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Afe Mkparawa Annang Celebrates Akpabio At 58

A socio-cultural group, Afe Mkparawa Annang turned out en masse to celebrate the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio whose birthday falls today, December, 9.

The event which held at SKILLS ACQUISITION CENTRE on Library Road, Ikot Ekpene, drew a mammoth crowd with a select number given opportunity to deliver goodwill messages owing to the constraints of time.

The Chairman of the event, Hon. Uduak Essien, popularly referred to as “General”, expressed gratitude to Akpabio’s supporters for their steadfastness and loyalty. Honourable Essien opined that Akpabio’s experience and travails could be equated to the story of David who continued to enjoy the grace of God despite the machinations of his enemies. He relived the story of David from when Prophet Samuel went to annoint one of the sons of Jesse and how God favoured David who was not even in reckoning. Essien thanked the wife of the Minister, Her Excellency, Mrs. Unoma Akpabio for the stabilizing role she has played in the life of the husband, describing her as a dutiful wife.

Monsignor Peter Inyangeto, who delivered an emotional goodwill message said that he is speaking in a dual capacity, since the Minister is his grandson and he is also standing in the stead of a spiritual father. The notable Catholic clergy said that his story with Godswill started in 1974, adding that he is happy that he is associated with him in life. Waxing philosophical, Inyangeto reiterated that no matter what one has, if he has no people, then he has nothing. He charged all to cultivate love for one another, pointing out that if one does not love oneself and what he has, no one else can love him.

Dr. Chris Akpan, who was Director -General of Campaigns for Senator Godswill Akpabio during his second term bid, in his goodwill message said, “We are gathered here to celebrate a very unique person we have in Annang, Akwa Ibom and Nigeria”. Dr. Akpan told a story of an encounter he had on his way to the venue of the event wherein somebody asked why he is always in a fuss on everything that concerns Akpabio, to which he responded that it is because he is a unique person. He narrated the accomplishments of Obong Godswill Akpabio to include physical and mental renaissance which he unleashed on the State. Akpan described Akpabio as a man of uncommon destiny and lauded him for not bearing grudges and always getting along well with everybody. Dr. Chris also lavished encomiums on the wife of the former governor, Her Excellency Ekaette Unoma Akpabio, describing her as a strong pillar of support to the husband.

One Adede Uduak Akpan who also delivered a goodwill message, associated Senator Akpabio with a lot of social engineering, including turning boys into men, supporting them to marry and raise families, making them legislators etc. He thanked Her Excellency Unoma Akpabio for being a wonderful mother and wife.

A retired Permanent Secretary and one time principal of schools, Obong Chrysanthus Asuka described the event as unique for a unique man. He said that he is a beneficiary of Akpabio’s uncommon kindness and lamented that those who benefitted from him have turned around to betray him, describing the act as unfortunate.

Speaking on behalf of APC Chapter Chairmen, the APC Chairman of Etim Ekpo L.G.A. said that Akpabio has had many births and would continue to have auspicious births, referring to the many service stations that still beckon to him.

Umo Assiak who spoke on behalf of the youths, thanked God for the life of Godswill Akpabio, noting that it was not for nothing that traditional institutions across the State conferred on him different chieftaincy titles. He thanked Akpabio for the infrastructural revolution he unleashed on Akwa Ibom State adding that they remain unparalleled.

Joseph Tombere, popularly known as “Patom”, in his goodwill message said, ”What God has ordained remains ordained”, adding that “they” might fight Godswill Akpabio but “they” will never take away his blessing. He prayed God to continue to shower Akpabio with his blessings. Mr. Mendie Archibong, a business mogul, advised youths to follow the footsteps of Akpabio.

The icing on the cake came when Her Excellency, Mrs. Ekaette Unoma Akpabio was invited to speak. The former First Lady who is always a delight of the crowd was heralded with wild jubilation. Unoma thanked Afe Mkparawa Annang for celebrating and honouring the Minister, even in his absence. She said that when someone is born with anointing, no man can kill him or kill the dream. She recounted the places she and her entourage had visited to extend succour in commemoration of the birthday of the husband, charging all to practice the act of loving one another. Mrs. Akpabio asserted that apart from praising and worshipping God, an important Commandment that God enjoins us to uphold is to love our neighbour, adding that when one does that, he has fulfilled God’s cardinal injunction.

Doing some reflection, Unoma noted that where Akpabio is today, is where God wants him to be for now, asserting that what happened to him as a senator was a setback that every great leader must suffer in the course of leadership career. Mrs. Akpabio said that Senator Akpabio’s leadership has given Akwa Ibom a sense of pride and confidence of identity as Akwa Ibom sons and daughters. She thanked the youths and people for standing by her husband and promised to convey the message of unalloyed support to the him.

In a further show of gratitude, Mrs Akpabio donated bags of rice and cash donation submitting that since the short notice did not permit her to cook for them, their wives at-least can cook for them at home. The event ended on a very convivial note with much merriment to go with it.

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