Minister, Niger Delta Affairs Ministry, Senator Godswill Akpabio, has been described as a politician who has distinguished himself in office because of his passion for the improvement and development of the less privileged in society.
This was the submission of the wife of the General of the Salvation Army and World President of Women’s Ministries, Commissioner Rosalie Peddle, in her remarks after the former Senate Minority Leader, delivered his keynote address at the Centenary Celebration of the Salvation Army on Friday in Lagos.
According to her, “I have listened to a lot of politicians and I don’t think I have ever heard of anyone who preaches and talks about the things of God in the way you have done today. You are not only a choirmaster, you are Preacher, you are a sound leader, you are a Senator, lover of children and lover of pregnant women and women generally.”
Speaking further, she stated that the former governor of Akwa Ibom State, was always proud of recognizing God as the source of all his successes in life, saying, “above all, I am impressed that you have given all of the praise to the One that has placed you on this world and given you all the opportunities to lead and do well.
“You are a man of humility and you know that your dependency is on the only One, who has all that you need. We are so thankful to you. Thank you for encouraging us and speaking so glowingly about Salvation Army. We send you off with reaches and blessings in abundance from the Almighty God,” she declared.
Earlier in his 11 Paragraph speech at the Centenary celebration, Senator Akpabio called on Nigerian politicians to rise and emulate the Salvation Army in their dealings with the people, saying, “we need Salvation Army-like politicians in Nigeria.”
In a clear reference to his eight-year tenure as the governor of Akwa Ibom State, Akpabio said, “Between 2007 and 2015, God entrusted me with the responsibility of serving as Governor of Akwa Ibom State. I surrendered to His divine leadership and through Him, governance in its best practice was unleashed on Akwa Ibom State. We tackled every facet of governance with messianic zeal while making the people the central measure of value.
“We declared Free and Compulsory Education to children of school-going age resident in Akwa Ibom State, Free healthcare to critical segments of our population, initiated a myriad of empowerment programmes to lift our people out of poverty, built the best sports stadium in West Africa to encourage our youths to participate in sporting activities, built the E-Library to encourage learning through access to e-books and constructed the pipe jacking technology to control the flood that had overtaken almost all parts of Uyo Metropolis and its environs.
“The list is endless which is why the era earned rightly the sobriquet, Uncommon Transformation. All these happened because we allowed righteousness to reign in our hearts so that we could deliver dividends of democracy to the people.
“We acted as soldiers of the people and protected them using the tool of good governance. What we did to achieve this enviable record was to follow the footsteps of the Salvation Army as enunciated by the Booths.”
The Minister described President Muhammadu Buhari as one leader that has demonstrated and shown the ethos of the Salvation Army, saying, “His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, is one leader that has consistently demonstrated the ethos that the Salvation Army of William and Catherine Booth conceived and practicalities His strong aversion for corruption and determination to foist infrastructural revolution across our Nation are the equivalents and subsets of righteous leadership which embodies virtues that give rise to good governance. It is in these virtues that one finds honesty, sincerity of purpose, character, vision and compassion for the people. All of these, our dear President has in abundance, making him a soldier of righteousness.”