From left, Chairman of the election committee, Barrister Uwem Ibiok; Clan head of Ubium, HRH Eteobom Udoewah; Senator Effiong Bob; Barrister Ekpo Nta and President General of Ubium National Congress, Barrister Bassey Ekanem.

The Ubium National Congress, the umbrella body of the Ubium people of Akwa Ibom State across the world, rose from its first elective convention held in Ndukpo-Ise Ubium, on Saturday, with a resolve to chart a new beginning towards the development of the area and progress of its people. It was generally seen as a new dawn for the organisation which has been in existence for more than six decades.

It was acknowledged that without unity and cooperation, no group of people can make any meaningful advancement in the pursuit of its goals and the realisation of its dreams. The convention which saw the inauguration of a new executive to steer the affairs of the Congress for the next two years therefore resolved that Ubium people at home and abroad must bond together in love and unity to realise their dream of being among the most formidable and most developed entity in Akwa Ibom state and the country.

The clan head of Ubium, His Royal Highness Eteobom Ukpong Noah Udoewah Jp, went down memory lane to trace the emergence of the UNC and lamented that lack of unity and internal wrangling have stalled the growth of the clan as envisage by the founding fathers of UNC; but he was optimistic that the people can thread a new path that would lead to development and prosperity.

He warned that in the new dispensation, no Ubium son or daughter would be allowed to derail the new match and pledged to be in the forefront to realise the goals of the congress. He barred all traditional rulers in the clan from taking any elective position in the congress saying that they should remain advisers and not decision makers in the affairs of the congress.

Senator Effiong Bob, Barrister Ekpo Nta and Eteobom Udoewah arriving for the convention.

Speaking in the same vein, the Distinguished Senator Effiong Bob, a two-term senator, a prominent son of Ubium and Akwa Ibom State said the unity of Ubium people is no longer a matter of discussion but a reality that must be embraced by every son and daughter of the clan. While stressing the urgency deal with the unity challenge, he charged the new leadership to be focused on the ideals of the congress and pursue only those things that will further elevate the status of the people and the development of the clan.

Former chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and chairman National Salaries and Wages Commission, Barrister Ekpo Nta also spoke of a new focus for the association and stressed the need for a new orientation by the people of the areas, a requirement he insisted was absolutely necessary for unity and progress. Barrister Ekpo Nta who is the immediate past President General of the UNC wished the new team well and offered to be available for consultation at all times.

The President of the Calabar Chapter of the Congress, one of the most consistent and dedicated members of the association since inception, Dr. Idem was excited that the group has continued to wax stronger in spite of some challenges offered to assist the new team, which he observed was made up of very vibrant and forward looking sons and daughters of the clan.

The member representing Nsit Ubium State Constituency in the State House of Assembly, Barrister Otobong Bob drew the attention of the people to the fact that there cannot be any meaningful development in an atmosphere of distrust and urged them to cultivate the spirit of love for one another and a sense of purpose towards their clan for the sake of meaningful growth and development.

An expert in conflict resolution and diplomacy, Professor Philip Afaha who is the Head of Department of History and Diplomatic Studies, University of Abuja was concerned about the attitude of the younger people who do not seem to accord their leaders due respect and warned that no society experiences meaning progress with that kind of attitude. He called for a radical orientation in that respect for the sake of the growth and prosperity of the clan.

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The news President General, Barrister Bassey Ekanem pledged that the next two years of the tenure of his team will truly witness a new dawn as he is poised to take the association to new heights. He acknowledged the great task before his team and noted that though challenging, it was not insurmountable. He was conscious of the various concerns expressed about the unity of the people and said it is a task that he would give utmost attention. A unity convention would be held later in the year to drive home that point, he stated.

He pointed out that the association will not be involved or associated with partisan politics and would not take sides. However, where an Ubium son is involved in matters that would bring glory and development to the clan, the Congress will be all out in support, he explained. He therefore called for the cooperation of the people to enable the team succeed.

The head of the host community, the Eteidung Ndukpo-Ise, Chief Patrick Udoh, was excited that such a historical event was brought to his domain and prayed that God will give the new leadership the wisdom to pilot the affairs of the people to the benefit of Ubium Clan and Akwa Ibom State as a whole.

Chairman of the Ubium National Convention Planning and Election Committee, Barrister Uwem Ibiok appreciation the cooperation given to his committee which led to the hosting of a successful convention and advised the new leadership to be focused on the ideals of the Congress and immediately embark on the task of uniting the people which is a prerequisite for the attainment of the goals of the organisation.

The new executive include Barrister Bassey Ekanem, President General; Mr. Akpandem James, Vice President; Solomon Jimmy Eshiet, Mr. Orok Ben, Secretary; Assistant Secretary; Mr. Ukpong Obot, Treasurer; and Mr Afangudo James, Financial Secretary. Others are Mr Godwin Effiong Akpan, Publicity Secretary; Pastor Glory Unyime Vincent, Welfare Officer; Mr Joseph Inyang Eno, Provost Marshall; Mr Lawrence Ekponimo David, Internal Auditor; Barrister Uduakobong Enyinekpe Udosen, Legal Adviser as well as the immediate past President General and Secretary who will serve as ex-officio members.