By Kendi Jumbo |
The story of Hon. Otobong Jonathan Akpan, the member representing Ukanafun State Constituency in the Akwa Ibom House of Assembly succinctly situates in God’s postulation in Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you; before you were born, I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” In fact, God has not only known him, set him apart or appointed him a prophet to the nations but has made him a towering icon, problem solver, hope giver and a labourer in His vineyard.
Clocking 40 years while in the House of Assembly is also very symbolic and epochal. God did many great things through Moses, Elijah, Jonah, Ezekiel and even his son, Jesus Christ at either in 40 days, 40 months or 40 years
Born, May 19, 1977 into the noble family of Hon. Elder Jonathan Sampson Akpan, in Ikot Udo Mbang, Northern Afaha in Ukanafun Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State – Nigeria, Hon. Otobong Akpan has through God’s grace, humility, intelligence, self disciplined and tenacity of purpose rose to reckoning in words and deeds. No doubt, the Bible says in Proverbs 22 verse 29 that any man diligent in his works will stand before Kings. This great son of a former member of the Constituent Assembly in Nigeria, Elder Jonathan Sampson Akpan, has not only stood before Kings but has dined and wined with Kings.
A man of many parts, Hon. Otobong Jonathan is a go-getter; practical Christian, pragmatic politician, compassionate personality, intelligent youth leader and a giver par excellence.
A graduate of Accounting from the Imo State University, the Ukanafun representative has crisscrossed the world in many spheres both as a student of Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, Canada, where he obtained his Process Plant Operations Certificate 1 in 1997 as well as Process Plant Certificate 2 in 1998 from the City and Guilds of London and as a then staff of Mobil Producing Nigeria, MPN.
While at MPN, Hon. Otobong Akpan worked as a Plant Operator in Edop Production Platform from 1998 to 2001; an Inventory Analyst at Inventory Control Group, MPN from 2001 to 2008 as well as Material Inspector/Coordinator at Receiving and Storage Group from 2008 to 2011.
He has participated in many conferences and leadership training including, but not limited to Raising Outstanding Leadership (ROLE) in July, 2016 which have exposed him to corporate and managerial skills as well as equipped him for more wonderful works in skill transfer, manpower development and leadership.
His journey to the Akwa Ibom House of Assembly in 2015 can be well described as divine; coming at a time God wanted a young man like in the story of Joshua, Joseph, Gideon and even our Lord Christ to send to redeem His loving Ukanafun people.
In the Akwa Ibom House of Assembly, Hon. Otobong Akpan has brought his knowledge of leadership, enterprise, industry, self respect and discipline to bear in his contributions to bills and general representation of Ukanafun State Constituency.
He has sponsored and co-sponsored many bills including the Akwa Ibom State Water Infrastructure and other matters connected therein and moved several motions on Rehabilitation and Commissioning of abandoned Ukanafun General Hospital and Palm Oil Depot.
As the Chairman of the House Committee on Lands, Housing and Urban Renewal, Vice Chairman Committee on Judiciary, Justice, Human Rights and Public Petitions, Member Committee Advisory on Parliamentary Matters, Public Accounts, Works and Transport, Information, Labour and Productivity, Intergovernmental, Political and Special Matters, and lastly, Member Committee on Economic Planning and Development, honourable Otobong Akpan has made Ukanafun people proud.
A political activist, strategic thinker and grassroots mobiliser and developer, Honourable Otobong Akpan has become the umbrella that has accommodated the aspirations of the youths, the demand of the women and the expectations of the elders. At the moment, it is to his credit that over 30 of his constituents are undertaking training in various vocational trades including tailoring; over 30 youths have been selected by him for electromagnetic training in Lagos, which first batch will be leaving first week of June, 2017.
He has empowered Akpan Essiet Market women as well as offset backlog of hospital bills for over 20 patients in clinics within Ukanafun. Just yesterday, Honourable Akpan flagged off the ‘Hope Alive Skilled Acquisition Programme’ where many youths are being trained in tailoring, ICT and other crafts.
In just two years in the Assembly, Honourable Otobong Akpan has built an ultra-modern state-of-the-arts civic centre in Ikot Udo Mbang; built classroom blocks in Primary School, Ikot Akpa Idem as well as provided a solar-energy borehole water at Ata Essien Ikot Ekpat.
He is happily married to Hon. (Esv.) Mfon Otobong Jonathan and blessed with three lovely children (a girl and 2 boys). He is a mentor, activist, philanthropist and promising politician. These virtues therefore not only endear him to his people and beyond, but also stand him out amongst his contemporaries as man of the people.
Otobong Akpan has undoubtedly engraved his name on the marble of time and history, in terms of effective lawmaking and provision of democratic dividends to his constituents and indeed the people of Akwa Ibom State and Nigeria in general. This is why his fortieth (40th) birthday is marked by high spirit of celebration and words of goodwill from well-wishers from the nooks and crannies of the state and nation.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU, MR. ARISTOTLE OF THE SIXTH ASSEMBLY!
Kendi Jumbo is an Aide to the lawmaker on Media and Publicity