Abia, in his Facebook page pens, ‘‘A leader with emotional patriotism, he is na scion of the Essien Etukudo dynasty of Ntaisip in Ikot Ibiok, Eket Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.
Rt. Hon (Chief) Nduese Essien, a two-term member, House of Representatives and former Minister in the Federal Republic of Nigeria, was involved in Community affairs since 1979, serving as Secretary and President of Community Associations.
He was involved in negotiations with Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited from 1979 to the joint Study Team which culminated in the signing of the first MOU between the Core Communities (Eket, Esit Eket, Ibeno and ONNA) in 1998.
His forays into Community service prompted the people of oil Core Communities to have elected him in 1999 to represent them in the National Assembly.
While in the Green Chambers, Chief Essien, as a young man, burning with passion to make a difference and imbued with a healthy anger for development, attracted various infrastructural development to his Constituency.
From the stormy dialogue rooms with leaders of multinational oil firms in 1979, to being a leader of the South South Caucus in the National Assembly, member of the Niger Delta Technical Committee, to the Federal Executive Council as a Minister and to the floor of the National Conference in 2014, he dedicated his life to the cause of peace and development, not just in his community and Akwa Ibom State but also in Nigeria.
The elder statesman spearheaded the fight for the adherence and actualization of zoning in 2015 governorship election, when it was eminently visible that Eket Senatorial District would be denied a shot at the Hill Top Mansion.
As Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development in 2010, Chief Essien saw to the construction of many internal Roads in Eket and other parts of the State.
But in 2014, Essien holds the highest title in Ekid land, Atta of Ekid, Ada Idaha Ke Efik Eburutu, Onwa of Amanse in Anambra State and Ntrukpum Ekid Afid, among other Chieftaincy titles.’’