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Background of the Study

According to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, “the height of great man reached and kept, are not attained by sudden fight, but they whilst their companion slept were toiling upwards in the night”. Also, according to Bob Marley, he said that “a great man is not known only for his wealth and riches, but also by the positive impacts he made and the lives, he touched. This is the story of Late Senator Ime Jacob Ikpatt, who was a selfless and compassionate man and this made him to be loved by all.

          Late Senator Ime JacobIkpatt hailed from AfahaOffiong in NsitIbom Local Government Area. He was one of the NsitIbom Sons who contributed immensely to the development of NsitIbom community, his Senatorial District, Ibibio Nation and Akwa Ibom State as a whole. This research work seeks to study and being to light every aspect of Late SenatorImeIkpatt’s life, including his early upbringing, political career and leadership, his contributions to development and the welfare of his people, his legacies and others.

Statement of the Research Problem

This life and time of great men are easily forgotten or not documented. In the course of this research work, it was discovered that written works concerning Late Senator ImeIkpatt were hard to come by as things were not documented about him. Thus, this research work will given information about him that may be referred to in future.

Objectives of the Study

The objectives of this research work include among other things, the following:

(i)                The work intends to highlight aspects of his early life.

(ii)             The work will also expose his career and leadership qualities.

(iii)           His contributions to the development of both his community, NsitIbom and Uyo Senatorial District shall be given a cursory attention.

(iv)           The Late Senator’s achievements and legacies shall also be highlighted in the course of the research.

(v)             His eventual demise shall also be considered.

Significance of the Study

(i)      The achievements of Late Senator Ime Ikpatt will be a challenge for other           leaders/politicians from Uyo Senatorial District to emulate.

(ii)     His lifestyle will be a lesson for other to also copy especially the essence of heard work to attain stardom.

(iii)    The research work will give an insight into the life of Late Senator Ime        Ikpatt as a           whole, his early upbringing, his leadership roles and others.

(iv)    The work at completion will be a reference material for researchers on Nsit  Ibom History.

(vi)           His lifestyle will be a guide to those who nurture the feelings of being a leader.

Scope of the Study

The researcher decided to focus her attention on Late Senator Ime Ikpatt and NsitIbom because she hails from there and the legacies of the Late Senator if not documented now, will be forgotten. The period of his life, 1940-2016 is very significant in the history in Akwa Ibom State and the emergence of NsitIbom as a Local Government Area.

Research Methodology

Documents for the writing of this work were collected from both primary and secondary sources. The primary sources centered on oral tradition with emphasis on oral history which implies “eye witnesses accounts”, while the secondary sources were the library materials.

          Oral traditions according to Jan Vansina are “oral information which are transmitted by words of mouth from one generation to another”. E. J. Alagoa on the other hand looked at oral tradition as “all verbal testimonies which are reported statements concerning the past.

          Oral tradition also has to do with oral literature including myth, poetry, epic, folklore, legend, eye-witnesses accounts or oral history. Great wisdom is however contained in oral tradition and if carefully analyzed, can provide materials for the reconstruction of history of extinct communities. Mention has already been made of oral history, these are eye-witnesses account given by people about events in which they participated or observed.

          Materials for this work were also collected from secondary sources. These includes: libraries, books, journals, magazines, internet materials and other unpublished works that were consulted.

Limitations of the Study

The completion of this work was not without certain constraints. For instance, a great number of resource persons who could have provided useful information for the writing of this work were alleged to have passed away while others were in a state of structural amnesia. The researcher again being a self-sponsored faced some financial difficulties that did not enable her catch up with the respected appointments of her informants for interviews. Others refused to honour appointments with the researcher on account of their tight schedules while others were as a result of illiteracy who feared litigations, that could result from their comments or statements.

          On certain occasions, where appointments were honoured, the researcher was refused the use of cameras or video recorder to record the interviews for the reasons best known to them. Despite these constraints, the inter-disciplinary approach to historical reconstruction was adapted where the weakness of a particular area was complemented by the strengths of another and vice versa.

          On the whole, there is no claim to perfection in any way as far as this study is concerned. Blame of whatever nature should go to the researcher and scholarly reactions provoked as a result of this study are welcome. This is in line with the view of Patrick Gardiner that “for a person to make meaningful continuations to the advcement of knowledge, his or her work must have provoked some useful criticisms and further researchers”. This therefore does not conclude this work but open avenue for further research. Hence, constructive criticisms are welcome.

Literature Review

The essence of literature review is to study related books that have similar bearing with the subject of study.

          Afia, Eyakeno Paul in his research work “the contributions of Late EdidemUyoataAkpabio posits that Late EdidemUyoata was a good leader who was loved by all. He played a major role in building his immediate environment by constructing roads, building schools and health centres in his area. Late EdidemUyoataAkpabio was also seen as impartial and fair judge, who was so fair in the dispensation of justice.

          In the book, “History in Transition” A book of tributes in honour of Late Prof. OkonEdetUya, FNAL, FHSNI edited by Luke Eyoh, it is written that Prof. OkonEdetUya was a pioneer scholar of what was known to be the “Calaba School of History”. He was seen to be a great man, kind, generous and one who was willing to share knowledge at anytime. This is related to Late Senator Ime Jacob Ikpatt, in that, he was a lover of his people and did not look down on anybody. He was one that was willing to share what he had with his people. It is in record that he established a factory in NsitIbom and helped in ravaging erosion in the present University of Uyo.

          The biography of Professor Monday Abasiattai posits that Professor Abasiattai was a chairman of the Governing Council of then college of education, now University of Uyo. He is said to have led the school’s management learn to successfully uplift the academic standard of the institution.

          The biography of Late Elder Prof. EnoBlanksonIkpe shows that Prof. EnoIkpe was an academic per excellence who is remembered for her impactful teaching and research. As the head of Department, she championed innovations to promote self-confidence and a competitive spirit among the students, such as inter-university joint seminar. She was seen to have invested in human capital development, an area which she did not spare her resources. It is also on record that she encourage and supported youth development. Her love for youth activities spurred her in “2014” to donate parade band set to community secondary school, Ikot Oku UboOffot, Uyo.

          In the biography of Her Royal Highness, ObongawaAtim Rose Atakpo, it is mentioned that she had functioned as a catalyst in resolving serious disputes between chairman of Uyo Local Government Area and the female traders. It is also on record that the she singlehandedly successfully mediate in a serious long-standing disputes involving several villages in Uyo. To also add, she spear headed the establishment of the labour office branch in Uyo by the Federal Ministry of Labour. Her Royal Highness Deaconess (Dr.) Atim Rose Atakpo was credited with  numerous outstanding achievements in a variety of fields of human endeavour, especially the promotion of industrials development in areas of hospitality and fashion designing, and the provision with support to religious organization.

          IniAkpanUdoka in his book titled Sir UdoUdoma: A portrait of history has written extensively on the biography of Sir UdoUdoma highlighting some of his significant contributions to the development of Akwa Ibom State and to people. According to Udoka, Sir UdoUdoma was born in Ette, IkotAbasi. His father, Chief UdomaInamAnyati was a titled Chief of Ibekwe who never forgot sense of his primary duty entrusted to him by tradition to protect his people from oppressive and exploitative enemies. Udoka also accounted for the rules played by Sir UdoUdoma’s mother, Madam AdiahaUdoInam against the obnoxious tax policy women and IkotAbasi environs.

          Also, according to IniUdoka, educational development of Ibibio land who uppermost in the mind of Sir UdoUdoma. He knew that without Western education, the envisioned transformation and emancipation of Ibibio sons and daughter as a am illusion. Thus, he considered the training of Ibibio sons and daughter as a priority project during his administration of the Ibibio union. In establishing a secondary commercial school in his hometown, Ibekwe, Sir UdoUdoma sought to fill the vacuum which had existed in that area in education.

          To further add, Sir UdoUdoma was a welfarist, whose interest in the affairs of the less privileged was unparallel among his contemporaries. He was an efficient organizer and reformer. Explaining his leadership roles, Udoka stated that Sir UdoUdoma raised the Ibibio State union from a dilapidated status to a nationally acceptable state. His policies were also reflected in the form establishment of the national collage, the Ibibio state college as well as the promotion of economic activities and welfare programmes among the Ibibio people.

          The biography of Chief Paul OkonEssien posits that educational development of NsitIbom was uppermost in the mind of Chief Essien. Aside from his innate desire to fulfill this aim, it should be noted that in the area, institutions of learning were scarce and as a person who is an incurable lower of education, there was need for more high schools to accommodate the ever increasing number of youths in NsitIbom who were yearning for secondary school education. This was demonstrated in the establishment of onward secondary commercial school in 1978 and community secondary school, IkotAyan.

          However, these reviews have close relationship with Late Senator Ime Jacob Ikpatt being that these people were leaders who function effectively in the different post. But none of them have given detailed information about Late Senator Ime Jacob Ikpatt and that is what his research work seeks to achieve.