Etinan State Constituency

Brief History of Etinan LGA

Following the recommendations of the Akilu commission of Inquiry into the administrative structure of the then South Eastern State, Etinan Local Government was created in 1976 out of the former Uyo Division with Etinan as its headquarters.

Etinan is located within the south eastern part of Nigeria and constitutes one of the Local Government Areas in the oil rich Akwa Ibom State. Known for its agricultural and arts craft products, the area forms one of the most peaceful locations in the West African State of Nigeria.

Etinan Local Government  Area is mainly inhabited by the Iman Ibom people who are characteristically dynamic, imaginative, industrious and intelligent. They generally speak Ibibio language and have a rich cultural heritage. Some of the cultural societies found here are Ekpo, Ekong, Ebre and Idiong. A greater percentage of the people are Christians although some forms of African traditional religion are practiced by few people. Their culture is reflected and displayed through dances, arts, and crafts. The main occupation of the people centres around farming and petty trading. Crops cultivated include yams, cassava, cocoyam and maize. Small scale manufacturing is also carried out by the people. A number of the people also engage in wine tapping, crafts-making, wood-carving, sculpture and baking.

Etinan Local Government Area is located on latitude 05001’N and longitude 07054’E. It is 26 kilometres South of Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital and 24 kilometres North of Eket. It shares common boundaries with Onna, Nsit Ibom, Mkpat Enin, Abak and Uyo Local Government Areas and is situated on the Qua Iboe River South West of Uyo, and North of Eket.

The entire local government area lies in the tropical rain forest belt and has two distinct seasons – the rainy season and the dry season. The vegetation is evergreen.

Etinan Local Government counts as one of the serving local government councils in Akwa-lbom state with its administrative in the town of Etinan thus falling within the Akwa-lbom north-east senatorial district while forming a federal constituency together with Nsit Ubium and Nsit lbom local government areas. The Etinan Local Government which is in charge of public administrations is headed by a Chairman who super sees the Executive arm of the Local Government. The Etinan Local Government is made up of 11 wards with 11 councilors representing the 11 wards.

Etinan LGA, with Ekom Iman as it’s ancentral home- and the original home of all Iman clan,   is over 700 years old far more than the ancient Benin Kingdom and the name Etinan came from father and son combination “Eti” and “Inan”, such that before an “Obong” is crown in Etinan he has to visit Itina Iman at Ekom and the necessary rites performed by himself or on his behalf.

Etinan was the Local Government Headquarters of all the villages in Nsit Ibom, Nsit Ubiom, Nsit Atai as well as all Northern and Southern Iman villages. The central town in Etinan has three villages- Etinan, Ikot Ebo & Ikot Ebiyak (aka Ekpuk Ita Etinan- the largest ward in Etinan as a whole), that came together to form a Federation and has the Etinan Federated Town Council as their city center.

The Geneology of Etinan Kingdom (The Crown), is traced all the way to Ibom as follows:

  1. Ibom-
  2. Iman Ibom-
  3. Inan Iman Ibom(Eteidung of Etinan I- (No date recorded)
  4. Eti Inan Iman Ibom (Eteidung Etinan II (No date recorded)
  5. Edok Eti Inan Iman Ibom (Eteidung Etinan III (No date recorded)
  6. Akpan Edok Eti Inan Iman Ibom(Eteidung Etinan IV Approx.1317-1428 A.D)
  7. Nte Akpan Edok Eti Inan Iman Ibom(Eteidung Etinan V 1428-1542 A.D)-
  8. Ofon Nte Akpan Edok Eti Inan Iman Ibom(Eteidung Etinan VI 1542-1630)-
  9. Etukudo Ofon Nte Akpan Edok Eti Inan Iman Ibom (Eteidung Etinan VII 1630- 1712 A.D.)
  10. Akpan Ekaette (Period of Regency1 1712-1713 AD)
  11. Nduke Itu Ofon Nte Akpan Edok Eti Inan Iman Ibom (Eteidung VIII 1713-1716 AD)
  12. Akpabio Udonsek(Period of Usurper 1716-1717 AD)
  13. Emen Etesu Etukudo Ofon Nte Akpan Edok Eti Inan Iman Ibom(Eteidung IX 1717-1721 AD)
  14. Udonsek Equo Etukudo Ofon Nte Akpan Edok Eti Inan Iman Ibom (Eteidung Etinan X 1721-1722A.D)
  15. Umoren Nkpoata (Period of Regency2 1722-1723 AD)
  16. Umo Etukudo Ofon Nte Akpan Edok Eti Inan Iman Ibom(Eteidung XI 1723-1825 AD)
  17. Akpan Ukpong Ofon Nte Akpan Edok Eti Inan Iman Ibom (Eteidung XII 1825-1837 AD)
  18. Idemekong Umo Etukudo Ofon Nte Akpan Edok Eti Inan Iman Ibom (Eteidung XIII 1837- 1851 AD)
  19. Akpansek Umo Etukudo Ofon Nte Akpan Edok Eti Inan Iman Ibom (Eteidung XIV 1851-1885 AD)
  20. Utin (Period of Regency 3 1885-1888 AD)
  21. MbekAnako Umo Etukudo Ofon Nte Akpan Edok Eti Inan (Iman Ibom(Eteidung XV 1888-1914 AD)
  22. Akpan Usukpong Umo Etukudo Ofon Nte Akpan Edok Eti Inan Iman Ibom (Eteidung XVI 1914-1926 AD)
  23. Etukudo MbekAnako Umo Etukudo Ofon Nte Akpan Edok Eti Inan Iman Ibom (Eteidung XVII 1926-1943 AD)
  24. Udo Utin ( Period of Regency 4 1943-1947 AD)
  25. Jonah Akpansek Umo Etukudo Ofon Nte Akpan Edok Eti Inan Iman Ibom (Eteidung XVIII 1947-1970 AD)
  26. SampsonUsen MbekAnako Umo Etukudo Ofon Nte Akpan Edok Eti Inan Iman Ibom (Eteidung XIX 1970- 1986 AD)
  27. John Dickson Ekwere Offiong Umo EukudoOfon Nte Akpan Edok Eti Inan Iman Ibom (Eteidung XX 1986-2002 AD)
  28. James Jonah AkpanNsek Umo EtukudoOfon Nte Akpan Edok Eti Inan Iman Ibom (Eteidung XXI 2002- 2010)
  29. HRM Edidem Imeh Dickson Umoette

Do you know that Etinan was not the first choice for the white missionaries? Some villages did not like the white people but Etinan embraced and welcome them with open arms thus they settled in Etinan, which was selected because of its well organized families(Ekpuk), cultural foundation and hospitality, causing the Missionaries to come first to Ibeno through an Irish Missionary named Samuel Alexander Bill on 1st December, 1887. There was a close commercial contact between Etinan and the Ibeno, which led some Ibeno traders to settle in Etinan. These traders who had probably heard the gospel from Samuel Bill came to Etinan and told the people the gospel to some Etinan traders who traveled to Calabar heard the same stories from members of Presbyterian Church from a man called Asuquo Etifit, who was a Presbyterian Convert, who told people the importance of Sunday Worship and consequently, Mr. Akpan Udo Ema who received the gospel went with Mr. Asuquo Etifit to Calabar to request for Missionaries from the Presbyterian but were referred to Samuel Bill in Ibeno.

Akpan Udo Emah led a delegation of four people from Etinan to Ibeno and asked for missionaries to be sent to Etinan, but the missionaries refused to come saying that some villages were hostile with them and they thought Etinan would do the same.

Impact of The Church.
After the unanimous conviction that Etinan was not a hostile place, the agreement culminated to the arrival of S. A. Bill and John Kirk to Etinan on 11th November,1898. The duo missionaries returned to Ibeno and John Kirk returned in fortnight time to Etinan on 25th November, 1898, accompanied by a young Ibeno man named Stephen Equlo who acted as his interpreter. A large number of people came to see the white man and listened to his message and many of them were converted to Christianity, with the first baptism taking place on February 1900, heralding the foundation of Qua Iboe Church, Etinan.

In 1898, Mr. John Kirk and Stephen Equalo, an Ibeno teacher, took up residence in Etinan and the missionaries build a hospital, a printing press, a bookshop a secondary school (Etinan Institute) and the Qua Iboe Church all in Etinan. It is noteworthy of mention that, the Printing Press that churned out the program of the First Prime Minister of Nigeria inauguration was printed at the QIM Printing Press.

In 1900, the First Baptism occurred in Etinan & David Ekong was ordained first Qua Iboe Church Pastor? Later on in 1909, one of the missionary wife- Mrs. Westgarth died, and was buried in Etinan. The Adaha Enai Guest house was the vacation gate away and resting and place for the missionaries and Brigadier U.J. Esuene and his wife, Mrs. Helen Esuene stayed in that Missionary guest house for 3 days and attend event marking the Etinan Institute old students home coming festivities.

The next church denomination was St. John African Church, Etinan Parish, established as a result of the enforcement of monogamy on the converts by the missionaries, asking the polygamist to divorce their wives and stick to only one. These terms were too bitter to be swallowed, therefore, some of them dissented from Qua Iboe Church, Etinan and formed the St. John’s African Church, Etinan in 1924.

Another church that followed it was the Salvation Army Church which was established by Tom Etuknwa- also a member of Qua Iboe Church, Etinan. In his own case, he traveled to England and fell in love with Salvation Army. He was fascinated by the way they conducted their services and activities. When he returned from England he started the Salvation Army Corps, Etinan in 1933 Another was also started in Etinan Town in 1935 along Uyo road.

Another Church that followed was the Apostolic Church Etinan, started as a result of prayer meeting led by an Ikot Ekpene Cobbler, Henry Udofia. In 1935. They became a church as soon as Chief T. S. B Inyang- who had retired from the Civil Service and returned home joined the prayer group. They continued to hold their service in Udofia’s house until when they have the present site which was donated by Chief Inyang.

In 1927 Etinan Hospital was established as a medical centre and before the arrival of Christian Missionaries, Etinan religion was African Traditional Religion (A.T.R) which comprised Ekpo (Masquerade) and Idiong(extrasensory perceptionists) societies. Ekpo caried out sentences of death and killed people who violated the sacred tradition of the community on behalf of the gods, the Idiong Society handled the divination aspect of the society.

Nung Udo Etuk of Etinan were one of the most educated and famous family in Ibibioland?Do you know that the first library in Ibibioland called ETINAN READING ROOM was established in Etinan by David Mbek Anako- also from Etinan extraction. The Library was so popular in such a way it attracted the Governor General if Eastern Nigeria (a British man Sir Clement Pearce) to come and see the project himself.

Shell BP explored for Crude oil right in the heart of Etinan

Previously, there was a seaport at the Ekpene Ukpa river where goods and services were exchanged and the Portuguese came from Port Harcourt to do business, thus making Etinan a booming town and a good place to live at the time.

Founded in 1915, Etinan Institute is one of the oldest Secondary school in Nigeria, where most of our Governors had their Secondary Education, including:

  1. Late Brig. UJ Esuene- First Governor of South Eastern State
  2. Late Dr. Clement Isong- First Governor of Cross River State
  3. Navy Captain Edet Akpan Archibong- Military Governor of Cross River State.
  4. Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga- Military Governor of Akwa Ibom State
  5. Late Akpan Isemin- First civilian Governor of Akwa Ibom State.
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