Buhari, Jonathan, Obasanjo, Others Pay Tributes To Late Gov Emmanuel’s Father

Buhari, Jonathan, Obasanjo, Others Pay Tributes To  Late Gov Emmanuel’s Father
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President Muhammadu Buhari, former Presidents Goodluck Jonathan and Olusegun Obasanjo; Senate President Ahmad Lawan; several serving and former governors across party lines, members of the Federal and state Executive Councils; traditional leaders including the Emir of Kano, Mohammed Sanusi were among eminent Nigerians who bade farewell to Pa Gabriel Emmanuel Nkanang, father of Akwa Ibom state governor, Udom Emmanuel, who was laid to rest at the weekend.

Elder Emmanuel, a devoted evangelist of the old Qua Iboe Church (QIC) died on December 1, 2019, at age 90, and was buried by the factional United Evangelical Church (UEC), where his son, Emmanuel, is one of the leading torch bearers.


However, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who said he was at the forum on three representative capacities for President Buhari, the people of Lagso, where Pa Emmanuel lived for several years before his death and as a friend of Akwa Ibom, spoke glowingly about Pa Emmanuel’s passing.

He described the late Elder Nkanang, as a devout Christian evangelist, who spend greater part of his earthly sojourn, to reposition the Christendom along the lines of values, and norms as propagated by Jesus Christ.

According to him, the family he left behind should be consoled by the worthy legacies of love, brotherliness and accommodating character that he left behind.

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Extolling the virtues of the deceased, Osinbajo said: “I am here in three different capacities: First, as the representative of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, second, as a friend and brother to the governor of Akwa Ibom state, Udom Emmanuel and third, as a Lagosian and representative of the people of Lagos where Papa Nkanang lived for many years and passed on to glory.

“Papa was in his life time a legendary teacher and headmaster as we heard, who taught thousands of students, many of whom are here to pay tribute to him today. But his greatest achievement was in the propagation of the gospel of Jesus Christ, where he planted so many Churches, not only in this state and the environs, but in the North-Central zone of Nigeria.

“Through the great works that he did, he was fair to all, not only as a great teacher and mentor of men, but also as a spiritual father of many. At a funeral services like this, one of the favourites prayers is ‘may the souls of the faithful departed rest in perfect peace.

“For many who are familiar with Christian theology, you would agree with me that prayer is medicine after death; the truth of the matter is that the soul of men and women rest in peace depending on what they did during their life time but we know that Papa Nkanang, not only served and loved the Lord Jesus Christ while he was here on earth and accepted him as Lord and savior, but also propagated the gospel, so we can confidently say that his soul is resting in peace”.

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In the same vein, the Chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum, the Ekiti state governor, Kayode Fayemi, who spoke on behalf of his colleagues, said the worthy legacies of the late Pa Nkanang, would be sorely missed.

Said Fayemi: “We are here for celebration of life, we are not here to mourn our father, not only because he lived worthy life, but because reared great children some of who have gone on to excel and also made him proud”.

“So, on behalf of all my brothers who are governors, we celebrate Pa Gabriel Nkanang, for a life well spent and also his children for a ensuring that they gave Papa a worthy departure. We pray the God Almighy that He would continue to honour, bless them and ensure they are celebrated”, Fayemi added.

Thanking the dignitaries, governor Emmanuel expressed shock at the turn out, saying “I have never seen this kind of crowd in my life”, adding that such show of solidarity and love was a demonstration of acceptability of his fathers exemplary life style while on earth.

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“I feel so loved by Nigeria as a country; this is a bridge-building ceremony; it has no party lines nor religious line and no gender coloration. I can only say Nigerians, I am deeply indebted to you, I love you all. I appreciate your love, that show of love that cut across everybody”, he said.

He described his as true biological father who would always stand and defend the interest of his children at all time, recalling that “my father ensured that everything a good father could give to his children and that we are grateful and thankful to him”.


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Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom