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Sen. Godwill Akpabio: The making of an UNCOMMON Senate President

The Senator Ahmad Lawan-led 9th Senate will cease to exist on June 10 and the 10th Senate will be inaugurated on June 11, 2023.

Already, high-wire intrigues are trailing jostling for the Senate Presidency and other key positions.

A good politician is the one who at all times attends to the problems and seek the progress of his immediate and larger constituency.

However, Senator Godswill Akpabio deserves to be the next Senate President. It is true that the next Nigerian president will need a strong, but cooperative Senate and National Assembly, to avoid delayed passage of annual budgets and pass Progressives legislations as well as carry out oversight functions on government projects.

To begin with, Senator Akpabio is from the South-South zone which has been marginalised for a long time, considering their contributions to the national treasury.

But that aside, Akpabio’s visionary style of leadership continues to inspire starting from his state, where he led for eight years, and changed the landscape, turning it into a national and global reference for social, economic and infrastructural development.

Akpabio’s love for the youths have been demonstrated in all the offices he had occupied . Issues concerning the youths touch him more and elicit passionate, incisive and brilliant response from him.

This passion about the youths is however not new. Since his days in the private sector up to his years as Governor, Senator and Niger Delta Minister, he has always surrounded himself with young, brilliant and committed ladies and gentlemen.

Nigerians are yearning for good governance, Akpabio’s skills is definitely what is needed now.

Without much explanation, Nigeria is passing through hard time. Our people are being killed every day. There is hunger, unemployment , our economy is bleeding, what we need is an administrator with track records and a vision of transformation.

Akpabio, I have no fear will consolidate with the mission and vision of making Nigeria great and make it compete favourably with other countries of the world.

At this point in our history, Nigeria has gone through so much in the past. So we need men who can hit the ground running. Not just politicians but people with extensive global networks and I think Akpabio has that.

His tenure as the state’s chief executive brought about the transformation of the state in an unprecedented fashion, which earned him the appellation The Uncommon Transformer, who transformed Akwa Ibom State in an uncommon way.

History will never forget his tenure as governor for the introduction of free, compulsory and qualitative education for all school-age children resident in Akwa Ibom State, without political, religious or cultural considerations; free medical care for pregnant women, children and the aged; as well as massive infrastructure investments in the state.

One of the qualities of Akpabio as a public officer that stands him out among other politicians is his detribalised nature. He pays little or no attention to where anyone who crosses his path comes from. It is on record that, as a governor, his CSO, orderly and ADC were all non-indigenes of the state.

During his brief stay in the Senate, as a minority leader, Akpabio demonstrated a high level of patriotism in his handling of government issues with the opposition. Those who expected him to play blind opposition politics were disappointed with his style of leadership. He was able to balance his role as the leader of the opposition and the need to support everything that would be of benefit to Nigerians brought to the floor of the Senate by the ruling party.

Let’s not forget the tremendous achievements of Akpabio’s appointment as the Minister, Niger Delta Affairs by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019, shortly after the 2019 general election. His positive leadership style led to many human and capital development in the ministry and, by extension, the Niger Delta Delta Development Commission (NDDC). His first work plan was to ensure that the region remained very peaceful while various stakeholders were frequently engaged on ways to move the region forward for its development.

Dr. Mike Uyi is the President General, Global Peace Movement International UK, London.