By; PATRICK TITUS, Uyo
Akwa Ibom State Governor, Pastor Umo Eno, has proposed that the outlook and peculiar features in the residence of late Prelate Emeritus of Methodist Church Nigeria, Sunday Mbang that represent his uniqueness be preserved to serve as a tourist attraction in his honour.
Governor Eno, speaking at the Shelter Afrique residence of the late Methodist prelate, described Sunday Mbang’s death as a collosal loss not just to the family but to the entire state and Christendom, stressing that the deceased was a father figure to Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria and the entire Christian community.
He observed that the residence of the Methodist prelate would be a reputable tourist site and urged the family to preserve the unique components like his chapel, artifacts and other features that represent him to underscore his reputation and role in the history of the church evolution in the world’s most populated black nation, Nigeria.
“We can always be sure that you will continue to leave in this house, not tempering with it in terms of restructuring because a lot of people will like to come many years after to pray in the chapel. We also have a tourism site here like that of Nelson Mandela. We have all of his pictures intact. Please don’t try to alter it so that whenever we come here, we can still feel his presence around us,’ he cautioned.
Accompanied by Secretary to the State Government, Prince Enobong Uwah, Governor Eno also conveyed the condolences of the government and people of the state to the bereaved family, saying “on behalf of the Government and people of Akwa Ibom State, we commiserate with you and ask you to take heart because Papa lived and died for Christ and has raised many children to carry on his legacies”.
While describing the late Mbang as Akwa Ibom pride, Governor Eno assured the family that the state government would take the central stage in his funeral arrangements and solicited the cooperation of the family and the church to accord the deceased Prelate a befitting state burial.
“Daddy was our father in the State. We are all aware that this is not just your event. It is a state event. The SSG will set up a state burial committee, but we will work with the family and the Church. That is what we will do. I please appeal that you work with that committee and let us have the picture. We will work things out and the details will be very clear”, he assured.
Responding on behalf of the family, the Chief Mourner, son of the deceased, Sir Ini Mbang ,KCW, thanked the governor, and the state for identifying with the family in its time of grief and prayed for God’s guidance and help for the governor in leading the state.
Sir Mbang outlined the itinerary for obsequies to include: Special Service by the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, scheduled for Thursday, August 3, 2023, opening of mourning house in Uyo, Sunday, August 6, praise and hymns night at the Prelate’s home chapel, August 9, Day of Tribute at Emerald Event Centre, Uyo, by 11am.
Commendation Service will take place at the Immanuel Methodist Cathedral, Uyo by 5pm, while Christian wake keeping and the funeral service will hold at His Eminence Mbang Methodist Cathedral in Eket, his home town, on Thursday 10th and Friday 11th August respectively