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Akwa Ibom Global Special: Interview with Dr. Patrick E. Davies October 24, 2010

Posted by Ibompulpit in News, Society.
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Dr. Patrick E. Davies

 

AKGLOBAL: Where do you come from in Akwa Ibom State?

I come from Ete, Ikot abasi, LGA.

AKGLOBAL: Your Brief biography.

My life is a tripod: split between Academics, Broadcasting, and the Judiciary.

Academics:

I hold the degrees of MA, LLM, and PhD;

I am Senior Member, St Antony’s College, University of Oxford;

In addition to my work at the University of Oxford, I have presented lectures, seminars and conferences, at the London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE, Institute of Education, University of London, the University of Vienna, Austria, the Race for Justice Conference, London, Operation Black Vote Conferences and Seminars, London, and Akwa Ibom Television, Uyo; etc.

Broadcasting:

My broadcasting career covers; the Eastern Nigeria Broadcasting Corporation and Television (ENBCTV), as Continuity Announcer, Presenter and News Caster ; Radio Biafra and Voice of Biafra; Radio Nigeria/Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC); BBC World Service/African Service/BBC TV; Overseas Films and Televisions Ltd London; Visnews; Channel 4 Television (T4), London; Nigerian Television Authority (NTA); I was appointed from the BBC to help set up NTA, Calabar; I set up the Presentation Department, and trained all the Announcers and Presenters on NTA, Calabar, after which I was posted to NTA (HQ) Network News, Lagos, as Principal Newscaster, and later promoted Controller International Relations NTA.

I am a Judicial Office Holder for England and Wales, and sit:

as a Magistrate;

and on:

The Lord Chancellor’s Advisory Committee;

The Advisory Council for the Judicial Studies Board (JSB);

The Body of the Office for Judicial Complaints (OJC).

My immediate past offices include:

Founding Member – Greater London Magistrates Courts’ Authority, (GLMCA)

Founding Member, Board of Trustees, Magistrates Association (MA);

In July 2007, I was invited to Buckingham Palace, where I had an audience with Her Majesty The Queen Elizabeth, in recognition of my services to the Judiciary in England and Wales;

In 2009, I was awarded the Justice link by ‘Race for Justice,’ which was presented by the Attorney General of the United Kingdom;

I am also Board Member, the Esuene Foundation; and,

In 2009, I was listed in the Cambridge Who’s Who.

My website ‘ImagesAfrica’ has recently attracted the interest of the ‘Harvard Business Review’. 

AKGLOBAL: What is your Profession?

My Specialty is International Law.

AKGLOBAL: What nature of contributions do you offer to the community you live in or your home community in Akwa Ibom State?

In the United Kingdom, I work with Operation Black (OBV), lecturing at conferences and seminars; and mentoring black and ethnic minorities (BME), and helping with their placements.

In Akwa Ibom, my wife and I have sponsored students in primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities, and have obtained scholarships for others; we have also provided capital for some people to start their own businesses.

We have installed a borehole for the community in Ete, and have contributed to the installation of electricity poles in the area. We have purchased a Band for the Methodist Church, rebuilt the Methodist Manse, and provided funds for the synod there. We have also made donations of, funds to the ‘Ikot Abasi Women in Politics Association, and to the Embolden Youth Organisation. The Obioakama football club, Ete, has received donations of footballs, jerseys, and funds from us. Currently, my wife, who is a Medical Doctor, and I are engaged in rebuilding her late father’s 74 bed hospital in Enugu, which will immensely serve the community there.

AKGLOBAL: Dr. Davies, you’re almost always present in Akwa Ibom Community events in London stretching from Akwa Ibom Women’s League, Afe Annang Cultural event, Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio events to the just concluded Ibom Day summit in London. What are your inspirations for the promotion of Akwa Ibom cultural heritage?

My ambition for Akwa Ibom transcends just the cultural heritage. Whilst I believe that we should maintain what is good in our culture, we should assimilate what is good in other cultures to assist in developing our culture to give it greater dynamism.

I wish to see:

  • The maintenance of respect for elders:
  • A self sufficient people in agriculture, who stop begging for funds from members of the diaspora, and who stop handouts dependency culture:
  • The maintenance and development of our Arts and Crafts, Dance and Music, and Language:
  • A well balanced society that is well recognised around the world for its indigenous, functional, research based industry, and science and technology:
  • The Akwa Ibom diaspora being able to go home to contribute their knowledge, without the fear of a deluge of demands from relations; and without the fear of a lack of security for themselves.

AKGLOBAL: You were present when Governor Akpabio was speaking to the Akwa Ibom people during the Ibom Day summit in London, showcasing his achievements since he came to power 3 years ago; in your opinion, what should the AKS government do better in order to improve upon the current level of development.

I have personally witnessed the development in the State as regards public transportation. Our journey from Ikot Ekpene to Ikot Abasi was very smooth, and many of the roads around Ikot Abasi are excellent.

The policy of medical care for the elderly, children under five, and pregnant women is commendable, but government should ensure that proper selfless execution occurs, and without the abuse of power. The same should apply for the policy of free education.

Government should consider building low rate students accommodation, (which the students should pay for), either near or within the University Campuses, because the scarcity of these lead to unscrupulous landlords exploiting University students in the State.

It is for government to consider which relevant university courses merit the grant of loans and/or grants, in the interest of the functional and structural development of the State.

AKGLOBAL: What do you think the government should do in order to inspire or encourage Akwa Ibom People at home and in the Diaspora?

If government performs the suggestions in 6 above; and provides security, constant water and power supply, the Akwa Ibom people at home and the diaspora would be inspired.

AKGLOBAL: In what ways should Akwa Ibom People in the Diaspora contribute to the development of Akwa Ibom State?

The Akwa Ibom diaspora should open a register of expertise lodged at a designated centre. The Akwa Ibom government should hold a copy of the register to utilise in its acquisition of expertise for the development of the State. The diaspora should assist their immediate local communities with the installation of boreholes or wells, and power supply. The diaspora should make constructive suggestions to government when and where it finds failings in government policies or in the improper execution of government policies.

AKGLOBAL: Dr. Davies, do you have any comment about the future of Nigeria?

Nigeria needs to, and is undergoing a period of political evolution. This can be a slow process; and Nigerians rightly are impatient for progress.

However, every community in Nigeria deserves and ought to have six basic amenities:

1. Security;

2. Constant Power Supply;

3. Constant Water Supply;

4. Accessible Schools;

5. Accessible Health Facilities;

9. Good and Nationwide Communication; these include good roads, railways, air travel/airports, waterways travel, telephones, emails, etc.

These should be available to ALL Nigerians. Nigerians are active dynamic people who do not depend on government for their needs. All government needs to do is to provide the security and infrastructure for development.

It is wrong to classify Nigeria as a poor country, because, based on its oil revenue, Nigeria is not poor: it requires selfless governance by the people at the Apex, who should have the interest of the people and the country as their prime reason for being in government.

AKGLOBAL: As a senior member of St. Anthony’s college, Oxford, you are actively involved in the running of educational institution here in the United Kingdom; in terms of standards and productivity, what lessons can Nigerian institutions learn in order to aspire for similar standards.

I was instrumental to the setting up of the Centre for African Studies (a post graduate facility) at the University of Oxford, which culminated in the Department of African Studies.

Academics in Nigeria should have the same knowledge, interest, and concentration in their specialties as their colleagues abroad. They should ensure that their students carry forward this knowledge. Lecturers should be encouraged through their remuneration, to concentrate on their learning and teaching. Libraries should have the requisite stock of materials for use by all academics. – students and lecturers.

The lower academic institutions should be equipped to produce students, who could benefit from further studies; and, vocational courses should be provided for those who are not equipped for University education.

Overall, the College and University environment should be conducive for research and study, in all ramifications.

AKGLOBAL: Thank you, Dr Patrick Davies.