Tuesday, 15 February 2022

Again Akiba Takes Birthday to Hard-to-reach Area, Celebrate with Children, Empowers Two Youths

Chief Akiba Ekpenyong during his Birthday Celebration with Pupils of Saint Oliver Primary School 


Ukorebi Essien | February 15th, 2022 

In his traditional style of celebrating his birthday, Chief Akiba Ekpenyong a young Cross Riverian from Akpap Okoyong in Odukpani Local Government Area have again taken his February 14 birthday celebration to Ekpene Eki, a remote community in Odukpani Local Government Area of Cross River State where he put smiles on the faces of St. Oliver's Primary School Pupils. 

Akiba who had kept to his birthday rituals for 12 consecutive years informed us that he would have decided to celebrate his birthday with friends and family while drinking and eating but chose to impact lives and contribute meaningfully to the growth of humanity, especially those in the hinterland because he is also a product of a typical Nigerian village and as one who passed through what the children in various communities are facing. 

"Whenever I celebrate my birthday I like taking it to the hinterland to give these children a sense of belonging and what makes me do this is because of my background. I had a brief stint in the education sector which enabled me to discover that school children are always neglected especially those in such environments. Thus, I chose to celebrate with them to give them joy and hope and to also make them understand that someone, somewhere thinks about them"

The event saw the elated pupils and staff receiving various gift items such as Exercise Books, Pen, Pencil, School Sandals, Correcting Fluid, Textbooks, dictionaries, Bible, etc. 

Chief Akiba used the medium in calling on his friends to emulate his gesture, stating that if everybody with resources care about others, the development will be rapid in many communities. Thanking God for such an opportunity, Akiba appreciated the efforts and support he got from friends and family to enable him to touch lives, he specifically appreciated his immediate boss, the Chairman of Odukpani Local Government Area, Hon. Amb. Chief (Mrs) Justina Edem, Mr. Oliver Okon, Mr. Ernest Effiong, Etubom (Hon)Justin Asuquo, Mr. Joseph "Lashakara" Edet, Prince Eyo Ita and a host of others whom he said were pillars behind the project. 

Expressing his joy, the Headteacher of St. Oliver's Primary School, told our correspondent that such has never happened in the history of the school where an individual came to show such level of love and magnanimity to the pupils, he used the opportunity to call on government and well-meaning individuals to come to their aid as he said the school is in a serious need of a face-lift and also lacks manpower. 

"I am very delighted and happy to experience this in my school, this is the first time in history such a thing is happening in school, therefore, we will love it to happen again because it is the best experience we have gotten." 

The Clan head of Eki East who was visited by Chief Akiba Ekpenyong and his team expressed gratitude for such act demonstrated by Chief Akiba, stating that the act was a huge sacrifice on Akiba's part and his team who despite the roughness of the road still made it down to Ekpene. He also appreciated the effort put together by the Chairman of the Local Government Area, he said the community now enjoys relative peace because Mrs. Edem kept to her words when she promised to ensure peace returns to Odukpani. 

Chief Akiba also as part of his birthday rituals presented a set of food vending equipment to a food vendor Miss Aniema Ayi, who sells at Okurikang-Okoyong market, and a knapsack sprayer to Mr. Akiba Ayi Ekpenyong a farmer at Akpap-Okoyong. 

The Chief Akiba's Birthday team also stopped over to see how Daniel Nyong, a beneficiary of the 2021 Birthday empowerment program of Chief Akiba was doing. On seeing the team, Young Daniel was filled with smiles and joy even as he once again appreciated chief Akiba for giving him the opportunity to learn a trade. 

Speaking with our correspondent, at the end of the event, Akiba expressed gratitude to all those who gave him the platform to affect lives positively, stating that if not for the support of some persons, he wouldn't have been able to touch lives.