Akwa Ibom State Elderly Citizens Assembly (AKECA) has called for an end to the exorbitant cost of Marriage List and funeral rites in the state.
The group made the call Thursday, 9 September 2021 at the Chambers of the State Council of Chiefs, when they paid a courtesy visit to the Chairman of Akwa Ibom State Council of Chiefs and the Okuibom Ibibio/Paramount Ruler of Nsit Ubium Local Government Area, His Eminence, Ntenyin Solomon Etuk.
Speaking, the President of AKECA, Obong Ememobong Essien said: “We hope that the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly would enact a law on the issue of Exorbitant Marriage List and funerals rites.”
The group made the call Thursday, 9 September 2021.
“We are also advocating for health and other infrastructure to be specifically designed to meet the needs of the elderly,” he added.
Obong Essien also hinted that the Assembly had completed designs for the construction of a multipurpose elderly citizens centre, adding that the building, when completed, would be used for regular contact and social activities by members of AKECA.
Briefing the Okuibom Ibibio on the objectives and programmes of AKECA, Obong Ememobong explained that, “Over the years, AKECA has asserted its presence as a pioneer group committed to cater for the welfare of the elderly citizens, not only in Akwa Ibom State but also in the whole Federation”.
“We have mobilised over 300 elderly people to AKECA as members, our impact is felt nationwide because we have attracted the attention of other bodies established for the care of the elderly,” the President stated.
Responding, the Okuibom Ibibio remarked that, elderly citizens were the embodiment of experience and knowledge, adding that AKECA has a responsibility to be at the forefront of youth mentorship and transfer of good morals to the younger generation for the benefit of the society.
The Royal Father said, “As wise and knowledgeable people, our elderly citizens cannot afford to continue to be backbenchers anymore, while the society can always tap from their wise counsels”.
The Paramount Ruler of Nsit Ubium commended the leadership of the group for pulling together “senior citizens of the state,” for the purpose of contributing to the development of the state despite the challenges that come with old age.
The highpoint of the visit was the decoration of the Okuibom Ibibio, His Eminence Ntenyin Solomon Etuk as the life Patron of AKECA and presentation of a certificate of the appointment as well as the declaration of all other Paramount Rulers in the state as life patrons of the Assembly.