Immediate past Akwa Ibom State Governor and current Minority Leader in the 8th Nigerian Senate, Godswill Akpabio, has made his first public appearance since returning to the country after flying abroad for medical treatment following the accident he sustained on Tuesday, September 1, 2015.
Speaking at the launching of #Dakkada, the new campaign initiated by his successor, Governor Udom Emmanuel to celebrate the 28th anniversary of the state, Akpabio spoke on his ordeal and the invasion of the Akwa Ibom Government House by officials of the Department of State Services.
Akpabio also took time to hail the achievements of the young administration of Governor Emmanuel, who he said he is proud to have as a successor.
Read a full text of his speech below:
Akwa Ibom isongo (4 times), nto (children of) Udom Emmanuel isongo, iban (women of) Udom Emmanuel isongo, ntokeyen (kids of) Udom Emmanuel isongo, ikpo owo Akwa Ibom mmino uyio ooo.
Aying ami ade (my name is) Godswill Obot Akpabio. By the grace of God and your prayers and the permission of my governor, Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, and his dear wife, I am able to attend this function today.
Your Excellency, thank you for permitting me to come in slightly behind schedule as a result of the occurring circumstances. The governor has given me a gift through God. God gave me life, God sustained my life, and my life will never be extinguished until it is time. When the governor told me that we must celebrate Akwa Ibom at 28, he did not tell me he was planning to give me a surprise after coming back from the land of death.
When that accident happened on the 1st of September (2015), I was rushing in the morning to join my daughter who was ill in her school abroad and when it happened I lost consciousness and all I shouted was God take care of my children and my people. But surprisingly I woke up at the National Hospital in Abuja, and within one hour after regained my consciousness, I saw His Excellency, Udom Gabriel Emmanuel sitting by my side.
I was moved to tears. When we sang the song together, that Udom was right, Udom was just, Udom was correct, Udom was the best, we were led by the Holy Spirit. Let today’s celebration be a lesson to all states of the federation. Nobody should attempt to impose himself on others. If God does not give you leadership, no matter how wealthy you are, no matter how connected you are, no matter how mischievous you are, no matter how tribalistic you are, no matter how rich you think you are, you will never get there.
Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, from birth God said you will lead Akwa Ibom State and today you are the Governor of Akwa Ibom. Thank you for standing by me. For the whole of Akwa Ibom people, this is your former governor, Godswill Akpabio. And I’m here with your former First Lady, Eka Esit Mbom, Ekaette Unoma Godswill Akpabio.
Today, in the year 2015, in September 23rd, what is the matter? The matter is Martha Udom Gabriel Emmanuel. We have handed over the women of Akwa Ibom State into the able hands of Udom Gabriel Emmanuel and Martha and she will sort out your matters. The matter is about empowerment, the matter is about love, the matter is about service.
Udom, let me stand since God has given me life on this day in front of former governors, in front of the deputy, speaker, former speakers, party chairman and others who support you, who pray for you, to thank you for being a man of your words.
On 29th May (2015), you pronounced that the resolution of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly passed on the 6th of November (2014) shall come to fruition. Today, you have unveiled the Godswill Akpabio International, best designed stadium in the whole of Africa, the Nest of Champions.
I assure you, that through your ingenuity, you will put this place to use. A lot of champions will come out of here. Oh, how I wish I could kick football again. I had started thinking of how to train here to make dollars for Akwa Ibom people. Let me commend you for the award given to you in United States of America, in a United Nations-backed ceremony. Not many governors in Africa have had such honour. Look at the time, under just 100 days in office, you have been pronounced by the world community as the most focused governor out of the 36 governors in Nigeria.
Why should I not be proud as an Akwa Ibom child to have a governor to be so honoured? Why would they not honour you? In less than no time you solved a puzzle that I could not solve in 8 years. You brought back Peacock Paint industry, it is working, it is working, it is working. Udom, I will ask you how you did it. The APC factory has taken off, the LED factory has taken off, Becko Group of companies are going on in spite of the lean resources. You have continued to bring foreign direct investments to Akwa Ibom, you are attracting attention to Akwa Ibom, you are making Akwa Ibom a destination for industries, you are creating job opportunities for our children, you are showing that we were right in electing you as the governor of Akwa Ibom State. To God be the glory. Oh, Udom Gabriel Emmanuel. Oh, the people of Akwa Ibom State. Oh, God’s own people, they have the right to thank God.
For me, I came to tell you your prayers are working. The wishes of the enemy has been defeated. All the newspapers in Akwa Ibom State, tomorrow your headlines should be “Akpabio rises again”, “Akpabio rises again”. Why will I not rise again when the governor has launched a very significant project in the state today, “Dakkada”. Dakkada kpong gossip, dakkada kpong tribalism, dakkada kpong distraction, dakkada kpong Pull-him-down syndrome, dakkada and face development, dakkada and face progress, dakkada and rise to the glory of God, dakkada and rise to your greatest potentials. I am here to prove that I have risen again. Udom, thank you for this project. We will follow you. We will stand side-by-side with you. Don’t listen to stories. Akwa Ibom is full of deceit. They did not even know how close we are. By the time you came as governor, never in my life did I have an account with you. Uptill now, I’m yet to meet your father. I don’t know your mother. I don’t know your father. Your father is late? oh, accept my sympathies. Your mom (late)? Oh, I didn’t know. They said you are my account officer. They said you are the one keeping millions of dollars for me. They raided even your government house to collect some of the money, but they did not find anything. The picture they are circulating was a picture taken in Iraq in 2011. That picture is on google. Anybody who has his computer now should google, look at your phone and google you will see that picture. That picture of the stack of dollars was in Iraq in 2011/2012, never in Akwa Ibom State. If we have such money would I not build something greater than this (stadium)? Will I not build air-conditioners in all the streets so that when you are walking as an Akwa Ibom child you don’t need to fan yourself.
The enemies will never shame the state. Let me place on record the support of the president, President Buhari who did something extra ordinary. The president called the hospital that I was in London. He called the hospital line, and said put me through to the Minority Leader of the Senate who is in your hospital. And they connected him. The room number was Room 215. And he spoke with me. He said, Akpabio we are praying for you. Insha Allah, it shall be well with you.
Shortly after the president’s call, I received a call from Abba Kyari, the new Chief of Staff and he said hold on for the Vice President of Nigeria. Vice President Osinbajo, he spoke with me and he prayed for me. He said I’m an anointed child of God, you will come back alive to this country, you will not die. The Senate President also called. Almost all dignitaries in Nigeria called. But who made it possible for me to even get out of here? It was my governor, Udom Gabriel Emmanuel.
Udom, when people are talking about the 20th Anniversary Hospital, they should go there and find out, even the CT (Computed Tomography) scan that I saw in London is not up to the one that you have in Uyo. That is the one they call 64 slides. Udom, the one that you have here is 640 slides. Ten times in magnification of what you have in Europe. Why has the hospital not taken off? It is because the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria expects to register anybody who wants to work as a doctor in Nigeria. You cannot go to Britain and work in Britain unless you pass through the procedure. Because, at the same time Immigration must give you the necessary resident permit for you to bring in those doctors and those doctors must in turn have at least 2 to 3 people with them in order to pass technology to them. We are not going to bring in people to work here forever. They must handover to indigenous skilled manpower trained by Udom Gabriel Emmanuel. You have assured your people, I’m sure you will tell them that in less than one month from today the processes will be completed. When I was ill (I don’t pray to be ill), if I were to be ill next time I’m sure instead of flying me 6 hours to London, they will bring me 50 minutes into Akwa Ibom International Hospital and I will be very proud to come there and thereafter stand in front of you. Oh, my people. To God be the glory.
Thank you for this honour, thank you for launching #Dakkada. We shall rise, we assure you. Do not be afraid of propaganda. Your election was conducted by God, if you do it 10 times you will win 10 times. And I assure you as long as the Lord liveth, your election will be sustained because it was sealed in heaven. I did not know you, Akwa Ibom people knew you, the corporate world knew you. God knew you, that for a time like this He will bring somebody who will salvage us, who will bring industries, who will sustain what we’ve got, who will give us light, who will create employment opportunities and who will be a shining star and that shining star is in front of me today. Thank you my governor, I’m very proud to be your subject. May God bless all Akwa Ibom people.