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LATE SENATOR IME IKPATT AND NSIT IBOM LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA
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 ImeIkpatt 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 ImeIkpatt 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.
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.
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.
 Jan vansina, Oral Tradition: A study of Historical Methodology, London: Routledge and Lepan Paul, 1985. P.17
 E. J. Alagoa, peope of the Cross River Valley and Eastern
Niger Delta in ObaroIkime (ed), Ground work of Nigerian History, Ibadan: Heinneman Educational books Ltd 1980. P.71
Patrick Gardiner, Theories of History,Glamcoe: Free Press, 1972. P.36
Eyakeno Paul Afia, the contribution of Late EdidemUyoata to Nation Building. An unpublished project work, University of Uyo, Uyo p.23
 Luke Eyo, History in Transition; A book of Tributes in Honour of Late Prof. OkonEdetUya, FNAL, FHSN, Ndeco Educational Publishers, Uyo 2014. P.5