As an introduction, infant Bassey Albert from Ibiono Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State was born in a very lowly family where wealth deserted him completely. Nevertheless, he arrived at birth with unusual signs of divine blessings to embark on a journey that would change his narratives to what has today brought pride to his family, state and indeed Nigeria. Of course, it is not new that great men in history rise from the insignificant background. Christ came in such fashion to rescue mankind.
OBA was not privileged like some. His father was neither a civil servant nor in the Police Force. He was into local carpentry, coincidentally again like that of Jesus’s father. From a humble start, he walked through a rough time to go through school and did what in most cases poor kids do, like going shoeless, shirtless around his vicinity and of course, experiencing hunger.
Nonetheless, he took to hard work early enough to liberate himself. We cannot compare his experience with the cosy barracks life some use as evidence of poor background to illustrate their grass-to-grace story. OBA has never used self-pity as a weapon to while up sentiments. He never used his poor background to curry public sympathy because of politics. Rather, he saw God’s grace in abundance even in a situation others saw as a disadvantage.
As a kid growing up, he was never intimidated to divert his sight from the purpose which he was destined to be – a charismatic servant-leader and benevolent man of great positive impact on humanity. He saw the picture ahead and accepted it won’t be a tea party to overcome challenges to cross over deprivation. So he faced every hurdle with courage and made intelligent choices.
Educationally, he knew early enough that given his poor background, education was his only hope to rise. And he rose without controversial issues concerning his credentials.
His credentials are not the affidavit, finetuned or forged. He obtained his qualifications from verifiable sources. One is the University of Uyo where he read Economics and the other added ones used for employment in the banking industry. He rose meritoriously to become vice president of a first-class bank, First City Monument Bank, FCMB at a very young age. And he left due to hot demand for him to become the commissioner of Finance under the administration of Chief Godswill Akpabio. And because of hard work, he served the longest in that seat so far in records of the state.
Presently, as a two-term senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, he is one of the most variant lawmakers and a valued asset in the National Assembly. Senator OBA has bagged very many awards and received numerous commendations including the special one from the President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, for his remarkable efforts in repositioning the oil and gas industry to increase transparency and improve revenue collection in the national, state and host community coffers.
He is always conscious of his humble beginning in whatever he does and how he relates with others from the lowly background. He believes great people can emanate from lowly places, so no one should despise the humble beginning of anyone. He is a good example. Though some who see his imposing popularity, attainment and influence never imagine his beginning. This testifies that he is a destined child who has overcome the odds by grace and hard work to be who he is today.
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Because he has seen how much God loves and blesses him, his governorship quest is not about himself, but about his passion to uplift people to make a difference between him and others in the seat. He has clearly stated that he is going to be the people’s governor who will govern as a servant-leader because he knows where the shoe pinches. This is the leadership model Akwa Ibom people deserve. That is why Akwa Ibom should support OBA as governor in 2023.
He is going to be a welfarist governor who will fight poverty with passion because he knows its fangs. And as a leader who rose from low birth, he cannot govern a state as rich as Akwa Ibom yet tolerate the citizens lamenting in need of basic life-sustaining necessities. Never!