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Let The Wicked Forsake His Ways - Rev. Inyang

 rumpeters and saxophonists did their thing perfectly as they processed into the church with the remains of late Peter Offiong Ikpe. The children, friends and family who were part of the team looked sober and pained, that feeling of a dearly beloved one snatched by death itself. It was painful but on the whole it was a beautiful procession because he lived a life testified by all to be well accomplished. Rev. Samuel Inyang on the topic, Let the Wicked Forsake his Ways, drawn from Luke 21:34-36; 1 Thessalonians 4:13; 1 Peter 5:7; 1 John 1:9; Psalms 34:18 urged Christians to be careful lest their heart be overcharged by the things of the world. He furthered that even Jesus while on earth enjoined His disciples to be wary of certain things such as overfeeding, drunkenness and cares of life while in the journey of life which are the things that draw men back from serving God. "These things can ruin you, your life and your future on earth, so take heed", he said. According to the man of God, "We are here gathered to celebrate a life worthy of emulation rather than mourn his exit. This is one man we appreciate God for, that in a world like this today, someone can still live a holy and righteous life. "He had everything and would have lived like any other person who is wealthy but he chose to live for God. He was exposed to Western education early, yet he humbled himself and decided to serve God. The man lying here did not allow the problems of life to weigh him down. If you task your problem to him you would go back relieved. Even with his challenge, he never allowed it to weigh him down. He was full of life, hope and peace. To the family, friends, community and colleagues, whenever you need God, call upon Him and He will answer you." According to his biography, late Peter Offiong Ikpe lived a fulfilled life. At the appointed time his Creator called him home to continue a glorious life. Born on November 1, 1938 to late Deacon Offiong Ikpe  Udo Onnung Akpan Annanga of Nnung Annanga of Obio Etoi, he started his primary education at Nsit District School (Adaha Enang Eto) in 1945 and obtained his Standard Six Certificate in 1951. He further sat for an entrance examination into Methodist Boys' High School, Oron, in 1953 which on completion he received the West African Examination Certificate in 1957. After his education, late Ikpe proceeded to Enugu State where he took an appointment with the Nigerian Railway Corporation as a station staff in training and was sent to the Railway Traffic School at Ebute Metta, Lagos, for six months. On completion of the training, he was posted to Jos Railway Station. In 1960, he was transferred to Enugu Railway Station where he later resigned and took a new appointment with the survey department as a survey draughtsman. He later moved from Enugu to Calabar after the Nigeria Civil War in 1968. Late Peter Ikpe as stated in the biography went through series of trainings within the department. He was at the Federal Surveys Department, Lagos, and Economic Commission for Africa, Centre for Aerial Surveys in the University of Ife, Ile Ife. As a higher technical officer in 1978, he left the survey department in 1981 by transfer of service to Cross River Basin and Rural Development Authority and became a principal technical officer. In 1982, late Ikpe took a study tour of Europe courtesy of Mapping Geodata Company based in OLPE in West Germany. The tour took him to: Zeiss Oberkochen - VWest Germany; Landesvermessungsamt, Bonn - BadGodesberg-West Germany; Technical University - Zurich, Switzerland; Swiss School for Photogrammetric Operators- Switzerland; Wild, Heerbrugg- manufacturers of photogrammetric equipmentsSwitzerland; Miltary Geographic, Bonn-Bad Godesberg-West Germany; International Training Centre, Enschede- The Netherlands and Institute Geographique National- Paris, France. "He exhibited exemplary qualities while at work which made him outstanding. He was dedicated, disciplined, committed and stood for the truth at all times. The deceased served with Basin Authority from July 1981 to May 1993 and retired voluntarily from service as a chief technical officer (photogrammetry) to the glory of God. "Late Peter married to former Miss Usua Peter Ibok of Nda Nsit of Nsit Atai Local Government in October 1970 by the native law and customs. He never ceased to acknowledge the great support and encouragement given by his loving wife which enabled him to progress in every good work. The marriage was blessed with children. He was so passionate about his immediate family and provided for them spiritually and materially," the biography read. It maintained that the deceased was a devout Christian who embraced the doctrine of Jesus Christ wholly and his daily life was an evidence to this fact. "God led him through his wife to accept Christ as his personal saviour in December 1986 during an annual camp meeting of Apostolic Faith Church in lkot Enwang. He partook in the ordinance of water baptism and was called to service in God's vineyard as an usher in 1990. "He was a pioneer worker of Ikot Effiom Iyamba (formerly Ikot Omin- 8 Miles) Bible Study Centre in Calabar. He served faithfully until the centre became a full- fledged church. As he kept serving God truthfully, God added more responsibilities to him that moved him from an usher to a Sunday school teacher. On his retirement from secular work and return to Uyo, he was ordained a minister and preacher of the gospel of Christ. "Our father was loved and admired by everyone that had the opportunity of meeting him. He was a historian by nature, lover of peace, disciplinarian and model to fatherhood. He was very generous and hospitable. He basically lived for humanity and proved that selflessness is not only a concept but a virtue one should adopt in life. He was equipped with an incredible sense of humour, he kept everyone cheerful and always lightened up tense situations wherever he went. He always had positive disposition to life and had the habit of praying for the growth and success of all that came to him. He was proactive in nature, hence he prepared his biography and handed to his family in the year 2007. "In the journey of life, papa did not only defeat death through his triumphant life, he has deposited good memories in the heart of those he left behind. "Even if he lived 200 years, we would not have wanted him to go. One thing I say, he has left us a beautiful legacy, a legacy that will lead us all to heaven. We thank you all for coming to celebrate with us", his daughter stated. In attendance were: Justice Ita Mbaba, Itu Council chairman, Mr Etetim Onuk; provincial pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Isreal Longe; paramount ruler of Itu, Edidem Edet Inyang; members National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), ministers of the gospel, friends and villagers.

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