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Book Feature: HE DARED by Offonmbuk Akpabio February 19, 2013

Posted by Ibompulpit in Magazines and Articles.
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As arrangements for the public presentation of the book He Dared, goes into full swing, Jackson Etuk, a literary writer takes a look at the narrative by Offonmbuk, which tells the story of the exploits of a great man who shaped the course of history of his time in a monumental way and how the initiative was propelled to fruition by Governor Godswill Akpabio


Not many can dare to dare, where dread is the norm. It takes courage, guts, self-confidence, a sense of purpose and rare perception to chart a new course for a people accustomed to their traditional ways of doing things. All through history, kingdoms and empires have fallen because their leaders lacked courage and requisite foresight to sustain their territories. Others have gone into oblivion because their forebears failed to lay the foundations necessary for their progress and development.

But he dared. He affected his people in an unusual way. He charted a new path. He helped them to see the light, gain momentum and move ahead in civilization. Serving as the bridge between the British and the indigenous people, and acting on intriguing insight, Okuku Udo Akpabio, the great colonial African ruler, steered the affairs of his people and was able to strike a delicate balance between age-long traditions and westernization. Today, he is not only remembered for his pivotal and exemplary leadership, Udo Akpabio is also celebrated as a leader of uncommon genre.

The story of the exploits of this great man who shaped the course of history of his time in a monumental way and paved the way for many to achieve great things, is the focus of a new book entitled, He Dared. Truly, he dared, not minding the dim circumstances of his early childhood, nor the prevailing circumstances in his domain, he remained ambitious and moved on, based on his convictions. He saw new possibilities and embraced them, thus changing the socio-political and economic fabric of his time and people.

He Dared, due for public presentation on the 21st of this month, reveals the life of a warrior, symbol of the indomitable spirit of the Annang people of Nigeria, charismatic leader and successful businessman. A man of grand personality, pronounced gentleness, great sense of adventure and uncommon generosity, Okuku Udo Akpabio, in spite of his very busy life, yet found time to carry out his duties as the patriarch of one of the largest and most influential family stock in South-South Nigeria. He was so outstanding in his time, such that he was named among the 10 remarkable Africans, from the entire continent singled out by the imperial British Government as influential and destined for greatness. This is referenced in British historian, Margery Perham’s book, Ten Africans, published in 1936. He Dared, unlike Ten Africans, tells the story from the perspective of the people. It incorporates the way of life of the people, the challenges they faced with the British who came with trade and strange religion, their resolve to build their society and ability to embrace new horizons. It is not just a history book but a witty narration of the evolution of a great family and a close knit community.

Going by the revelations gleaned from He Dared, it becomes easier to understand why Governor Godswill Akpabio, a scion of the Great Akpabio has been able to rewrite the socio-economic and political story of Akwa Ibom since assumption of office in 2007. Governor Akpabio, a chip off the old block, has kept the flag flying. Through his visionary leadership, he has transformed Akwa Ibom from a pedestrian state into a destination of choice for tourism and investments. By his uncommon transformation of the entire landscape, he has shown that rare leadership acumen is a genetic matter for the Akpabios.

Indeed, Governor Akpabio and his grandfather have many similarities. From physical attributes to breaking new grounds for the good of their subjects, they are two of a kind. If the dead could see, then the Okuku must be proud that his grandson, following in his footsteps, has been able to replicate his accomplishments on a larger scale, impacting the entire Akwa Ibom people. Governor Akpabio is a true son of the Akpabio family.

To preserve the inspiring story and enviable legacies of the great Okuku, therefore, Governor Akpabio had no reservation in lending profound support to the making of He Dared, authored by Offonmbuk Charles Akpabio.

Offonmbuk, an ardent reader and zealous writer is a practicing Abuja based Lawyer. She is a recipient of several awards, one of which is the Royal Norwegian Government Diploma for Excellence in Arts and Essay Writing. With He Dared, Offombuk’s curiosity to unearth and tell the story of a man who lived and led his people in a time of great transitions has been satisfied.

He Dared provides inspiration for all to dream, dare and believe. One of its strongest themes is tolerance but more significantly, that we must persist in being role models and strive to leave enduring legacies for future generations.