A devastating fire tore through the palatial home of the late former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman, Obong Udo Ekpenyong, in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, on Christmas Eve. The blaze tragically claimed the lives of Ekpenyong’s wife, Elizabeth Udo Ekpenyong, and her sister, Ms. Ofonime Frank.
Obong Ekpenyong himself passed away in February 2021 while serving as PDP Chairman, reportedly from complications of Covid-19. This latest tragedy has plunged his family and the community into deep mourning.
Following the fire, the Akwa Ibom State government, led by Governor Umo Eno, has expressed its condolences and offered support to the family. Additionally, the Transition Chairman of Ukanafun Local Government, Elder Godwin Ekpe, where the late Ekpenyong hailed from, has declared a seven-day mourning period for all Ukanafun indigenes. This period of reflection will begin on December 26th and last until January 1st, 2024.
In a further display of respect, Ukanafun’s planned participation in the ongoing “Christmas Unplugged” event at the Akwa Ibom Christmas Village has been cancelled.
Hon. Udeme Idiong, the Transition Committee Secretary, explained the decision, stating: “Sequel to the tragic fire incident that occurred at the residence of our Late State Party Chairman, Obong Udo Ekpenyong on 24th December 2023, which claimed the lives of his wife, Mrs Elizabeth Udo Ekpenyong and her sister, Ms Ofonime Frank, the Chairman, Transition Committee, Ukanafun Local Government Area, Elder Godwin Ekpe, has declared a 7 – days mourning period for all indigenes of Ukanafun Local Government from Tuesday 26th of December, 2023 to Monday 1st January, 2024.
“He has also in collaboration with the stakeholders of the Local Government and, with the approval of the state government, announced the withdrawal of Ukanafun contingents, and cultural performance in the ongoing ‘Christmas Unplugged’ activities earlier scheduled to hold on the 28th of December, 2023.
“While sympathizing with the family of the deceased, we pray for the repose of the departed souls.”
By Iniobong Ekponta
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