It was a celebration of a new dawn as Ikono Progressive Minds (IPM), a pan-Ikono socio-political organisation created for professionals from Ikono extraction, was inaugurated last Saturday at the council hall, Ibiaku Ntok Okpo, amidst goodwill messages and encouragement from distinguished sons and daughters of the area who graced the occasion.
In his opening remarks, the chairman on the occasion, Dr. Martins Akpan, described the group as a genuine agent that will change the social, economic and political narratives in Ikono; and, as the name implies, the group is “saddled with the responsibility of overhauling and heralding a new direction to our society through well thought-out plans, true renaissance, strong advocacy, ethical orientation and public enlightenment,especially on the choice of leadership”.
Dr. Akpan, who is the chairman, AKS Primary Health Care Development Agency, opined that the cardinal point of progressives and reformers from the primeval times is to push for protection of social welfare, promotion of moral upswing, creation of economic forms and empowerment of the people to raise their standard of living, enthrone the rule of law and foster efficiency to set the society on a progressive path of sustainable growth, peace and justice.
He used the occasion to charge the group to harness its wealth of knowledge, experience, intellection and ingenuity to cause Nigerians to create a Nigeria of their dream come 2023, as it will not be business as usual. He rounded off his speech by paying glowing tributes to Gov. Udom Emmanuel’s signature of developments which are found everywhere in the state.
On his part, an Elder statesman and former commissioner, Sir Sunday U. Akpan (KJW) expressed happiness for the formation of Ikono Progressive Minds which, according to him, is expected to manifest itself as a leading light in the socio-economic and political struggle in the area. The frontline politician stressed that Ikono Progressive Minds must be steadfast in its resolve to usher in a new political order that will attract economic and social development in the area.
On his part, the senior special assistant to the state governor on Petroleum Matters and the champion of Ikono politics, Sir Victor Etefia (KJW), expressed satisfaction with the quality ofthe leadership of IPM, and charged the group to be devoid of unnecessary political sentiments that will derail the objectives of IPM, as well as look beyond 2023 political rubble.
Responding, the president of Ikono Progressive Minds, Dr. Nelson Okorie, thanked all the guests and others who made it possible for the formation and eventual inauguration of IPM.
Dr. Okorie revealed that the vision of the body is to strengthenunity, development and leadership recruitment which will help establish strong democratic values and good governance at all levels for the betterment of Ikono in particular and the society in general.
He maintained that Ikono Progressive Minds is poised to create a new socio-political agenda through enlightening and mobilisation of the people towards political consciousness.
Other speakers at the occasion were Obong Moses Akpan, MrEkemini Uba , Sir Edem Ekanem, Mr Sampson Okorie, Dr. George Udo, who represented Mr . Itoro Columba, Mr Samuel Etefia, Akparawa Innocent Akpaitang, Dr. Unyime Umoh, Chairman State Hospitals Management Board, Obong Mike Ene, Captain Bassey Idiong, Elder Dr. Akaniyene Akankpo who represented Dr. Glory Edet and others.
High point of the event was the inauguration of the executive members of the group by Mr Inem Okorie.
The newly inaugurated executive officers are: Dr Nelson Okorie – President, Mr Idongesit Jimmy – assistant secretary general, Christopher Udo – secretary-general, Dr Abasifreke Etok – assistant secretary-general, Mr Samuel Essien – treasure, Dr Emmanuel Ekpenyong – P.R.O.1, Hon. Etop Umoidem – P.R.O.2, Mr Israel Eno – financial secretary, Dr Godwin Udofia – director of special duties, Mr Kingsley Udonkang, – organising secretary, Dr Nse Umoh – director of educational services.