HRM Obong Cosmos Akpan
Standing tall through the ages.
His Royal Majesty, Obong Cosmos Okon Akpan, Paramount Ruler of Essien Udom Local Government Area, is a man of history; a history steeped in the long demands of the people that now make up Akwa Ibom for a distinct state of theirs. Born in 1934, he was only 14 when the demand for state creation began to feature in our national discourse And Akwa Ibom was in the mainstream of those discussions. However, the first exercise by General Yakubu Gowon which created 12 states from Nigeria’s four regions in 1967 and the subsequent ones did not favour the demands of our people for an own state.
Following the collapse of the Second Republic in 1983, a memorandum demanding the creation of Akwa Ibom State was submitted to the General Buhari Administration by the Paramount Rulers from the 10 Local Government areas that made up the mainland part of the then Cross River State. Today, the only living signatory to that demand is HRM, Obong Cosmos Akpan who at the time was the paramount ruler of Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area.
His Royal Majesty was born into the a royal lineage in Uruk Obong 11, Ekpenyong Atai No 1 in the present Essien Udim LGA. His father was Akuku Akpan Idemno, a first class chief in Ekpenyong Atai clan.
In 1961, a twist interjected his plans to further his education abroad. The clan head of Ekpenyong Atai, being his father died and left a throne that many were eager to ascend. But the community desired someone who would not only be a good replacement but also undergirded with adroitness and competence to pilot the affairs of the clan in the challenging post independence era. Cosmas who was the least in consideration among the brothers was chosen in what many described as a perfect will of God. The reluctant Cosmas sought to escape but the Most High God had willed so. And so Cosmas became a traditional ruler at very tender age. He received his certificate of recognition as clan head of Ekpenyong Atai in 1962. In 1979, Obong Cosmas was made the Paramount ruler of Ikot Ekpene. In 1989 when political expediency led to the creation of Essien Udim LGA, Obong Cosmas became the pioneer Paramount ruler of that Essien Udim LGA.
Since ascending the throne, His Royal Majesty has impacted on the traditional institution as one who has ruled with the fear of God. As a staunch Catholic he has allowed his faith in God to guide his decisions. Little wonder why he remains the longest serving clan head, longest serving Paramount ruler, the only surviving traditional ruler who was involved in the struggle for the creation of Akwa Ibom State and the only valid repository of what the founding fathers of Akwa Ibom conceived for the State.
As we celebrate the anniversary of our creation Akwa Ibom Celebrates the only surviving visionary who stepped out and placed our demand before the powers of the time.