A former governor of the old Cross River State, Donald Etiebet, was interred Friday.
Mr. Etiebet, who died on July 21 2015, was laid to rest at his family compound in Oruk Anam, Oruk Anam Local Government Area of the State.
Gov. Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom paid tribute to Mr. Etiebet as a symbol of unity.
He described the former governor as a detribalised Nigerian while alive and during his tenure as governor of the state.
“Donald Etiebet was a symbol of unity in Akwa Ibom State. As we mourn his demise, as we have lost this inestimable jewel, weep not for his Excellency for he has ended his race.
“Weep for yourself, follow his footprints and legacies that he left behind,” Mr. Emmanuel said.
He said the late Etiebet left an indelible mark in the sands of time, adding that the children and all people of Akwa Ibom indigenes should emulate it.
He said the death of Etiebet had brought the two sister states (Cross River and Akwa Ibom) together and rekindled the bond of unity.
The younger brother of the deceased, Don Etiebet, a former Minister of Petroleum, described his late brother as a great and straightforward and hardworking politician of high integrity.
He said that his late elder brother was loving and caring.
“I will miss him greatly because it is rare to see such symbolic relationship in brothers, even in twins, in this world,” he said.
The eldest son of the deceased, Aniekan Etiebet, said his late father was a loving, honest and disciplined man.
He said since the demise of his mother, their late father devoted all his time and energy to caring for him and his siblings.
“My Chief, you were not just a father to me but a counsellor, a confidant, a mentor and a good friend and indeed the best father anyone would wish to have,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that dignitaries at the funeral included former Gov. Victor Attah of Akwa Ibom, former Gov. Donald Duke of Cross River and Nsima Ekere, a former Deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom.
Others are Ivara Esu, Deputy Governor of Cross River, Yakubu Bako, a retired colonel and former military administrator of Akwa Ibom, and Ray Ekpu, former Editor in Chief of Newswatch magazine among others.