From Joe Effiong, Uyo
Akwa Ibom State governor, Mr Udom Emmanue, is in agony over the rapid rise in deaths of some prominent persons in the state, especially retired military officers.
Speaking at the funeral of the former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Nsikak Eduok, organised at Ibom Hall Grounds, Uyo and officiated by the United Evangelical Church and the Nigerian Air Force Chaplaincy, yesterday, Emmanuel specifically mentioned the former director of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Major General Edet Akpan (retd), the former military governor of the state, Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga (retd) and late Nsikak Eduok as those who deaths had seriously hurt the state.
He said in his funeral oration that the late Air Marshall Eduok was one of the state’s ambassadors, who epitomised Akwa Ibom State’s defining characteristics of duty, honesty, transparency, integrity, love for country and God, and who brought those inspiring ideals to bear in the course of his illustrious career with the force, where he rose to the pinnacle of that service not only as the 12th Chief of Air Staff, but also as the first Akwa Ibom so to ever occupy that exalted position.
“Before us today, in the flag-draped coffin, ladies and gentlemen, was a man who defined the true essence of the word loyalty.
“Not many people would have been possessed of such level of stoic resignation and a deep sense of equanimity as he did, when he was first announced the Chief of Air Staff, only to have it reversed a few days later, yet he did not display any sense of bitterness.
“The late Air Marshall Eduok was a man of deep faith, an elder in the United Evangelical Church, founded as Qua Iboe Church. He believed in the immutable power of prayer. As a deep believer, he knew instinctively that who God chooses he qualifies and when the right time came, God elevated him to the position of the COAS”
In his speech, the Chief of Air Staff, Vice Marshal Oladayo Amao, extolled late Eduok for being one of the best hands that contributed towards the successes recorded in the NAF, adding that his dedication during his sojourn on earth made significant and considerable impact on the overall development of the service.
“Our able air marshal was a man of valour, integrity and a great achiever with unprecedented strive for success. He was a mentor to so many of us, both serving and retired. As the 12th Chief of Air Staff he contributed significantly to the development of the Nigerian Air Force and impacted on the service. He was my personal mentor,” Amao said.
Earlier in a very brief homily, the Director, Chaplaincy Protestant Church, NAF, Group Capt, Dogo Gani had reminded Christians to always learn to carry out God’s purpose while still alive through honest and selfless service to humanity.