One of the splendid literarium quotes of an American historian, Aberjhan is that “Democracy is not simply a license to indulge individual whims and proclivities. It is also holding oneself accountable to some reasonable degree for the conditions of peace and chaos that impact the lives of those who inhabit one’s beloved extended community.”
Over the years as Senator representing Akwa Ibom North East Senatorial District, Obong Bassey Albert Akpan has unquestionably been one of the few political representatives in Nigeria who delightfully stands in the gap to illuminate big goofy smiles on the faces of his constitutes .
One of the Senator’s numerous kind gestures became a turning point in the life of Celestine Obot Williams, a man who was forced to lick the down parts of life for over two decades after being wrongfully dismissed from the Nigeria Police for undisclosed offence.
According to Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) report, Celestine Obot Williams joined the Nigeria Police Force in 1993 and was opportune to serve at the Cross River State command. His tragic journey began when he was assigned to a team of the State Criminal Investigation Department (CID), which where detailed to investigate the death of a commissioner in the state. The team succeeded in carrying out the task efficiently by recovering arms and arraigning the suspects who were involved in the gruesome murder of the state Executive Council member.
The successful operation was however hindered when one of the suspects who was highly placed used his connections to subvert the outcome of the investigation. Surprisingly, Celestine and his team members were detained for eleven months. They were later dismissed from the force without trial.
This unfortunate incident became a toil of flesh to Mr Celestine Williams, as his wife, family members and friends neglected him to the cold feet of life. His traumatic experiences for over 21 years must have carved a dark hole in his heart but with iota of courage and faith in God, Mr Williams made a concrete steps to seek justice. His optimistic moves toward scuffling his life dilemma made him approach the man at the red Chamber.
In 2016, Mr Celestine Williams sought the intervention of the Senate through, Senator Bassey Albert, popularly called OBA. His political will to serve humanity made the Senator to instinctively present Williams’ petition to the Senate without hesitation.
The efforts of Obong Bassey Albert was brought to fruition when the Senate recommended the re-instatement and promotion of Celestine Williams to the commensurate rank of ASP (Assistant Superintendent of Police) after duly investigating the case. Similarly, the Nigerian Police Force also did their investigation and approved the re-instatement of Williams in May, 2017 ( NTA reports).
It was a double breakthrough for Celestine Williams as he got reinstated into the force as well as got promoted to the rank of ASP as recommended by the Senate. Senator Bassey Albert was given the honour to decorate the reinstated officer to his rightful position in the force.
Capturing his words after his triumph over the injustice, Williams expressed a heartfelt gratitude to God and also thanked Senator Bassey Albert for facilitating his petition and also making sure justice was served.
Celestine Williams’ life story forms one of the thousand life stories the distinguished Senator Bassey Albert has secretly touched over the years. He has broken countless records through his benevolent gestures towards his people and his excellent display of sterling leadership qualities are also seen in his line of duty of representation.
Incontrovertibly, OBA’s effective legislator’s creed is also his ability to organize and carry out laudable programmes that have touched lives on many fronts. The impact of the Senator’s stewardship include educational scholarship, trade and investment opportunities, empowerment of market women and youths, donation of financial assistance and vehicles for private and transport purposes, employment placement, among others. His resilient attitude also reflect in his legislative engagements where he makes people’s oriented bills and motions to improve the standard of living of indigents locally and nationally.
Being a man who had once sniffed the phase of a humble beginning, he doesn’t hesitate to stretch out his golden scepter of favour to lubricates the hearts of the downtrodden. His passion towards serving humanity is a driving force for his immense generosity to his constituency.
Just in the words of former American President, Mr Barack Obama, “In the face of impossible odds, people who love this country can change it.” This echo of words have reflected in the lifestyle of OBA who, over the years, have stood firm in liberating people from the phases of despair despite the alarming rates of havoc in Nigeria.
… Mercy Obot, a journalist and public commentator, writes from Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.