jump to navigation

AKS: Man Of The Year 2007 January 2, 2008

Posted by Ibompulpit in Government, Society.

Gov. Akpabio

His Excellency, Governor Godswill Obot Akpabio


Obong Godswill Obot Akpabio would have had ambitions, resolutions, and hopes at the beginning of 2007. He was at that time just as human and normal as most Akwa Ibom indigenes who celebrated the dawn of that year with unique personal resolutions. In his case, he must have hoped and resolved to constest for election as the AKS top citizen.

The Akwa Ibom state could not have desired anything for herself; she  is a fictitious name ascribed to an indigenous people holding claim to a fixed land mass on the globe, complete with her economies and governed by a unique set of laws. She had no ambitions, resolutions, and hope for 2007. All that became of the state during the year 2007 precipitated from a cocktail of events shaped and driven by persons, especially of the state’s leadership.

From the potpourri of personal ambitions, hopes and resolutions dominated by those of the immediate past state governor, and of the over fifty aspirants fiercely competing for the Hilltop Mansion, it became evident that 2007 would become a historical landmark and an interesting transition year yet unrivalled in the two decades young state.

In deed, year 2007 was a transition milestone – 365 long days of scattered successes and failures through high-wire political intrigues, spirited efforts to perpetuate leadership (either in the Presidency or through a son inlaw), pro-democracy youth muscles, institutional corruption, high crime rates, and increased net revenue coupled with increased deficit.

Also, 2007 was the transition election year of hopes defined, of hopes sustained or dashed, suspense and blackmail, few rich contractors out of the perennially poor citizenry, the Elections Tribunal rendering justice but not without its legal drama and patent rumor mongering and pettiness, etc.

There is a multitude of events that marked year 2007. Yet, out the multitude emerged and stood out the ambitious, resolute and hopeful Godswill Obot Akpabio; not because of any outstanding ideological orientation promised the nearly 4 million Akwa Ibom people; not as the innocent beneficiary or victim of a mix up or of a technicality, but as the true and resilient leader of the pack who best understands the times, and who resolutely took a calculated risk to become the Governor against a tsunami of opposition.

He became the luckiest, properly harnessing the groundswell of public support (really public disdain against status quo ante) never seen in the state to take up residence at the Hilltop. And by reason of his calculated risk taking and luck, he became the life target for unforgiving and merciless political opponents with plenty political dynamites to throw.

So dangerously hit and staggering has been Governor Akpabio that, so far, his administration can be aptly described as being “flung and scattered upon the Hilltop like a broken China in the sun” – TIP borrows and rephrases in part from Professor Wole Soyinka’s literature. In deed, Governor Akpabio’s policies and personnel are “flung and scattered” – yet, the precious and reflective “China in the sun” expected to pro-actively transform Akwa Ibom State in all sectors.

His political opponents and fiercest critics are unrelenting. Albeit recently and temporarily defanged by the Election Tribunal that upheld the Governor’s overwhelming victory at the polls, it is expected that opponents and tactless critics spare no reckless weapon against his leadership. The year 2008 shall prove the Governor’s strategic skills to overstep opposition and diffuse both political and economic land mines embedded in his administration. He is the most criticized and watched Governor ever in the AKS history.

A citation of seven months administration of Governor Akpabio renders the following:

  1. Never in the history of AKS has a peoples’ leader emerged from the ground level dynamics and support of the people without the overarching indulgence of a political party. Instead of focusing only on the material paradise of Party supremacy, Governor Akpabio has adopted the “balance approach”, which effectively engages commonsense and strategically viable residency in the democratic heaven of the peoples’ support.
  2. Never in the history of AKS has a sitting Governor strategically embarked upon the empowerment of the youth, training and positioning them to effectively contribute in the leadership economy of the state. This bold strategy in the battle for political and economic soul of the state is not without a gritty fight against the “older generation” order and politicians whose monopolizing vice grip on the AKS politics is now being broken.
  3. Never in the history of AKS has there been a potentially redeemable promise of fair servant leadership ensconced in commitment to service and tangible capacities for performance. Governor Akpabio’s performance asset is not without the detailed scrutiny; TIP has thoroughly scrutinized for the merits, expediency and desirability of key projects (in planning or implementation stages across the state) and identifiable policy thrusts announced by Governor Akpabio.
  4. Never in the history of AKS has there been the bulwark-by-bulwark emergence of a leader with strong potentials for years of service in cutting edge leadership at the national and international spheres. This remark is not predicated upon the present “China in the sun” appearance of his administration (which can be put together in a well coordinated approach), but upon the potential weight and quality of leadership in the uncut diamond. For the first time, AKS has a shot at national leadership if Governor Akpabio continues in demonstrated natural leadership qualities and has enough elasticity to withstand the burden and stress of government at the state level.
  5. Never in the history of AKS has there been such a commitment to a stable economy and society demonstrated in achievable plans presently outlined by the Governor and his administration.

In light of the foregoing – from his ambition, through his emergence by overcoming waves of hard opposition by political elites, through his inheriting very difficult socio-economic indices, through seven months of battles for survival and to establish his leadership, and through demonstration of problems solving abilities and vision – Governor Akpabio is a “Survivor” and TIP‘s Man of the Year 2007 in the Akwa Ibom State.