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Akwa Ibom Celebrates Series 1
HIS EMINENCE, SUNDAY MBANG
World class Religious Leader
A servant of an unchanging God who became a King in his father’s house, His Eminence, Sunday Mbang, Prelate Emeritus of the Methodist Church of Nigeria and Former President of the World Methodist Council.
The name of Sunday Mbang commands high top-of-the-mind awareness (TOMA). The TOMA is such that 95 per cent of literate adults remember his name and its association with the Methodist Church. He served with so much impact that he represents the Church in the public consciousness.
Mbang embodies grace and Grace speaks for him. His rise to the top was rapid, exceptional, and propelled by the unseen but highly felt hand of God. In other words, the Mighty Hand of the Creator pushed him from small towns to the centre and then to the top.
This son of Eket was born on 26 August 1936. He attended Effoi Group Primary School, Eket, St Michael’s School, Aba, Salvation Army School at Akai-Eket, and Government School, Eket. He also attended Methodist Boys High School, Oron, and Methodist College, Uzuakoli.
He trained for the Ministry at the Trinity College, Umuahia from 1962 to 1964. Then he enrolled at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka but transferred to the University of Ibadan in 1968 because of the civil war. At Ibadan, he met with the then patriarch of the Methodist Church, Professor Bolaji Idowu who would play a significant role in his career. He graduated in 1971 with a B.A. Hons in Religious Studies. He was a member of the Scripture Union (SU), and President of the Student’s Christian Movement (SCM). He went to the Hebrew University Jerusalem on scholarship. Still, once again war, this time the Yom Kippur War, made hin transfer to Harvard University, USA, where he did his Doctor of Theology in Old Testament.
Dedication and distinction, as well as grace, marked his long career in the service of the Church. Mbang served as Circuit Minister for one year each at Ikot Abasi and Ikot Ekpene between 1965 and 1968. He was chaplain at the Methodist Boys High School, Oron, 1971-1972 and Bishop, Methodist Church, Lagos from 1980 to 1984.
The Church appointed him Patriarch and Prelate of the Methodist Church in 1985. In that role, he also served as a Member of the Presidium of the World Methodist Council. He also served as President of the Christian Association of Nigeria and with the Sultan of Sokoto on the Nigeria Inter Religious Council.
More significantly, he initiated reforms that transformed the Methodist Church in Nigeria. As Prelate, Mbang ran with a three-fold vision of Reconciliation, Reconstruction and Revival that brought many changes. He brought together the two broken factions of the Methodist Church, the Presidential and the Patriarch, in a Reunification Service on 4 March 1990. He also engineered a new constitution for the Church and the birthing of the Wesley University, Ondo.
One of Mbang’s publications is The Changing World and the Unchanging God. Indeed, God has been constant and consistent in the life of Prelate Emeritus Sunday Mbang, a proud son of Akwa Ibom who recently clocked 84 years. He is on record the longest serving Prelate of the Methodist Church and the second African to serve as the President of the World Methodist Council. He is by every standard a distinguished global citizen of Nigerian nationality and Akwa Ibom origin.
Akwa Ibom celebrates him.
ELDER UBONG OBOT
He embodies the true Akwa Ibom spirit-Hard work, determination and unwavering focus coupled with a deep and abiding faith in God. His meteoric rise, from a humble background to the pinnacle of his trade, that has seen him traverse the world of construction supplies locally and internationally demonstrates that success does not always reside in kingly origins. At 12, Ubong Bassey Obot, Chairman of Ubotex Nigeria Limited, the biggest cement and building supplies dealership in Akwa Ibom and Cross River States and an elder of the Apostolic Church, was not enrolled in any school but was undergoing apprenticeship.
Since breaking free, his business has grown exponentially.
Today, major cement manufacturers in Nigeria, now wrap their growth strategy in the South-South around his. From a single cement store along Uruan Street in the early 90s, Ubotex is now active in the entire construction value chain far beyond the state. He also has extensive interests in property, winery and general merchandising.
Akwa Ibom celebrates this great son of Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government, a man of disarming humility, who against the odds life threw at him, has built a successful businesses and created jobs for more than 1000 persons directly and indirectly. He is a living example of the can – do spirit of Akwa Ibom people.
Nigeria’s most capped footballer
Vincent Enyeama is the most celebrated footballer from Akwa Ibom State and the most capped Nigerian footballer of all times. Enyeama launched his illustrious playing career in 1999 with Ibom Stars, featuring in 56 memorable matches. He moved to Enyimba Football Club in 2001, played in 100 games for the club scoring 10 goals earning himself the rare distinction as one of the few goalkeepers with the ability to score goals. He won CAF Champions League with Enyimba before moving to Iwuanyanwu Nationale (now known as Heartland FC) and then to Bnei Yehuda, a minor club in Israel and helped the team to qualify for the 2006 UEFA Cup. The next year, he signed for relegation-bound Hapoel. Good thing he did, for he helped pulled the club back from imminent relegation, and was named Player of the Year. He also became Hapoel’s penalty kicker. He won league titles in Israel with Maccabi Tel Aviv. In 2011, Enyeama moved to the French club Lille on a three year contract.
During his time with the senior national team, Enyeama was pure dedication. He prioritised country above club and paychecks and retired in 2015 as the most capped Nigerian footballer, having featured in 101 matches. He led the Super Eagles to African Cup of Nations glory in 2013, represented the Super Eagles in three FIFA World Cups in 2002, 2010 and 2014 and was captain of the team from 2013 to 2015.
Akwa Ibom Celebrates a worthy son.
Our history maker- Academics
In the Diaspora, many Nigerians are not only holding theirs, they are also excelling. From business to the academia, technology, medicine and the arts. But in the multitude of academic achievers, one Akwa Ibom woman stands out- ImeIme Umana, a history maker in an extraordinary moment. This proud daughter of Akwa Ibom smashed the academic records after she was elected the first black woman President of the Harvard Law Review on January 29, 2017, by the review’s 92 student editors. She joined former American President Barack Obama as the only other black person to be elected president of the 134-year-old student-run journal which has grown to become the most respected and circulated law journal in the world. She contested against 12 candidates, eight of whom were women and eight of whom were people of colour. Harvard Law Review is published every month from November to June.
Umana studied Government and African-American studies at Harvard, graduating in 2014. She holds graduate degrees from Harvard Law School and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She served as president of the Student Advisory Committee at Harvard’s Institute of Politics and was once described by the Department of African American Studies as “a brilliant joint concentrator (with Government).” She received a Hoopes Prize for her thesis on Racial Burden vs Electoral Integrity. Umana was also honoured the AAAS Peter Gomes Prize, which recognises social responsibility through public service.
Akwa Ibom Celebrates a worthy daughter.
DOROTHY UFOT SAN
Senior Advocate of Nigeria, distinguished arbitrator
Dorothy Udeme Ufot, a chattered arbitrator, the first woman from Akwa Ibom State to be bestowed with the prestigious title of Senior Advocate of Nigeria, symbolises the can-do spirit which would continue to inspire generations of Akwa Ibomites, and indeed Nigerians.
She is also the first woman to be appointed into the board of Dangote Cement PLC, “in recognition of her vast experience in the field of commercial law”.
She recently beat two prominent African arbitrators from Egypt and Mauritius to win an award as the African Arbitrator of the Year 2020, in Kenya.
“Your victory exemplifies the Akwa Ibom spirit of hard work, honesty, transparency, intellectual and professional vigour and, above all, a winning mind-set,” the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr Udom Emmanuel said to Mrs Ufot in his congratulatory message to her.
Mrs Ufot, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators London, is the founding partner of Dorothy Ufot & Co., a leading law firm in Nigeria.
She has served as a director of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, Chevron Oil PLC, and MRS Oil PLC. Akwa Ibom celebrates her
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