When Critics Endorse An Achiever
11 Apr 2010: Abasianam Uma
“The present administration (Godswill Akpabio’s) has done massively well in the area of infrastructural development, particularly by completing most of the projects it inherited.”
- Frank Okon (former Special Assistant To Ex-Governor Victor Attah and 2011 Governoship Aspirant)
The tradition of selecting a Man of the Year began in 1927, with Time editors contemplating newsworthy stories possible during a slow news week. The idea was also an attempt to remedy the editorial embarrassment earlier that yearfor not having aviator Charles Lindbergh on its cover following his historic trans-Atlantic flight. By the end of the year, it was decided that a cover story featuring Lindbergh as the Man of the Year would serve both purposes.
Since then, individual people, classes of people, an invention, and a planet have been selected for the special year end issue. Back home and in recent history, the present administration in Akwa Ibom State under Governor Godswill Akpabio which has redefined the concept of good governance has now attracted so much glory and honour to the hitherto despised and unknown state.
The adage that a gold fish has no hiding place is very true in the experience of Akpabio ever since he climbed into the saddle to pilot the affairs of the nation’s 21st State. This year alone, no fewer than five media organizations of repute have placed the Akpabio on the centre stage of honour as a performance-driven administrator. These include Independent Newspapers, This Day Newspapers, Silverbird Media group, National Daily Newspapers and the Zik Leadership award.
And just yesterday 10th April, in the University of Calabar, Chief Akpabio mounted the rostrum to receive an award of honorary Doctorate Degree in Law. According to the University authorities, the honour is in recognition of his sterling leadership qualities.
That the quote used at the beginning of this expose comes from a governorship aspirant in the state is a testimony to the veracity of the performance of Chief Akpabio in office. It could have been a cheap political point for Chief Frank Okon to have said that the government of Chief Akpabio that he seeks to take over from is non-performing. But the politician chose to abide by the adage that the truth is always golden. In an interview with newsmen recently, Engr. Okon posited that the governor was doing well through infrastructural renaissance, and went further to add that his reason for aspiring is to complete his projects.
For Chief Akpabio, the honours are not a surprise, he was barely one year in office when he began to witness an avalanche of awards bestowed on him for his unprecedented performance in office especially in the areas of education, road construction, unity and repositioning of Akwa Ibom State.
Not long after he stepped into office, he announced free and compulsory education from the primary to secondary school level. Governor Akpabio did not stop there, being a highly visionary leader; he realized that for the free education to be meaningful, it must be qualitative.
He therefore embarked on massive renovation of schools across the state and provided funds for the equipping of the schools with necessary facilities to enhance teaching and learning. Also, the governor authorized the payment of teachers’ 27% pay rise as well as increased subvention to school heads for effective running of their institutions.
The Univeristy of Uyo, a federal institution, has also benefitted from the friendly disposition of the digital governor. Such gestures include the reconstruction of the main drive into the town campus, empowerment of the institution to gain accreditation in many courses and donations to the teaching hospital.
Little wonder the University of Uyo deemed him fit for an earlier award of Honorary Doctorate Degree in Law.
Similar awards were bestowed on him by other institutions of higher learning in the country and organizations at home and abroad. They include the fellowship award by the Husaini Adamu Polytechnic, Kazaure, Jigawa State, a distinguished award for good governance by the government of Niger Republic and Governor of the Year by several National Newspapers and Magazines.
These recognitions and awards have acted like a tonic to governor Akpabio’s drive for excellence in governance and development. This is evident by his recent award of contract for the construction of roads and buildings at the State Polytechnic, Ikot Osurua, in a bid to raise the status of the institution to a standard polytechnic. Also, his government has been working round the clock to ensure the immediate take-off of Akwa Ibom State University.
In the larger community of Akwa Ibom State, the Akpabio Administration has embarked on massive road construction and infrastructural development across the state.
Worthy of note too, is the Governor’s ability to unite the State and galvanize the people to bring back the unity of purpose that characterized the people of this part of the country decades ago.
This must be part of the sterling qualities of Dr. Godswill Akpabio that everyone has recognized, hence the numerous awards and honours on him. Honour, they say, is not only about service but about selfless service, people and humanity and good governance; it is therefore right to say that Governor Akpabio’s several recognitions are borne out of the governor’s ability to impact on the generality of humanity.
Now that the generality of the people of the state, including critics, are beginning to see the picture of the Obong Akpabio’s strides, one is confident that Governor Akpabio will not be distracted, for as he always says “The people of Akwa Ibom State ain’t seen nothing yet”