Dominic Ignatius Ekandem was born into the Royal family of Chief (Okuku) and hailed Ekandem from the patrilineal group of Nnung Adia Nkpo. He was born on June 23, 1917, in Obio Ibiono village in the present Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria, a year before the First World War ended and the year of the beginning of the Russian Revolution.
Obio Ibiono was small, remote and rural, and so far from the center of activities in Nigeria at that time, that not even Obong (Chief) Ekandem, Dominic Ekandem’s father, knew that there was a World War going on, or what the Russian Revolution was about, if he had even heard of it. On June 23, 1917, what was important to him was that he had a second baby son, born to him by his second wife. Ekandem’s mother was Nnwa Ibong Umana Essien. She was the second daughter of Ibong Umana Essien of Ibiono Ibom clan, the same clan as her husband Obong Ekandem. In the clan, each family had its own deity apart from the supreme deity, Abasi. The deity of Nnung Adia Nkpo was Ekandem, and this was the origin of Ekandem’s name. In addition to the village deity, the common deity to all Ibibios is Idiong.
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