When counting the true interpreters of Governor Udom Emmanuel’s vision and Dakkada Philosophy between 2015 and 2019, I count Akparawa Idorenyin Raphael twice.
The President of Akwa Ibom Traders and immediate past Special Assistant to the Governor on Trade and Market matters, remains among the few Aides to the Governor who sacrificed their comfort, kept their gates open and even mortgaged their earned income for the goodwill of this government during the first term.
Apart from instigating the renovations and building of new markets which created job opportunities for Artisans across the State, this Ibiono Ibom Successful Entrepreneur turned politician as the Governor’s Aide, had more than 20 people in his payroll for direct monthly salaries.
At every government function and even political rallies, women constitute more than 60percents of those in attendance; therefore, Stating that Akwa Ibom Women who turn out for government rallies are Traders and not civil servants, is simply confirming the mobilization strength and goodwill of the man in charge of Traders in the State.
Building up for the reelection of Governor Emmanuel, many political groups came up with different slogans to promote the Governor. Truth be told, non of the slogans was as accepted as “Udom Anyama: Eti Mkpò Urua”, an initiative of Akparawa Raphael. It could be recalled that face caps and other campaign materials with the above inscription were the most accepted after the ones with “Only God”
That Akparawa Idorenyin Raphael delivered his entire political ward to the people’s Democratic Party (PDP) was not a surprise to many, this is because during the campaigns, he single handedly converted a bus of APC youths heading for a rally to full time members of the PDP. In compensation, Raphael still graded all major streets in his wards, a feat that could best be described as unprecedented.
I can boldly state that within the span of 3years, more than 50percent of his Aides including his driver are now happily married, while others own their cars and the rest addressed as “Land Lords”.
How Akparawa Raphael achieved all these at the same time that his colleagues often complain that the Governor is not a giver is the reason I State here that Akparawa Raphael remains in his honor.
If only he is back in power there would be joy again in the street.
(C) Emma Akpabio