By Frank Ulom
His Royal Majesty Uti (Dr) Joseph Davies (JD) Agba OON, Uti Itedem III of Utugwang, Uti Ukani I of Obudu and the Paramount Ruler of Obudu was at the weekend laid to rest in Obudu Local Government Area of Cross River State.
HRM Agba was by record the longest-serving monarch in Africa’s history and the longest alive in his time. He was also the Chancellor of the Cross River University of Technology (CRUTECH).
His death was announced in April 2023 and he served as a monarch for 64 years. He died at age 91 years and 4 months.
The burial was graced by eminent sons and daughters of Cross River State across the globe and well-meaning Nigerians.
Speaking during the service organised in his honour at the St. Mathew’s Catholic Church, Obudu on Saturday, November 11, 2023, Governor Bassey Otu who was represented by His Deputy, Rt. Hon. Peter Odey noted that the monarch’s life was worthy of emulation and the respect accorded him was borne out of his selfless service to his community and people while he lived.
Governor Otu said the state was indeed proud to be part of the history made flesh through the life of the late paramount ruler.
“It is very difficult for us to bear this loss of a great son of the north, he has indeed left a big vacuum.
But we know that he is with God and we will continue to pray for him”, Otu said.
He also added that the Cross River State Government will immortalise the great king to serve as a mark of respect for his numerous contributions to the state and country at large.
The Governor, through his Deputy, Odey in his magnanimity made a donation of Ten Million Naira (N10m) to support the building of the church in honour of the departed, noting that it will serve as a rallying point for the spiritual and moral development of the people in that community.
Also present at the occasion was the former Governor of Benue State, Senator Gabriel Suswam; Secretary to the Federal Government, HE George Akuma (represented); Minister of Sports Development, Sen. John Owan-Enoh; former Minister for Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen; Uinversity of Calabar Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Florence Obi; Cross River State Commissioner for Finance, Mike Odere and a host of other dignitaries.
See photos from the funeral below…