Godswill Akpabio | Fun Fact

Godswill Akpabio

Birth And Parenting


Godswill Akpabio is the son of Chief Obot Akpabio and Madam Lucy Obot Akpabio (née Inyangetor) of Ukana, Ikot Ntuen in Essien Udim Local Government Area. He was born on 9 December 1962. He lost his father to the cold hands of death early in life and was raised by his mother alone.




Akpabio attended the Methodist Primary School, Ukana, Essien Udim LGA, Akwa Ibom State, attended the Federal Government College, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, and also the University of Calabar, Cross River State, where he bagged a Degree in Law.


While at the Federal Government College, Port Harcourt, he was appointed the Senior Prefect due to his outstanding performance. At the University of Calabar, Akpabio was elected as the speaker of the parliamentary year.


Family and personal life


Akpabio’s grandfather, Okuku Udo Akpabio, was the Warrant Chief in Ikot Ekpene province. His uncle, Dr. I. U. Akpabio, was the Minister of Education/Internal Affairs in then Eastern Nigeria. Justice Nsima Akpabio, his cousin, was a senator in the Second Nigerian Republic.


Akpabio is a Christian of the Catholic faith. He is married to Ekaette Unoma Akpabio, the founder of Family Life Enhancement Initiative (FLEI), a non-governmental organization providing a platform for redirecting the focus of development efforts on the family as a strategy for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).


Akpabio and his wife are blessed with four beautiful daughters and a son to make a great family.


Godswill Akpabio

Career and employment


Akpabio had a brief time as a teacher and also as an associate partner with Paul Usoro and Co., a law firm in Nigeria.


He also worked with EMIS Telecoms Limited, a wireless telecommunications company in Lagos, Nigeria. In 2002, he occupied the position of the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the company. In this position, he helped in shaping the future of the burgeoning telecoms industry. He had earlier served as the National Publicity Secretary of the Association of Telecommunication Companies in Nigeria, (ATCOM), while a director of EMIS.


Appointments and politics


In 2002, Godswill was appointed Honourable Commissioner for Petroleum and Natural Resources by the then Governor Obong Victor Attah in Akwa Ibom State. Between 2002 and 2006, he served as a Commissioner in three key ministries: Petroleum and Natural Resources, Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, as well as Lands and Housing.


In 2006, he desired for the governorship of Akwa Ibom State in a contested primary election and defeated 57 other aspirants to emerge as the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). His campaign with the slogan, “Let God’s will be done” received mass support, and was elected Governor in 2007. He was re-elected for a second term in office as Governor of Akwa Ibom State in 2011 due to his outstanding performance as the Governor.


In 2013, he was elected Chairman of the newly formed PDP Governors Forum.


In 2015, he contested and won the Senate seat of the Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial District (Ikot Ekpene) to represent the district in the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria against all other contestants. Running under the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), he polled 422,009 of the 439,449 to defeat Chief Inibehe Okorie of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who recorded 15,152 votes to be declared elected by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).


Akpabio was nominated for the position of the Senate Minority Leader by the South-South caucus of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), approved by the caucus of the PDP in the Senate and announced by the Senate President as Senate Minority Leader on 28 July 2015. The PDP lost the majority to the All Progressives Congress (APC), in the 2015 general elections.


In August 2018, he resigned as the Senate Minority Leader, after he had announced his defection to the All Progressives Congress. His defection was marked by a Political rally in his hometown at the Ikot Ekpene township stadium, Akwa Ibom State.


In July 2019, he was nominated by President Muhammadu Buhari and screened by the Nigerian Senate for a Ministerial appointment. On 21 August 2019, he was sworn in as Minister for Niger Delta Affairs.


In June 2022, Akpabio resigned from his position as minister for Niger Delta Affairs to contest in the presidential primaries of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) but stepped down on the night of the primaries for the eventual winner Bola Tinubu. A few days after the presidential primaries, he emerged as the Senatorial candidate for Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial District. However, it was fraught with accusations of foul play by stakeholders of the party in the State. He went on to defeat his closest rival Emmanuel Enoidem of the Peoples Democratic Party to become the senator-elect in the 2023 general elections polling 115,401 votes, against Enoidem’s 69,838 votes.


On 13 June 2023, he was elected President of the Senate of Nigeria with 63 votes defeating Senator Abdulaziz Yari, a former Governor of Zamfara State who scored 46 votes. 


Honors Received By Senator Godswill


International Honors


The Congressional Certificate of Recognition of the United States Congress 


Africa Lifetime Achievement Prize awarded by Millennium Excellence Foundation in Kenya.


The Gold Humanitarian Services Award of the Republic of Niger 2008 was conferred on him by Niger’s Ambassador to Nigeria, His Excellency, Alhaji Moussa Ibrahim.


Exam Ethic Marshall 2009: Exam Ethic International, Ghana.


Best Governor, Infrastructure Development 2009: BEN Television, London.


Honorary citizen of the city of Georgia, New Jersey in the United States[50]

National honors


Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON).


Best Governor Infrastructure and Empowerment Award of the Central Bank of Nigeria (2012).


Most Prolific Governor by the National Councillors’ Forum.


Academic & professional honors


Doctorate of Management Science, Honoris Causa, Nigeria Defence Academy (2011)


Doctorate of Law, Honoris Causa, University of Nigeria, Nsukka (2010).


Doctorate of Law, Honoris Causa, University of Calabar, Calabar (2009).


Doctorate of Law, Honoris Causa, University of Uyo, Uyo (2009).


Doctorate of Public Administration (Honoris Causa), Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka (2009).


Doctorate of Management Science (Honoris Causa) Federal University of Technology, Owerri (2011).


Doctorate of Public Administration, Honoris Causa Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT), Enugu (2013).


Doctorate of Human Resource Management (Honoris Causa) Wesley University of Science and Technology, Ondo.


Honorary Fellow of Nigeria Society of Engineers (2010) 


Fellow, Kazaure Polytechnic, Kazaure (2008).


Fellow of the Yaba College of Technology, Yaba (2011).


Fellow of the College of Education, Bichi, and a host of others.


Most Education Friendly Governor in Nigeria (2008) by the National Parent-Teacher Association.


Best Booster Governor Award for Promoting Science, Technology, and Mathematics by the Science Teachers Association of Nigeria.


Goodwill Ambassador of the Nigerian Medical Association.


Media honors


Best Governor in Africa, Africa Development Magazine.


Governor of the Year 2012, Leadership (newspaper).

Man of the Year 2011, Sun (newspaper).


Best Governor in Nigeria and Outstanding Human Brand 2010: Billboard World.


Man of the Year 2010: National Daily Newspaper.


Governor of the Year 2010: Nigerian Tribune.


Best Governor Infrastructure 2009: Encomium Magazine.


Best Governor (South-South): Encomium Magazine.


Excellency Award as Best Governor South-South 2009: Global Excellence Magazine.


Alleged Criminal Record


Godswill Akpabio was under investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on accusations that he diverted over 100 billion Naira from Akwa Ibom State during his time as governor (2007-2015) with American diplomats calling the level of corruption “exceptional” during his tenure. However, no charges have been filed. A lawyer, Leo Ekpenyong who also accused Akpabio of corruption, was later arraigned by the police in court for defamation.

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