Esan sons and daughters are renowned, worldwide, for their outspoken, enlightened, principled values, their communal interest and spirit of emancipation from socio-political challenges. Back in the 1950’s, when most Africans were rarely heard and colonialism was accepted as the political norm, an Esan man, a revered global icon, Chief Anthony Enahoro moved the famous motion for independence to liberate the most populous black nation, Nigeria, from colonialism.
Today, that irritable and indomitable spirit of the Esan man and woman still abounds! Thus, it was not a surprise that in 2001, Esan sons and daughters again rose to the challenge of liberating their motherland from the vicious cycle of poverty, illiteracy and under development. United by this common vision, these sons and daughters, who are core professionals in their chosen carreers, determined to deploy their professional competences and skills to improve the living standards of their motherland.
A series of meetings at the residence of Dr G. A. T. Oboh (Former Group Managing Director, Union Bank Plc) culminated in the emergence of the first President of the Association of Esan Professionals (AEP), Chief Lawson Azekhuoria Omohodion. His leadership (2001-2004) instituted the Esan Economic Empowerment Workshop (EEEW), with the aim of promoting economic revival and infrastructural development of Esanland. The EEEW in its 13 years of existence, has been hosted at the headquarters of all the five Local Government Areas in Esanland, namely Ekpoma, Uromi, Irrua, Ubiaja and Igueben.
At the election of 2005, the Rt. Honourable (Engr.) Charles Osezua KSG, OON, was elected AEP’s second President. Seeking better empowerment for Esan people, his administration leveraged on Co-operative Societies as catalyst for growth in an agrarian society that is Esanland. Esan farmers (male & female) were trained in improved agricultural processes for higher yield. Thereafter, they were encouraged with soft loans from the Association to help reduce youth unemployment, guarantee food security, and ensure economic empowerment of the people.
Still focused on empowering Esan people, Mr. Michael Akemere Osime, third President (2009-2014) of AEP devoted his tenure to addressing the falling standards in education at both learning and infrastructural dimensions. His administration started out with a detailed audit of the state of education in Esanland with the view to identifying the gaps for intervention by the association. This yielded immediate fruits as both Edo State government and AEP members contributed to raise the bar. Specifically, AEP members ensured the posting of NYSC teachers to Esanland, by the provision of free accommodation and monthly stipend to the Corpers; donation of laptops and books to the five Local Government Areas, and the introduction of inter- school quiz and essay competitions among local government areas to ensure excellence.
On June 22, 2014, Barr. Matthew Egbadon, was elected AEP’s fourth President. It is not by accident that the first major activity of his administration is the launch of AEP Education Foundation Trust Fund. He shares the vision of his predecessors, and believes that an educated man or woman is a liberated person.