In today’s Akwa Ibom State political landscape, the name Udo Ekpenyong does not struggle for space, especially when men that have made lasting impacts in the lives of average Akwa Ibom persons are mentioned.
His is synonymous to everything philanthropy, simplicity in giving, commitment to task delivery, down to earthiness, loyalty to a course, political master-craft, selfless and people-centric leadership, especially with special attention in changing the fortune of men in a way which amazes even his critics.
One narrative that has perhaps pegged his achievements in the public domain is his phobia for publicity. Perhaps, this may be as a result of his deep seated belief in the biblical instruction which espoused the manner gifts should be exchanged between two parties as contained in the book of Mathew 6 verse 3.
This may off course be his biggest undoing in his bid to serve humanity, but deep inside the hearts of good men lies unquantifiable depth of gratitude and the feelings that indeed it is/was through the magnanimity of Obong Udo Ekpenyong that their fortunes were upturn(ed) for good.
For the records, it’s a clear evidence that the ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs has live up to it billing under the watch of Obong Udo Ekpenyong. It’s also arguably true that much might not have been heard about the ministry in the past but through sheer creativity and leadership ingenuity infused into it by the Hon Commissioner, the ministry has acclaimed it rightful place and even becoming the epicenter of activities in recent times. Just last week, more than 7 Paramount Rulers and 10 Clan/Village heads were selected and duly coronated by the Governor as part of event to mark the 32nd anniversary of the state creation. The act pundits averred was akin to building bridges of peace and development in the rural communities of the state, as well as adding verve to the existing peace-oriented leadership blueprint of the Governor.
Again, our traditional institution has been given a pride of place, revelling from the prompt attention to her welfare which comes with pecks and upward reviewed renumeration. In addition to this, exotic vehicles (SUVJeeps and Sports Utility Cars) have since been procured and dispatched to the existing Paramount Rulers, while others are still in the offing.
In what would have been a fight of the Titans between the Council Chairmen and the State Governor over issue of renumeration and welfare, the case in Akwa has been that of mutual respect, high standard maturity and purpose driven harmony. This is also made possible by the Hon. Commissioner who has since cultivated a culture of mutual peace, harmony and respect in the running of government affairs in the ministry. The feat however has not only carved for himself a niche in management of inter-government affairs, but has manifestly attests to the fact that he was, and still is, a square peg in the saddle of the ministry.
The big question now is, how well as he given back the goodies of governance to the society? This question, many would agree is a resounding MUCH!
To Obong Udo Ekpenyong, giving is a way of life which must be done simply and without much consultation and projection afterwards.
In Akwa Ibom state he has practically distinguished himself among government officials as a man with a very large heart yet simple and approachable. His office is an all times feasting plaza for NDITO irrespective of where one comes from. As at today, hundreds of Akwa Ibom persons are in one category of payroll or the other – including most Governor’s Aides who are yet have their appointments refreshed. He does this silently just to service the structure, hence creating the much talked about goodwill and human face to the government he is serving.
Need not mention the number of cars he has dashed out to people without caring a hoot about pulling publicity stunt, which has suddenly become the order of the day, and perhaps also becoming his latest undoing.
Should I also mention his numerous interventions in the education of many families and those in tertiary institutions. For the umpteen times, a full scale grants were given to students from Ukanafun extraction studying in tertiary institutions by this same man, yet the media wasn’t awash.
Independent finding has also revealed that, Udo Ekpenyong has singlehandedly built over 17 classic bungalows to the less privileged in his local government and about 8 to others within the state. Currently, he’s building houses in the rural areas to some persons (needless to mention here) as well as a Church in his hometown and another somewhere in Uyo.
Many of these have not been allowed to get to the media and this act of righteousness might today be counted as a minus to his well tailored philanthropic achievements. He might not be a media crazy public office holder, but surely he has positively touched hundreds of lives and committed to raising the next generation of millionaires not only in politics but in the corporate world.
Hon. Udo Ekpenyong is a Silent Achiever, and this shouldn’t be mistaken for anything!