Godswill Akpabio

Chief Godswill Obot Akpabio, //(listen) CON[1] (born 9 December 1962), is a Nigerian lawyer[2] and politician. He is the former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs as he resigned on 11 May 2022 on the direction of President Muhammadu Buhari to contest at presidential primaries on the platform of the All Progressives Congress.[3][4] He also served as Governor of Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria from May 29, 2007 to May 29, 2015.[5]

Godswill Obot Akpabio
Godswill Obot Akpabio (2012).jpg
Portrait of Akpabio
Minister of Niger Delta
In office
21 August 2019 – 11 May 2022
Preceded byUsani Uguru Usani
Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial District
In office
9 June 2015 – 9 June 2019
Preceded byAloysius Akpan Etok
Succeeded byChris Ekpenyong
Senate Minority Leader
In office
28 July 2015 – 7 August 2018
Preceded byGeorge Akume
Succeeded byAbiodun Olujimi
3rd Governor of Akwa Ibom State of the Fourth Republic
In office
29 May 2007 – 29 May 2015
Preceded byObong Victor Attah
Succeeded byUdom Gabriel Emmanuel
Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs
Personal details
Born (1962-12-09) 9 December 1962 (age 59)
Ukana, Ikot Ntuen, Essien Udim, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria
Political partyAll Progressive Congress(APC)
SpouseEkaette Unoma Akpabio
Parents
  • Chief Obot Akpabio
  • Madam Lucy Obot Akpabio (nee Inyangetor)
Alma materUniversity of Calabar

Early life and careerEdit

Godswill Akpabio is the son of Chief Obot Akpabio and Madam Lucy Obot Akpabio (née Inyangetor) of Ukana, Ikot Ntuen in Essien Udim Local Government Area.[6] He was born on 9 December 1962.[7] He lost his father early in life and was raised by his mother.[8]

EducationEdit

Akpabio was educated at Methodist Primary School, Ukana,[9] Essien Udim LGA, Akwa Ibom State; the Federal Government College, Port Harcourt,[10] Rivers State; and the University of Calabar,[11] Cross River State, where he obtained a Degree in Law.[12][13]

While at the Federal Government College, Port Harcourt, he was appointed the Senior Prefect.[9] In the University of Calabar, Akpabio was elected as the speaker of the parliamentary year.[14][6]

Family and personal lifeEdit

Akpabio’s grandfather, Okuku Udo Akpabio, was the Warrant Chief in Ikot Ekpene province. His uncle, Dr. I. U. Akpabio, was the Minister of Education/Internal Affairs in the then Eastern Nigeria. Justice Nsima Akpabio, his cousin, was a senator in the Second Nigerian Republic.[6]

Akpabio is a Christian of the Catholic faith.[8] Akpabio is married to Ekaette Unoma Akpabio,[15] the founder of Family Life Enhancement Initiative (FLEI), a non-governmental organization providing a platform for redirecting the focus of development efforts on the family as a strategy for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).[16][17][18][19]

Akpabio and his wife have four daughters and a son.

Career and employmentEdit

Akpabio had a brief stint as a teacher and as an associate partner with Paul Usoro and Co., a law firm in Nigeria.[20][21]

He also worked with EMIS Telecoms Limited, a wireless telecommunications company in Lagos, Nigeria. In 2002, he rose to the position of the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the company.[21] In this position, he helped in shaping the future of the burgeoning telecoms industry. He had earlier served as the National Publicity Secretary of the Association of Telecommunication Companies in Nigeria, (ATCOM), while a director of EMIS.[22]

Appointments and politicsEdit

In 2002, he was appointed Honourable Commissioner for Petroleum and Natural Resources by the then Governor Obong Victor Attah in Akwa Ibom State. Between 2002 and 2006, he served as a Commissioner in three key ministries: Petroleum and Natural Resources, Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, as well as Lands and Housing.[21][8][23]

In 2006, he aspired for the governorship of Akwa Ibom State in a contested primary election and defeated 57 other aspirants to emerge the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).[24] His campaign with the slogan, “let God’s will be done” received mass support and was elected Governor in 2007. He was re-elected for a second term in office as Governor of Akwa Ibom State in 2011.[25]

In 2013, he was elected Chairman of the newly formed PDP Governors Forum.[26]

In 2015, he contested and won the Senate seat of the Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District (Ikot Ekpene) to represent the district in the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Running under the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), he polled 422,009 of the 439,449 to defeat Chief Inibehe Okorie of the All Progressive Congress (APC) who recorded 15, 152 votes to be declared elected by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).[3]

Akpabio was nominated for the position of the Senate Minority Leader by the South-South caucus of the People's Democratic Party (PDP), ratified by the caucus of the PDP in the Senate and announced by the Senate President as Senate Minority Leader on 28 July 2015. The PDP lost the majority to the All Progressives Congress (APC), in the 2015 general elections.[27][28]

In August 2018, Senator Akpabio resigned as the Senate Minority Leader,[29] after he had announced his defection to the All Progressive Congress. His defection was marked by Political rally in his hometown at the Ikot Ekpene township stadium, Akwa Ibom State.[30]

In July 2019, he was nominated by President Muhammadu buhari and screened by the Nigerian Senate for a Ministerial appointment.[31] On August 21, 2019, he was sworn in as Minister [32] of the Federal republic of Nigeria, Minister for Niger Delta Affairs.[33]

Corruption accusationsEdit

Godswill Akpabio was under investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on accusations that he diverted over 100 billion Naira from Akwa Ibom State during his time as governor (2007-2015) with American diplomats calling the level of corruption "exceptional" during his tenure.[34][35] However, no charges have been filed.[36] A lawyer, Leo Ekpenyong who also accused Akpabio of corruption, was later arraigned by the police in court for defamation.[37]

In May 2020, Akpabio was summoned by members of the House of Representatives over the misappropriation of 40 billion Naira.[38]

HonoursEdit

International honoursEdit

National honoursEdit

Academic & professional honoursEdit

Media honoursEdit

  • Best Governor in Africa, Africa Development Magazine.[55][56]
  • Governor of the Year 2012, Leadership (newspaper).[57]
  • Man of the Year 2011, Sun (newspaper).[58]
  • Best Governor in Nigeria and Outstanding Human Brand 2010: Billboard World.
  • Man of the Year 2010: National Daily Newspaper.[23]
  • Governor of the Year 2010: Nigerian Tribune.[59]
  • Award of Excellence for Outstanding Performance 2010: Nigeria Union of Journalists.[60]
  • Nigeria’s Emerging Tiger 2009: Thisday Newspapers.[61]
  • Man of the Year 2009: The Daily Independent (Lagos).[62]
  • Man of the Year 2009: National Daily Newspaper.[63]
  • 2008 Most Outstanding Governor in Nigeria (South South): National Daily Newspaper.[63]
  • Governor of the Year (South-South): City People Magazine.[22]
  • Best Governor Infrastructure 2009: Encomium Magazine.[64]
  • Best Governor (South South): Encomium Magazine.[64]
  • Excellency Award as Best Governor South-South 2009: Global Excellence Magazine.[8]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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  2. ^ Edition, Next (9 December 2017). "BREAKING: Senator Godswill Akpabio clocks 55". The Next Edition. Retrieved 18 March 2022.
  3. ^ a b "Akpabio wins Senate Seat in Akwa Ibom State". globalvillenews.com. Archived from the original on 21 May 2015. Retrieved 20 December 2017.
  4. ^ Senate Announces Akpabio As Minority Leader • Channels Television, retrieved 20 December 2017
  5. ^ "Enough is enough". Vanguard News. 30 July 2021. Retrieved 22 February 2022.
  6. ^ a b c "3RD ANNUAL LECTURE 2013 Award winners » Gounna Nigeria". Archived from the original on 25 May 2015. Retrieved 24 May 2015.
  7. ^ "FOR THE RECORD: Official citations of Buhari's ministers, SGF - Premium Times Nigeria". 21 August 2019. Retrieved 23 June 2022.
  8. ^ a b c d "Info" (PDF). www.akwaibomnewsonline.com. 2010.
  9. ^ a b "Inkbrandagency.com". ngf.inkbrandagency.com.
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  11. ^ "The Horizon by Kayode Komolafe, Articles | THISDAY LIVE". Archived from the original on 25 May 2015. Retrieved 24 May 2015.
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  13. ^ "The Nation Newspaper Nigeria - Read Latest Nigeria News". The Nation Nigeria. Retrieved 2 January 2018.
  14. ^ "Africanewspress.com". africanewspress.com.
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  16. ^ "About FLEI". Archived from the original on 25 May 2015. Retrieved 24 May 2015.
  17. ^ "*EKAETTE UNOMA AKPABIO:* Undying Hope on the Dais – Pointblank News". pointblanknews.com. 19 February 2014. Retrieved 21 December 2017.
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  20. ^ "Paul Usoro & Co Leading Law Firm in Nigeria". Paul Usoro & Co Leading Law Firm in Nigeria. Retrieved 21 December 2017.
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  29. ^ Vanguard, News. "Akpabio drops Senate Minority leader post". Retrieved 7 August 2018. {{cite news}}: |first1= has generic name (help)
  30. ^ "Akpabio formally defects to APC". 8 August 2018.
  31. ^ "Ministerial screening: I will do my best in any ministry —Akpabio". Punch Newspapers. 24 July 2019. Retrieved 25 July 2019.
  32. ^ "JUST IN: Full List: Buhari assigns portfolios to new Ministers". Oak TV Newstrack. 21 August 2019. Retrieved 26 August 2019.
  33. ^ Ifop, Frank (21 August 2019). "Full List Of Ministers And Their Portfolios". The Paradise. Paradise Media Venture. Retrieved 21 August 2019.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
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  35. ^ "The Gang of 43 breaks cover". Africa Confidential. pp. 26 July 2019. Retrieved 19 December 2021. During Akpabio's tenure as governor in Akwa Ibom, the level of corruption was 'exceptional', according to US diplomats at the time. So was political violence.
  36. ^ "Nine ex-govs whose corruption cases are forgotten". punchng.com. 2019. Retrieved 6 February 2020.
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