When London Rose For Governor Akpabio -By Essien Ndueso

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Leadership according to Professor John Stoessinger, is the
brain of a nation, as it alone is capable of blending other
elements of state power for maximum effect. This is why,
Charles de Gaulle argues that “(leadership) is too serious a
business to be left in the hands of mediocres”. Viable, bold,
and imaginative leadership is the springboard through which
sustainable development could be attained.
Leadership in global parlance has been viewed as representing
the managerial ideas, inspirational utterances, transformative
visions and propelling actions for a society.
In this regard, Akwa Ibom is a global case study of a society
that is being transformed at a phenomenal rate owing to the
focus, vision and drive on the part of its leadership. As the
central energy that propels meaningful development, Governor
Godswill Akpabio has invested significantly in enthroning
sustainable livelihood and development for his people.
Recently, the uncommon transformation programme of Chief
Akpabio received impetus in faraway United Kingdom
following a conferment of leadership and excellence awards on
him by two reputable international media organisations in quick
succession.
First was the Nigeria Arise Most Outstanding Governor in
Infrastructural Development 2014 award on him by Ben TV –
UK on August 30th, this was followed a week later by the
Leader of the Year Award on him by NewsAfrica on Monday
September 8, 2014.
It is pertinent to note that the advent of Chief Godswill Akpabio
as Governor of Akwa Ibom in 2007 has demystified previous
notions that African leaders lacked the political will to invest in
sustainable infrastructural development and that genuine
development has never been on the agenda of most African
leaders.
Back at the 2014 Nigeria Arise series and Award ceremony in
London, Governor Godswill Akpabio was one of the notable
Nigerian leaders that was celebrated by Ben TV in a colourful
ceremony that took place at the Holiday Inn Regents Park,
London.
Organisers of the event, Ben TV asserted that as a way of
branding, motivating and encouraging Nigerian and African
leaders and mentors, the award is for those that have excelled
in their field, business pursuits or called by Nigerians to do
more in their industry for the development of the nation.
Governor Godswill Akpabio’s emergence to govern the people
of Akwa Ibom State and his zeal to turn around the fortune of
his land have paid off and has made him undeniably the most
popular political image within and outside the country.
Similarly, at the Dorchester Hotel in Central London a week
later, the Governor was honoured as Leader of the Year by
NewsAfrica at the 2014 Annual Lecture of NewsAfrica Magazine,
held at The Dorchester Hotel, London.
The Publisher of NewsAfrica Mr Moffat Ekoriko and the
Chairman of Business Council on Africa, UK Mr Patrick Or both
said Akpabio was voted as Leader of the Year, “for showing
uncommon leadership in a country where leaders see their
success in office in terms of personal wealth and also said that
Chief Akpabio was the only man to be honoured with the
Leadership Award by the Magazine, after the former Secretary
General of the United Nations, Mr Kofi Anan who was earlier
honoured in 2002.
Chief Akpabio who also presented a lecture, tiltled Delivering
Dividends of Democracy: An African Experience at the
2014 Annual Lecture of NewsAfrica, acknowledged that after
decades of military dictatorship and colonialism in most
countries in the continent, democracy came like a new dawn
for Africans.
The Akwa Ibom State Governor who also applauded the
current democratic dispensation in Nigeria re-iterated that the
15 years of democracy in the country has recorded more gains
in the country than the 35 years of military rule.
Chief Godswill Akpabio’s name today is phenomenal among
the comity of leaders in the world. From Akwa Ibom State, the
uncommon transformation story has been heard and
witnessed by many. This is seen in the innumerable accolades
that have been bestowed on him by diverse institutions and
groups across the globe .
Jonathan Howard, Chief Executive, Business Council on Africa-
UK; Chief Paul Ekpo Akwa Ibom State PDP Chairman and others
who graced the occasion, attested that the honour accorded
Governor Godswill Akpabio was well merited.
It can be clearly seen that for the first time in the history of
Akwa Ibom state, the people have clearly benefitted from a
deliberate policy to develop the State through projects and
programmes such as free and compulsory education, free
medical services to the young, elderly and expectant mothers,
the Massive roads network of over 1800kms that dot the entire
state, turnkey infrastructure, like the ultra-modern e-library
complex, the Ibom Tropicana Entertainment Center, the
Underground Pipeline Jacking technology drainage system, the
Ibom International Airport, the new international hospital and
referral centre, a breathtaking 30 thousand capacity
international stadium, and other key infrastructure in all the
sectors of the economy, as well as a Gas processing plant with
69km of Gas Pipeline which was only recently commissioned
by President Goodluck Jonathan.
Governor Godswill Akpabio’s unassailable transformation blaze
in the state has continued to catch the attention of several
national and international organisations and corporate bodies.
Prominent among his latest recognitions are, Commander
Order of the Niger (CON)2011, Congressional certificate of
recognition of the US congress 2011( Governor Akpabio is the
2nd black man to win this award after The Late Nelson
Mandela, Gold Humanitarian award the Highest National
Honour of the Niger Republic, Exam Ethics Marshall 2009
( Ghana), Honorary Doctorate from more than 15 reputable
academic institutions , media professionals / bodies, Doctorate
in Management Science from the Nigeria Defence Academy,
Kaduna, Best governor since the creation of Akwa Ibom state
by League of Publishers in his home state,
Africa Lifetime achievement Price, among others.
The latest recognition by Ben TV and NewsAfrica Magazine is a
further attestation to the endorsement he has won from the
global media, a far cry from the earlier notions that the mass
media especially the international media were attack dogs who
saw nothing useful in African Governments.
The events at London may have come and gone, but the
people of the state could do well to remember that by the
several recognitions and honours accorded their Governor,
Akwa Ibom has been placed on a pedestal as a model of
democracy.
It behooves on all to contribute their quota as patriotic citizens,
to nurture and see preserve this legacy

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