The Nigeria’s oldest newspaper, the Nigerian Tribune has picked the two personalities as its Man of the Year 2010 and Governor of the Year respectively. They are Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria and Mr. Godwill Akpabio, Governor of Akwa-Ibom State. The emergence of Sanusio as Man of the Year followed a rigorous application of stringent criteria which included, but not limited to: most impactful activity/policy, public probity and rare demonstration of courage, which, in our opinion and the estimation of right-thinking Nigerians, are manifested in the introduction and implementation of the far-reaching banking sector reforms, which were condemned by some, loved by many, but which recorded global acclaim.
Similarly, the task of a government is simple; continually improving the lives of the citizens. However, this simple task is too difficult for many governments and this account for the increasing backwardness of the nation and the alarming dehumanisation of the people through extreme poverty. The story is, however, different in Akwa Ibom State, where the governor, Chief Godswill Akpabio, is pulling out all the stops to improve the lives of the people of the state.
Akpabio, in less than four years, has given a new but true meaning to representative governance by transforming Akwa Ibom State from underdevelopment to a model in development. Since assuming office, he has embarked on massive infrastructure development of the state; from a world class airport to road construction, among others. Indeed, he has transformed the state into a huge construction site.
Perhaps the most outstanding achievement of the governor is the construction of the continent’s first underground tunnel, which stretches from Ikot-Ekpene Road in the state capital to the Atlantic Ocean.
Through this ingenious intervention, the problem of erosion, which had been the lot of Uyo for years, has been effectively checked. President Goodluck Jonathan was so impressed with this project when he inaugurated it that he promised to adopt it for combating erosion in Abuja.
Akpabio has also excelled in the area of provision of quality education for the people with his programme of total eradication of illiteracy. The governor has embarked on a programme that is aimed at taking all children of school age out of the streets. The programme has recorded tremendous success and has become a model for other states.