About two months after leaving the Akwa Ibom State Government House as the third civilian Governor, Godswill Akpabio’s exemplary leadership has continued to define the time and the development roadmap of the 27-year-State. In an interview at the weekend in Uyo, the State capital, the Chancellor in-charge of the Akpabioism Centre for Leadership Development (ACLD), Pastor Bassey James, spoke on the legacies of the out gone Senator Akpabio’s era, noting that such foundation would give the current government of Mr. Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, the boost to leapfrog the State to economic buoyancy.
According to James, Senator Akpabio had successfully unlocked the State and its potentials and handed the key to Emmanuel, who would steer the ship of Akwa Ibom State to the final destination for tourists, investors and visitors to congregate and grow the economy.
Under the much vaunted ‘uncommon transformation’, Bassey recalled that Akpabio had taken the bull by the horns to steer the State away from the troubled waters of underdevelopment by building infrastructures including roads, airport, human capital development, education, job creation and youths empowerment. For driving the state on the path of socio- economic recovery, Pastor James paid growing tributes to Senator Akpabio, noting that such feats have made him a global brand in leadership ingenuity.
He pointed out that such sterling qualities combined to accelerate his political ascendancy at the centre where he currently holds sway as the Minority Leader at the Senate despite all odds. Riding on the same crest, the Chancellor viewed the emergence of Emmanuel as a big development that would further consolidate on the development paradigm of the immediate past era. “Governor Emmanuel is not just a banker; he is an investment banker, he is a strategic thinker and he will do well for Akwa Ibom people”, he noted.
“Akwa Ibom people need the best and God has given the best to us, we should encourage him to do more for the State”, he added. The depth of the Governor’s knowledge of governance and administration, the Pastor pointed out, endeared him to the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government at the centre, where President Muhammadu Buhari, has called him for a high level national assignments of probing the NNPC’s rot and other critical assignments.
He, therefore, urged opposition to his emergence as the fourth civilian Governor Akwa Ibom State to sheathe their swords for the interest of peace, development and unity of the State. The Chancellor, who noted that the advent of Akpabio’s era has redefined the socio-economic and political landscape of Akwa Ibom State, enjoined well-meaning individuals to partner the current administration’s drive to entrench ethical values that would drive the State to loftier heights.
In the last eight years, he recalled that his Centre has been working in partnership with relevant agencies including academics, the business class, politicians and students, to create a new consciousness in leadership that would galvanise Akwa Ibom into an alluring economy for investors.
Towards this end, the Centre, according to him, would hold a business expo whereby investors, businessmen, academics, union leaders, oil and gas Executives would converge in Nigeria to tinker on the way forward for Akwa Ibom development.
The envisaged date, the Chancellor said, would be in September and is expected to showcase the potentials of his Centre imbued with security, business and other economic values that could make the State a huge centre of attraction for market forces to interact. “We are determined to make Akwa Ibom State a big market place like Alaba International Market in Lagos, for all manner of goods to be bought and sold”, he added.
When implemented, Bassey said the market has the potentials to serve the whole of South-South, Southeast and other places, noting that the multiplier effects of the market pull would engender sectoral development that would engage the private sector to effectively complement the State government industrialization policy.
-Iniobong Ekponta in Uyo had an encounter with Pastor Bassey James, Chancellor in-charge of Akpabiosm Center for Leadership Development and came away with the impression of a center working to spread the philosophy of uncommon transformation bequeathed to the state by the immediate past Governor Godswill Akpabio.