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Senator Godswill Akpabio: A Senate President Material

by OkeomaNews

By Ambassador Korieocha

The race to Senate Presidency is hot. There is high power play and the power brokers are aligning rapidly.

As it is All Progressive Congress (APC) has 57 Senators -Elect; PDP 33 Senators -Elect; LP 8 Senators -Elect; NNPP 3 Senators -Elect; SDP 2 Senators -Elect; YPP 1 Senator -Elect and APGA 1 Senator -Elect.

Senators-Elect From Contending Zones such as South-South has 7 senators -elect while South-East 6 senators -elect

However, a peep into the chances of the zones, favours the South East and South South, considering the fact that there are recent calls for power balance in the Upper Chamber, particularly in terms of religion.

Recall that APC National Vice Chairman, North West, Dr. Salihu Lukman wrote the party leaders a fortnight ago demanding, among other things, that the party should immediately reshuffle its top leadership to reflect a religious balance.

Amongst the 7 senators from the South South, Senator Goodwill Akpabio genuinely strikes the balance.

Although, the battle has already started and the four contenders have emerged for the position. Some of them are Chief Whip of the Senate, Orji Uzor Kalu, a third-term senator representing Abia North. He hails from the South-East zone. Also from the zone is Governor Dave Umahi, a freshman senator-elect representing Ebonyi South. Godswill Akpabio, a two-term senator representing Akwa Ibom North West District is also in the race. He is from the South-South.

In terms of experience, Akpabio again ranks most. In addition, looking at it from the top advantage, we should not forget quickly that Akpabio was among the aspirants at the presidential primary that stepped down for Tinubu amid glowing tribute to the former Lagos governor.

It was reported after a meeting with senators-elect on the party’s platform in Aso Rock, President-elect Tinubu said he had no interest in who becomes the President of the Senate. Many believed he was making a political statement,looking at different roles each contender played during the primaries.

They therefore, affirm that Akpabio is most favored this time around. Most distinguished Akpabio has served as Former commissioner, Governor and as well as a Senator and without doubt fits well into the foregoing definition of a good leader and incoming Senate President in 10th Assembly.

Many might not know that this erudite, urbane and principled personality, was a very successful lawyer and Public servant.

He has proven that with determination, dedication and honesty, it is possible to surpass expectations with accomplishments that are in awe and too numerous hence difficult to capture all in this piece.

Senator Chief Godswill Obot Akpabio, CON, (born 9 December 1962), is a Nigerian lawyer, politician. He is a former Minister for Niger Delta Affairs. He resigned on 11 May 2022 on the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari to contest in the presidential primaries of the All Progressives Congress.

He also served as Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria from 29 May 2007 to 29 May 2015. Senator Godswill Akpabio is the son of Chief Obot Akpabio and Madam Lucy Obot Akpabio (née Inyangetor) of Ukana, Ikot Ntuen in Essien Udim Local Government Area.Akpabio was educated at Methodist Primary School, Ukana, Essien Udim LGA, Akwa Ibom State; the Federal Government College, Port Harcourt, Rivers State; and the University of Calabar, Cross River State, where he obtained a Degree in Law.

While at the Federal Government College, Port Harcourt, he was appointed the Senior Prefect. In the University of Calabar, Akpabio was elected as the speaker of the parliamentary year. A Christian of the Catholic faith ,he is married to Lady Ekaette Unoma Akpabio, the founder of Family Life Enhancement Initiative (FLEI), a non-governmental organization providing a platform for redirecting the focus of development efforts on the family as a strategy for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the marriage is blessed with four daughters and a son.Most distinguished Senator Akpabio had a brief stint as a teacher and as an associate partner with Paul Usoro and Co., a law firm in Nigeria.

He also worked with EMIS Telecoms Limited, a wireless telecommunications company in Lagos, Nigeria. In 2002, he rose to the position of the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the company. In this position, he helped in shaping the future of the burgeoning telecoms industry.

He had earlier served as the National Publicity Secretary of the Association of Telecommunication Companies in Nigeria, (ATCOM), while a director of EMIS.In 2002, he was appointed Honourable Commissioner for Petroleum and Natural Resources by the then Governor Obong Victor Attah in Akwa Ibom State.

Between 2002 and 2006, he served as a Commissioner in three key ministries: Petroleum and Natural Resources, Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, as well as Lands and Housing.In 2006, he aspired for the governorship of Akwa Ibom State contested and emerged the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

His campaign with the slogan, “let God’s will be done” received mass support and was elected Governor in 2007. He was re-elected for a second term in office as Governor of Akwa Ibom State in 2011.In 2013, he was elected Chairman of PDP Governors Forum.

In 2015, he contested and won the Senate seat of the Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District (Ikot Ekpene) to represent the district in the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Running under the platform of the People’s Democratic Party. Akpabio was nominated for the position of the Senate Minority Leader by the South-South caucus of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), ratified by the caucus of the PDP in the Senate and announced by the Senate President as Senate Minority Leader on 28 July 2015. In July 2019, he was nominated by President Muhammadu Buhari for a ministerial appointment.

On August 21, 2019, he was sworn in as the Minister for Niger Delta Affairs of the Federal republic of Nigeria. This very lucrative ministry oversees the activities of the Niger Delta Development Commission. In June 2022, Senator Godswill Akpabio resigned from his position as minister for Niger Delta to contest as a presidential aspirant of the ruling All Progressive Congress APC.

However, he stepped down on the night of the primaries for the eventual winner of the primaries Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. A few days after the presidential primaries, Godswill Obot Akpabio emerged as the Senatorial candidate for Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District and today senator elect.Senator Akpabio, believes that the essence of holding political appointment either elective or appointive is to bring development to the people and to touch their lives positively and meaningfully. Besides awarding scholarships and providing educational support for some students, he singlehandedly built a secondary schools, constructed roads build churches He also provided transformers and ensured the electrification of some communities in Akwa Ibom while still serving as a commissioner, Governor and senator of Federal Republic of Nigeria with his personal funds. His words: “My major target in the politics is to attract massive development to my great Constituency, vigorously pursuing human capital development and institute programmes and policies that will better the lives of my constituents and Nigeria in general.

He has well over (200) local and International awards /honours and Chieftaincy titles to his creditI truly commend him like many other men and women of goodwill for being who he is, a good and loyal party man, team player, revolutionary Politician, selfless leader with eyes set on changing the negative past narrative and working assiduously for a paradigm shift in the approach to quality representation of our people in the 10th senate as the president.The uncommon governor on good governance.

  • – – Ambassador Korieocha, a political analyst lives in Abuja

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