From Teacher to Senate President: The Inspiring Story of Godswill Akpabio’s Rise in Nigerian Politics

  • Godswill Akpabio emerged as Nigeria’s Senate President for the 10th assembly after defeating his opponent Abdul’aziz Yari with 63 votes to 46 votes.
  • Akpabio’s journey from a teacher to a lawyer, governor, lawmaker, minister, and now Senate President showcases his remarkable rise in Nigerian politics.
  • With a proven track record of development and a commitment to the welfare of Nigerians, Akpabio is poised to make a lasting impact as the Senate President, shaping Nigeria’s legislative agenda.

Earlier today June 13, 2023, Senator Godswill Akpabio emerged as Nigeria’s Senate President for the 10th assembly, after a fiercely contested election. The former Akwa Ibom State Governor secured 63 votes to defeat his challenger, former Governor of Zamfara State Abdul’aziz Yari, who received 46 votes. 

The win solidifies Akpabio as one of Nigeria’s topmost politicians who have excelled in the profession. The story deserves to be told about how he went from a teacher to a lawyer, then a governor, a lawmaker, a minister, and now the Senate President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Godswill Akpabio’s Background: His Early Life, education and Career

Born on December 9, 1962, at Ukana Ikot Ntuen, Akwa Ibom State, Akpabio’s journey from relatively humble beginnings. His journey to becoming a prominent figure in Nigerian politics is nothing short of inspirational.

He attended Methodist Primary School, Ukana before proceeding to the prestigious Federal Government College, Port Harcourt for his secondary education. He later pursued a law degree at the University of Calabar. 

Upon graduation from the university, Akpabio gained admission to the Nigerian Law School, Lagos, and was subsequently called to the Nigerian Bar.

His Corporate Career

Akpabio first worked briefly as a teacher before practising law. Soon, he became an associate partner at a law firm called Paul Usoro and Co where he worked briefly before joining EMIS Telecoms Limited. He later rose through the corporate ladder to become the telco’s CEO. 

He Soon Delved into Politics

Akpabio’s foray into Nigerian politics began with an appointment as a Commissioner for Special Duties and Petroleum Resources under the administration of Governor Victor Attah in Akwa Ibom State. His dedication and commitment to public service were evident during this period.

He soon leveraged this to his advantage by contesting for the state’s governorship seat in 2007. He won the election and went ahead to serve two terms between 2007 and 2015. 

His time as governor was said to have been characterised by rapid development in Akwa Ibom State. Various sectors witnessed unprecedented growth, including infrastructure, education, healthcare, agriculture, etc. 

His first Time as Senator

Towards the end of his time as governor, Akpabio did what most Nigerian governors like to do – contest for a senatorial seat. Luckily for him, he succeeded at this after emerging as Senator representing Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial District. 

He held this job from 2015 to 2019, during which he made significant contributions to legislative debates and policy formulations. 

Resignation as Senator and Appointment as Minister

Akpabio resigned from his senatorial seat in 2018 after defecting to the APC from the PDP. Following this development, he was appointed by former President Muhammadu Buhari as the Minister for Niger Delta Affairs. 

He held this job for approximately two years before resigning to bid for the APC’s presidential primary ticket. He, however, failed to secure that as the ticket went to Nigeria’s current President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

His Emergence as Senate President

After a failed presidential bid, Akpabio recalculated his political moves and chose to return to the Senate. This time, he had his eyes set on the highest echelon of the red chamber. Consequently, he won the senatorial election in February and then set to work rallying support for the big job as Senate President. Needless to say, his efforts have paid off today.

As the newly elected 10th President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio assumes a pivotal role in shaping Nigeria’s legislative agenda and steering the nation towards progress. With his wealth of experience, astute leadership, and unwavering commitment to the welfare of Nigerians, Akpabio is poised to make a lasting impact in the Senate.

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