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A’IBOM 2023: Akanimo Udofia, The Man That Ticks All The Boxes

Maybe it is too early to talk about the 2023 Governorship elections in Akwa Ibom State, but it can never be too early to talk about a man of all seasons, Mr. Akanimo Udofia.

Like a breezy harmattan wind, blowing across a guinea cornfield and filtered into the grapevines, his presence at public events is generating much concern. His appealing personality, commanding presence, and the news about his good works have been sweeping the city, drawing so much attention and raising eyebrows.

“Is he contesting 2023 governorship? Why this sudden philanthropy? ‘day don break’, who is Akan Udofia? who be this one again?, I never hear am before”. So many exclamations have escaped from the jaws of many pundits, both young and old.

Now all eyes seem to be on him.
He has been groomed in the best corporate environments and traditions and also been around in the political scene.
Akanimo is a superbly cultured, suave, and well-poised all-rounder.

Many people want to know whether Akanimo Udofia is contesting the 2023 gubernatorial election.
Interestingly, the young, the old, and the apolitical folks are keenly watching this fascinating non–habitual political player.

Mr. Akanimo Udofia was born on the 18th June 1969, in Afaha Offiong, Nsit Ibom Local Government Area. He studied at the University of Uyo, where he obtained a first-class cum laude in Accounting. He then proceeded to Harvard Business School where he passed with distinction.
Being an alumnus of the University of Uyo stands him in good stead to better appreciate the peculiarities of the developmental challenges facing Akwa Ibom State.

His stint at Harvard adds a vast array of international business contacts to local and regional rubrics.

He has worked in different firms in the early years of his career before taking over as the MD/CEO of Desicon Engineering Limited. Mr. Akanimo within a decade changed the fortune of the company to a multibillion-dollar firm and launched himself to the Forbes list of billionaires in US dollars.

There might be people who have begun some emergency philanthropy in the state, possibly for political reasons, but Mr. Akanimo Udofia is not one of them or a newcomer in Akwa Ibom politics.

It is on record that from 2006 till date, Akanimo Udofia has been a key contributor to the political stability of the state through his much-admired bipartisanship. Akanimo has been a dependable friend to all the three Governors that have governed Akwa Ibom since 1999. He has remained one of the biggest financiers of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the state. His interventions include physical presence at very strategic meetings to control damage at national and international levels.

Of course, the numerous Akwa Ibom people that he has raised in the business sector, his friends from the University of Uyo, and many politicians he had supported in the past and their followers are waiting with berthed breath for him to say a word about the 2023 governorship. He isn’t a political office holder, but his political footprints are ubiquitous in Akwa Ibom and beyond.

He is not doing anything sudden or unusual right now, he has done more in the past. There is no act of kindness done by Mr. Akan Udofia now that is new, he has done greater things to people of all classes behind the cameras. He has built a 105 room post-graduate hostel at the Akwa Ibom State University. That project began 3years ago. He has done quality water, electricity, and other empowerment projects especially for his people in Nsit Ibom.
The current media attention is understandable, perhaps, as the 2023 elections get closer and Akan Udofia is from Uyo Senatorial District to which the governorship position is zoned, the media may be putting, and justly so, all the spotlight on whom the coveted crown best fits.

Despite not making any statement about 2023, he, however, remains a bride in the Akwa Ibom political scenery. Like the fresh wine Jesus served at Galilee, he represents a generational paradigm shift, from the old to the new, he represents a new blend of politicians who are not coming just for the allocation that comes from Abuja but has what it takes to fulfill the dreams of Akwa Ibom youths, who are wishing for a state with oil refineries, deep seaports, and manufacturing firms.

At 52years, he is a perfect balance between the young and the aged, his track record of philanthropy and community service answers the question of a people-centered leader and a welfarist that Akwa Ibom people yearns for. In all ramifications, he ticks all the boxes. He is humble, he is urbane, and above all, he is at home with his people whom he truly loves. Here is a man that folds his sleeves, put on his T-shirts to identify with young talents. He is not a miser and he loves tourism. Given the opportunity, he would turn Ibeno, Oron, Eastern Obolo beaches into mega tourist destinations, because he has the contacts of those investors.

Luckily, Akanimo Udofia already knows thousands of Akwa Ibom people by their names. His mere appearance at public events and the attention it generates can easily attest to this fact.

Will he run or will he not run? That is the question for him to answer. But indeed, Mr. Akanimo Udofia ticks all the boxes and has all it takes to take Akwa Ibom State to greater heights.

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