The Honourable Minister, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, CON, has stated that he desires to be judged by the legacies he leaves behind and not by the amount of critics.
The Minister stated this during the courtesy visit on the Conferment of Distinguished UNICAL Ambassador Award on him by the Unical Alumni, yesterday in his office Abuja.
Sen. Akpabio said the award is not ordinary but an uncommon award that recognized his antecedents despite so much blackmailing, and character assassination in politics even when the best of intentions are misinterpreted, thereby turning white to black. According to him, “you look through, you said in spite of the blackmail against this man in the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, he still remains one of our best Alumni, let us go and honour him”.
In receiving the award presented by the Vice Chancellor of the University of Calabar, Prof. Florence Banku Obi on behalf of the UNICAL ALUMNI, the Minister expressed gratitude and said he accepts the award with a lot of dignity and dedicated the award to politicians who pass through “smear campaigns of politics” like him and still remain focus.
Senator Akpabio further stated that the Ministry would collaborate with UNICAL and relevant stakeholders to end the menace of insecurity especially in the waterways and restore the decayed infrastructure in the institution.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Dr. Babayo Ardo, in his welcome address noted that the Minister who graduated from UNICAL in 1986 has been a great accomplisher and the Ministry is privileged to have him at the helm of affairs.
Babayo said the “Ministry is undergoing a silent revolution, while the NDDC is being repositioned to achieve greater heights. Apart from the commissioning of the NDDC Headquarters in Rivers State, the Ministry has over 30 completed projects awaiting commission.
The Vice Chancellor, UNICAL, Prof. Florence Banku Obi, stated that the Conferment of Distinguished Alumni Ambassador Award of the Institution to Sen. Akpabio was based on his outstanding achievement and contribution to the university and humanity.
In his address, the Director, ALUMNI Affairs, University of Calabar, Professor Ernest Bassey Asikong, stated Sen. Akpabio’s appointment as the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs by President Muhammadu Buhari was “a clear recognition of his trajectories of good leadership potentials, administrative competencies, political ingenuity, doggedness and uncommon transformer amongst other qualities”.
Asikong who was represented by Paul Eshiemomoh also an Alumnus said with confidence that Niger Delta region will experience sustainability development considering Sen. Akpabio’s wealth of experience as a former two term Governor of Akwa-Ibom State, Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and several other leadership positions the Minister had occupied in life.
The Director, Alumni Affairs, UNICAL stated that the Minister’s open door policies, transparent leadership, detribalized and humble disposition have endeared him to all, hence the need to recognize him as a Distinguished Alumnus of University of Calabar. Going down memory lane he noted that Sen. Akpabio was a distinguished parliamentarian (Speaker of the Parliament) and Student activist of the Student Union Government (SUG).
Prof. Asikong noted the Minister’s contributions to the school as an Alumnus, which include aiding the completion of the Engineering block of the University and other interventions in the construction of hostel block by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
He however, stated that like ‘Oliver Twist’ the institution calls on the Minister to use his good office to assist the University at the Qua River Water front with speed boats for regular patrol to curb the menace of kidnapping in the institution. Other areas include completion of the collapse Alumni building and provision of a utility vehicle for the Directorate of Alumni Affairs which has been a major challenge and among others.