Mike Akpan, editor-in-chief of Realnews Magazine has been buried in his hometown Edem Anwa, Afaba Obong Abak, Abak local government area of Akwa Ibom state
| By Anayo Ezugwu | Nov. 17, 2014 @ 01:00 GMT |
IT WAS a carnival-like celebration as family members, friends and well wishers from all walks of life gathered in Edem Anwa, Afaha Obong-Abak, Abak local government area of Akwa Ibom State, to pay their last respects to late Mike Akpan, editor-in-chief, Realnews magazine and former editor of Newswatch magazine. Akpan, 68, died on September 30, 2014, at the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital, Uyo, after a brief illness and was buried on November 4, in one of the rooms in his house in his hometown in Edem Anwa, Obong-Abak.
Akpan would be missed by his widow, four children and relations. Mfon Mike Akpan, his first son, said though his father is dead, his achievements in life will continue to live after him. He also thanked those who helped the family in one way or the other during the turbulent period. “I want to sincerely thank and appreciate Mr. and Mrs. Isaac Obajuana, Maureen Chigbo, publisher/editor of Realnews, for standing by the family throughout the turbulent period till the burial of my father. We will not also forget our late father’s friends and associates, especially the Nigerian Guild of Editors’, NGE and the NUJ,” he said.
Patrick Akpabio, one of the officiating priests, at the Requiem Mass held at the St. John Pro-Cathedral, Abak Parish, Abak, said Akpan lived a life that is worthy of emulation, adding that he used his journalism profession to impact on many lives. He admonishes the congregations to always use whatever they are doing in life to influence people around them in a positive manner. “Our brother, Mike Cyril Akpan, has gone to his rest in the presence of Christ. With faith and hope in eternal life let us commend him for all the good works he used his journalism profession to fulfil to humanity,” he said.
Elder Patrick Albert, state chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists, Akwa Ibom chapter, told Realnews that journalism profession has lost one of its finest. He described Akpan as a mentor, father and icon that many people looked up to in the noble profession. “We have lost one of our own. He is mentor and father, who mentored many journalists and encouraged others to take to journalism as a profession. The state chapter of the NUJ will miss his fatherly advice and help in the discharge of our duties,” he said.
The burial was attended by Chigbo, Victor Agusiobo, vice-president, East, NGE, Ikpong Essien-Udom, member, NGE, Obiota Ekanem, member, NGE, Ifeatu Agbu, former deputy president, NGE, John Araka, Fellow, NGE and Christopher Ebong, vice chairman, Abak local government area.
Akpan worked for more than 40 years as a journalist and brought his years of experience to pen a book entitled: Godswill Akpabio: Champion of Free Education in Akwa Ibom and edited Issues in Security Awareness written by Ebongakasi Ekpe-Juda. He became a contributing editor of Newswatch. He joined the Newswatch team in 1990 as an assistant editor and moved up the ranks to become editor of the magazine in 1997. In 2001, he left Newswatch to co-found Green Grass Heritage, a non-governmental organisation on environment. He was editor-in-chief of Green Heritage, a magazine published by the NGO. He, however, returned to Newswatch in 2005 as editorial consultant.
Born on September 29, 1946, at Edem Anwa, Afaha Obong, in Abak Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State, Akpan studied Mass Communication in the University of Lagos. Akoka, Lagos, where he graduated in 1978 as the best student of the Department of Mass Communications and subsequently became the winner of the Daily Times of Nigeria Scholastic Excellence Award. He also won the pro-chancellor’s prize as the best all-round graduating student in the faculty of social sciences. Before joining Newswatch, Akpan, at various times, worked with the Daily Times, The Nigerian Observer, and the Nigerian Chronicle newspapers. He is survived by Maria Mike, his widow and four children, namely: Mfon, Ekemini, Uduakabasi and Idongesit.