By Destiny Akaiso
There is one fact any fair-minded person would not contest. Of all those queuing for the race to the Akwa Ibom Government House in 2023, only Senator Bassey Albert Akpan (OBA) has raised cogent issues to write or talk about without any fear of contradiction. His track record provides the foundation for this confidence.
It can then be said that the contagious eagerness to promote the OBA agenda among writers and pundits is traceable to his past and present as we march toward the future. Otherwise, you might choose to satisfy your curiosity by undertaking a comparative study of the profiles of all contestants in the 2023 guber race and come up with your independent assessment.
Aside from his trail-blazing years in the corporate financial sector, OBA’s 8-year stint as the youngest Commissioner of Finance in the history of the State bequeathed unassailable legacies of the public good. That has also added to the sustainable goodwill and popularity he still enjoys today.
As a two-term Senator, he remains a star and paragon for the triune mandate of the parliament, namely law-making, oversight and representation. Today, when OBA stands up to make a case on the floor of the Senate, he commands great respect and sublime silence.
Usually, every one of his colleagues is eager to hear him as he always brings something fresh and worthy to add value to the growth and development of the country.
That’s perhaps why, except in rare instances, when OBA has spoken, senators from other senatorial districts of Akwa Ibom State may not need to speak again. After all, “the Akwa Ibom senator” has spoken. He always has the clout and crowd for unanimous endorsement of his ideas and models.
In the area of representation, OBA’s template and packages of empowerment of constituents which also cut across other senatorial districts, have been variously described by commentators as one of the best, most diverse, most far-reaching, most impactful, most sustainable, and most altruistic.
Having lived all his life with the people, having felt their pains in the daily struggles for better times, Obong Bassey Albert soars safely above politics of sentiments, tribe, acrimony, and self-interest.
He thus has become a unique brand in leadership, with a distinctive trademark in service delivery in his over two decades of service to the people. This, no conscientious fellow can contradict.
This easily explains why on whatever platform OBA chooses to stand to lead the people, it automatically and expectedly becomes a mass movement. Indeed, his antecedents and leadership style have been tested for years with great returns. That is why the Young Progressives Party (YPP), has suddenly taken Akwa State by storm.
OBA personifies capacity, patriotism, possibilities, positivism, optimism, dynamism, excellence, focus and selflessness in service to the people.
Of course, because he is not anybody’s stooge, people freely queue behind him in deserved tributes to his character and distinction, and what the future holds.
The current goings-on in Akwa Ibom State, in the momentum towards 2023, must be clear indications that the time has come for the people to choose their leader by themselves. And, OBA is the popular and ultimate choice!
But why this massive solidarity?
Because the choice is based on what the people know and have seen. They are determined for a paradigm shift in 2023 – for equity, fairness and justice.
If you know OBA very well, you won’t hesitate to agree that the circumstances of his childhood must have prepared and fortified him with the audacity, resilience and leadership he has shown over the years.
He always aims at altering the cause of history for good, with unwavering faith in possibilities, no matter how tortuous the journey may have seemed at the very beginning.
He is not that guy you can threaten or bully to submit to any cause he believes in. That is because he is one public servant, politician, and leader with nothing to be ashamed of.
Now, with the people entirely on his side, the distinguished and celebrated senator is on a divine mission to occupy the highest political office in Akwa Ibom State, not for his sake, but to prove to bookmakers that things can work if the leadership is right.
If what one has done in previous offices qualifies one for what he is expected to do in the future, then OBA, without a doubt, has no competition in the race to 2023. He is the competition itself, leaving jokers and strugglers for the crown with nothing but sheer fantasies. That explains the massive support for him, YPP and the leaves symbol!