As preparations for the burial of Elder Gabriel Nkanang, father of Gov Udom Emmanuel, hot up, more groups and individuals have continued to identify with the first family over the loss.
The latest is from Ibom Sea Foods Producers Multi-Purpose Cooperative Union Limited (ISPMPCUL).
The national president of the body, Deacon Francis Ekpenyong, in a message to the governor described the death of the late Nkanang as shocking, saying the deceased lived a fulfilled life as a devout Christian and selfless leader who made immense sacrifices towards human development.
Ekpenyong noted that with the goodwill of the late Nkanang, quite a number of people in the state and beyond had benefitted from his milk of human kindness, adding that the deceased was a strong supporter and source of inspiration to his family members, Onna people, Akwa Ibom and Nigeria at large.
"The good attributes and fair characteristics of the late Elder Gabriel Nkanang translated to what Akwa Ibom people are enjoying today through Gov Udom Emmanuel; the governor's honesty and commitment to the welfare of the people were borne out of the lesson from his father. Such resounding values are rare testimonies,â€ he said.
He also described the late Nkanang as an epitome of development and growth, who had contributed immensely to the development of the society, remarking that it was saddened that he would be greatly missed by his family and Akwa Ibom people.
Ekpenyong said the loss of a father, no matter the age, was always very painful, praying God to grant the governor and members of the family the grace to bear the loss and the soul of the departed eternal rest.
He commended the governor on his victory at the Supreme Court, describing it as the divine will of only God Almighty. Ekpenyong said the victory would strengthen the governor to do more for his people in the provision of infrastructure, industries, aviation, peace and other things that would make the people live a better life.
He appealed to the governor to accommodate the body in his Completion Agenda, suggesting the provision of equipment such as outboard engines, fishing nets, hooks and other related materials to fishermen to help them improve on seafoods production.
Ekpenyong said Akwa Ibom has important fishing settlements that can produce massive seafoods all over the state, listing some of them to include: Utaewa in Ikot Abasi; Atabong in Okobo; Oron; Upenekang in Ibeno; Ibaka in Mbo; Ishiet, Ifiayong in Uruan; Okoroete in Eastern Obolo; Itu in Itu and Onna in Onna Local Government Area.
He appealed for the appointment of a special assistant on seafoods matters as obtained in other sectors, reactivate the moribund Ebughu Fishing Terminal at Mbo Local Government and full involvement of the body in any matter concerning and or relating to seafoods in the state.
"We have the data of all the fishermen in the host riverine communities such as Uruan, Itu, Ibeno, Eastern Obolo, Ikot Abasi, Onna, Mbo, Oron and Okobo,â€ he stressed.