Ibiono Ibom lawmaker demands immortalization of late Gen. Phillip Effiong

Given the invaluable impact left behind by the late siege, General Philip Asuquo Effiong at the national and state levels, like his role in ending the Nigerian civil war on January 13,1970, Hon. Moses Essien, during yesterday’s plenary sought for state and national posthumous honour for the gallant soldier.

Essien, the lawmaker representing Ibiono Ibom State constituency in the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, made the plea in a motion he sponsored titled “Motion For Resolution For The Federal Government And The Government Of Akwa Ibom State To Immortalise Late General Philip Asuquo Effiong For The Role He Played To End The Civil War in Nigeria”.

And dwelling on the motion pursuant to Order 3 Rule 1 of the Standing Orders of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Essien, narrated that as “an illustrious Akwa Ibom son who masterminded the end of the Nigerian Civil War, thereby saving scores of lives of Easterners, including the Niger Deltans when the initiator of the war, Odumegwu Ojukwu had abandoned the war and escaped for his personal safety”, it was necessary for the Federal and the State Government to honour Gen. Effiong for his selfless service to reunite the fragmented country at the time.

According to the lawmaker, “General Effiong rose to become Chief of General Staff of Biafra under late Chief Odumegu Ojukwu during the Nigeria – Biafra war”.

He added that “General Effiong assumed leadership in the situation of turmoil, starvation, and collapse of the Biafra Army. He became the acting Head of State of Biafra on 8 January 1970 upon the voluntary exile of late Chief Odumegu Ojukwu. On 15 January 1970, General Effiong, at Dodan Barrack in Lagos in the presence of General Yakubu Gowon, announced the end of the Biafran conflict and pledged loyalty to the Federal Military Government of Nigeria thereby declaring the end of the Republic of Biafra.

Late General Philip Asuquo Effiong was born on 18 November 1925 into the Nung Essien family in Ikot Akpanobong Village in Ibiono, Ibiono Ibom local government area of Akwa Ibom State.

He enrolled in the Nigerian Armed Forces on 28 July 1945. The UK later commissioned him for duty in Rhine, West Germany. He was then transferred to the Nigeria Army Ordinance Corps; then to England for further training after a peace keeping stint in the Republic of Congo in 1961. He was Nigeria’s first Director of Ordinance”.

Essien however regreated that no government facility has been named after late Gen. Philip Effiong, notwithstanding that the principal initiator of the war, Odimegwu Ojukwu was duly recognised by naming Anambra State University after him.

In his three prayers, Hon. Essien called on the House to resolve that His Excellency Pastor Umo Eno, Governor of Akwa Ibom State should recommend Late General Philip Effiong for national Award.

Also, he prayed that the Akwa Ibom State Executive Council should facilitate the renaming of the Military Cantonment in Mbiokporo after General Philip Effiong.

Furthermore, he mandated the House Committee on Inter-governmental and Special Matters to ensure that the resolution on the motion is complied with.

The Speaker of the Assembly, Rt. Hon. Udeme Otong, in his ruling, directed the Clerk of the House to send the motion to the Governor for consideration.