By Ime Silas
It was a gathering of clergies, political associates, friends and well-wishers, as well as outpourings of eulogies today, Sunday, 21st February, 2021, at the Methodist Church Nigeria, Diocese of Nkek Abak, Akwa Ibom State as Obong (Barr) Freedom Friday Ibritam was presented as the Diocesan Lay President of the Diocese.
Making the proclamation, the Diocesan Synod Secretary, Very Rev. Honesty Afahakan noted that Obong Ibritam, whom he described as a faithful and committed member of the church, was elected during the 10th Annual Diocesan Synod of Nkek Abak, which met on Saturday, 26th June, 2020. He added that Ibritam’s election received a blessing during the meeting of the 14th Archdiocesan Council of Ikot Ekpene on the 18th July, 2020.
The Synod Secretary further added that Obong Ibritam was formally inducted as the Diocesan Lay President during the Service of induction and investiture for Diocesan Lay Presidents held at Methodist Church of the Trinity, Tinubu, Lagos on 13th December, 2020.
Presenting the new Lay President to the elated congregants, His Lordship, The Rt. Rev. Simeon U. U. Ekpo, Bishop, Diocese of Nkek Abak, charged the Church to accord Obong Ibritam all the necessary support and encouragement to enable him succeed in his new assignment in the Lord’s vineyard.
The Bishop who extolled the humanitarian characteristic of the Lay President, and wife, Hon Justice Uwem Ibritam, maintained that the reward for good works is more good works.
In his goodwill message, the Ag. State Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Dr. Ita Udosen, said he was at the occasion to honour Obong Ibritam, describing him as the man of the people. The Party chairman noted that he was inspired by Ibritam’s love for God’s work little wonder, according to him, the retired Senior Police Officer had brought his deep sense of humanity into his political undertakings.
Dr. Udosen thanked the Church for finding Ibritam fit for Lay Presidency and announced a donation in support of any project he would wish to embark upon.
In his remarks, Obong Ibritam thanked God and the leadership of the Church for the privilege accorded him to serve. He pledged to do all within his capacity to advance God’s work to justify the confidence reposed in him.
While announcing a startup fund for the establishment of a Printing Press for the Diocese, Obong Ibritam averred that nothing would be too big for him to sacrifice in appreciation of God’s numerous blessings upon his life and family.
Others who spoke glowingly of the new Lay President at the event included the Executive Chairman for Ukanafun , the Deputy Provost (Admin), Akwa Ibom state College of Education, Dr King Ibritam, Rt. Hon. Ekperikpe Ekpo, among others.
The occasion was graced by numerous friends and political associates of the new Lay President, among whom were former Transition Chairman for Ukanafun, Hon (Barr) Abasiono Udomfu, Obong Chris Okorie; former Vice Chairman, Ukanafun local government, Hon Nsikak Udoibe, Barr George Enyiekpon, etc.