By Emmanuel Ndon
A fulfilled life is described as being perfectly alive, filled with purpose and satisfaction, involving vision and requiring intensive alignment. It is highly meaningful and sought by all.
A fulfilling life is different to each person. This is because while many people get fascinated by absolute frivolities, others are concerned about the things that promote humanity.
According to Minot Savage, “If we can say with Seneca, ‘This life is only a prelude to eternity’, then we need not worry so much over the fittings and furnishings of this ante-room; and more than that, it will give dignity and purpose to the fleeting days to know they are linked with the eternal things as prelude and preparation”.
With this mindset, life for Dr. Enefiok Andy held so much promise and hope. As a staunch believer of the gospel, he allowed his steps to be ordered by God. He realized that in a world laden with uncertainties and encumbrances, he needed faith and courage to sail through.
Born on January 1,1951 in Mbiatok Itam, Itu local government area of Akwa Ibom State, Otuekong Enefiok Andy lived a life of purpose. As the first child in the family – and his father was a teacher – he was raised under strict tutelage which provided a good foundation for his upbringing. He acknowledged his dreams, set his goals and worked out opportunities to happen.
From the outset, here was a man determined to add to knowledge and contribute to the educational development of the state and country as a whole. Armed with the necessary academic prerequisites, he followed after the father’s footsteps.
His posting, just after High School, to Immaculate Conception Secondary School, ltak bankrolled his teaching career spanning over thirty years. From a humble, bright start he served the College of Education Uyo, erstwhile University of Cross River State (Unicross), as well as Akwa Ibom State College of Education, Afaha Nsit .
Andy’s commitment and sincerity defines a man who impacted lives beyond the classroom. He was a dedicated teacher, loving father, faithful husband, patriotic citizen and loyal party man.
While in the civil service, Otuekong Andy served the college and the state in various capacities including Head, Department of English and doubled as the Dean School of Languages from 1991 -1999. He served as the pioneer Chairman, College of Education Academic Staff Union COEASU, Afaha Nsit Chapter; Chairman Board of Inquiry into students Riot at the College in 1996.
His confident performance saw him become the third Provost of the College from 2002 to 2007. During his tenure, he was able to give the institution a sense of direction in ensuring that Academic Staff served in their areas of specialization rather than on mere interest. He also gave the college a new face in terms of infrastructure and ensured that the college gained accreditation in most of the courses .
As a literary genius, Otuekong Andy contributed immensely in articles published to his credit and was Editor in Chief, Journal of Science, Education and Humanities (JOSEH) in 1996. He was also the founder and Chairman of Educators Forum. Otuekong Andy had published books in Ibibio as part of his contributions to the preservation of Ibibio language and culture. His published works include; Uwa- an Ibibio play, Akpasa Uto Ibibio, Afim Akpa ye mme uto mfen while A collection of Ibibio Folktales, Akpedo Ndo mme Uto Mfen and Introduction to Literature for Schools and Colleges are other unpublished works currently with the press which he was so desirous of seeing their final copies out.
Outside the college, Otuekong Andy had served as State Coordinator, WAEC Oral English Examination in 1998 and was appointed Board Member, Akwa Ibom State Broadcasting Corporation (AKBC) from 1999-2001.
Out of love and concern for the growth and development of his people and immediate community, this proud son of Itu embarked on several community development projects and was a pillar of support to as many that he came across. Following his outstanding performance and contributions within and outside the civil service, Otuekong Andy was conferred with several chieftaincy titles among which was the Otuekong Itu by Itu traditional rulers council.
From the moving testimonies and condolences received from individuals and groups, close associates, friends and loved ones, there is no gainsaying the fact that Otuekong Enefiok Andy was a responsible, intelligent, hardworking and patriotic gentleman who did his best to promote humanity.
We are all the more consoled by the fact that the departed academic left encouraging footprints on the sands of time. Even as we mourn his exit, what is most important is to sustain and further everything he stood for.