Remembering Eteidung Matthew Obot Etuk, one year after
Like meteor, Eteidung Matthew John Obot Etuk came into this world, made his mark, and returned into the warm embrace of angels.
Eteidung was born on January 1, 1920 to the family of John Obot Etuk of Nung Osom in Uyo village in Offot Ukwa Clan. His mother was Nsubu Etuk Udo Umoh of Ikot Abasi Itam, all in Akwa Ibom State.
He was Village Head of Uyo Village in Offot Ukwa Clan in Uyo Local Council of Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria and died on January 12, 2017.
The very interesting and inspiring story of our father’s early life must betold. His early life was marked by poverty and hopelessness.
His father was a poor palm fruit harvester (otop eyop) while his mother was an itinerant trader and subsistent farmer. His stepfather, Chief Akpaudo Obot, whom he later lived with in Ikot Mbonde Itam in Itu Local Council, was equally poor.
He attended Itam Group School in 1936. He acquired Standard Six Certificate in 1944, Teachers Grade 11 in 1959, Higher Elementary Teachers Certificate in 1965 and Honorary Teachers’ Grade 11 Certificate in 1073.
He was employed in 1944 as a vendor to sell Eastern mail Newspapers. He could not continue with the job due to incessant travels. Distraught but not discouraged, he took up teaching with his first station at Ifiayong. From 1948-1964, he taught in various schools in the present day Uruan Local Council and later became the headmaster. He retired in 1985.
Popularly called “Ete Obot’ or “Titia Matti’ (Teacher Matthew), he was a dreaded wrestler His dexterity and resilience in wrestling earned him a nickname “Atribe” meaning: resilience, strong and dogged. His fame in wrestling spanned through Itam, Offot and Uruan clans in Ibibio land.
Etuk was a man of utmost integrity and transparency. He served as the treasurer of Uyo Men 2, Co-operative Society from 1952, a post he held on trust until his demise on January 12, 2017.
He was a proud scouter. He served as a treasurer of the Uyo Local Association in 1970’s and 80’s. He was also Scout Master (DSM) Ikono and rose to the position of a patron in Uyo Senatorial District.
He was a devout Christian, having born into the Qua Iboe Church. He became a member of the Catholic Church when he assumed duty as a teacher in Catholic Schools. He later ended up in the Methodist Church. He served in different capacities for many years in addition to being an accredited Lay Preacher for more than 25 years.
In 1985, the king makers in Uyo village appointed him the village head of Uyo village in Offot Ukwa Clan.
He had a long peaceful reign of over 30 years. His integrity, forthrightness and utmost humility stood him out as an uncompromising traditional ruler
“ We fondly remember: a great father, grandfather and a mentor, the sound of your voice, the smiles on your face, the touch of your hands, the wisdom in your words of advice, the reality in your discipline, the stories of your life and the histories of our people, your exemplarily life style etc.
Though you are gone with all your golden qualities, your memories will ever remain green in our hearts and reign forever. We believe that you are now resting in a warm and comfortable place where there is no sorrow and tears. Papa, we miss you as we did when you were gone a year ago and you will always occupy a special place in the innermost circle of our hearts.
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