Earlier today, a special Mass was held in honour of the Honourable Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio on his 58th birthday, and was attended by his wife on his behalf, Her Excellency, Mrs Ekaette Unoma Godswill Akpabio.
The event took place in his chapel in Ukana, Essien Udim LGA of Akwa Ibom State.
Meet Senator Godswill Akpabio
Chief Godswill Obot Akpabio, CON, is a Nigerian lawyer and politician. He is the current Minister of Niger Delta, a former Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Senate’s Minority Leader. He also served as Governor of Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria from May 29, 2007 to May 29, 2015.
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. He was born on 9 December 1962. He lost his father early in life and was raised by his mother.
Akpabio was educated at Methodist Primary School, Ukana, Essien Udim LGA, Akwa Ibom State; the Federal Government College, Port Harcourt, Rivers State; and the University of Calabar, Cross River State, where he obtained a Degree in Law. While at the Federal Government College, Port Harcourt, he was appointed the Senior Prefect. In the University of Calabar, Akpabio was elected as the speaker of the parliamentary year.
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.
Akpabio is a Christian of the Catholic faith. Akpabio is married to Ekaette Unoma Akpabio, 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).
Akpabio and his wife have four daughters and a son.
Akpabio had a brief stint as a teacher and as an associate partner with Paul Usoro and Co., a law firm in Nigeria.
Akpabio 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. 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.
Appointments and politics
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.
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). 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.
In 2013, he was elected Chairman of the newly formed PDP Governors Forum.
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).
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.
In August 2018, Senator Akpabio resigned as the Senate Minority Leader, 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.
In July 2019, he was nominated by President Muhammadu buhari and screened by the Nigerian Senate for a Ministerial appointment. On August 21st, 2019 he was sworn in as Minister of the Federal republic of Nigeria, Minister for Niger Delta Affairs.