By Chijioke Okoronkwo
Uyo, Feb. 15, 2020
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan alongside his wife, Patience, on Saturday attended the funeral service of Elder Emmanuel Nkanang, father of Gov. Emmanuel Udom of Akwa Ibom Ibom State.
The service was conducted by the United Evangelical Church/Qua Iboe Church, Awa-Iman, Onna Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.
Born on May 7, 1929, Nkanang passed on Dec. 1, 2019, at the age of 90.
Serving governors present included Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta, Ben Ayade of Cross River, Godwin Obaseki of Edo, Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu, Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti, Abubakar Bello of Niger and Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto States.
Other Governors that attended the service were Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun, Seyi Makinde of Oyo and Nyesom Wike of Rivers States.
The President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan, and immediate past Senate President, Bukola Saraki, were also at the event.
The event also attracted former governors, members of the political class, members of the judiciary and members the National Assembly, including former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremmadu, and Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe.
Members of the Federal Executive Council, service chiefs, clergy and traditional rulers also put in appearance including the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi.
In a goodwill message, Osinbajo said that the late Nkanang did not only spread the gospel but mentored many people.
“Papa was in his life time, a legendary teacher and headmaster who taught and mentored thousands of students many of whom are here today to celebrate his life and times.
“But his greatest legacy will be his faithful and prolific spreading of the gospel of Jesus Christ through the Qua Iboe Church.
“He planted several churches not just in this state and environs but also as far as the North Central zone of Nigeria through the great work that he did.
“It was clear to all that not only was he a teacher and a mentor of men, he was also a spiritual leader and father to many,” he said.
In a tribute, Gov. Udom said he was overwhelmed and felt loved by the quality, and level, of turn out which cut across political, religious and ethnic divides.
He said he was grateful to all those who came to commiserate with him.
Udom said that his father distinguished himself in his endeavours; impacted positively on his children and left legacies worthy of emulation.
“My father was a man of character, man of substance, a disciplinarian, a mentor and inspiration.
“Papa, we will never forget you; your memories and legacies,” he said.
The sermon was moderated by Rev Samuel Ebukiba, Chairman, World Conference of United Evangelical Church.