|Hon. Bassey Albert|
When Francis Bacon intoned that “Some are born great, some achieve greatness ,some have greatness thrust upon them’’ he had Bassey Albert in mind. This assertion was further emphasized by the understanding that when a man is born, it is only in rare cases will he break through the barriers and convention of his age and send signal to the future. Almost almost in such cases, he will suffer persecution, for the world does not like to be jerked out of its comfortable patterns of privileges and power. However, to insist that providence must have ordained this conflation is to take nothing away from the man himself. His spacious, supple intelligence, his personal charm, his firm grasp of substance and symbol and nuance and his capacity for engagement and empathy, his unflappable disposition, his quiet self-confidence, his talent for organizing, plus that silky oratory that never fails to connect uplift and and inspire.
The name Obong Bassey Albert (OBA) needs no formal introduction in Akwa Ibom State. It has become the best selling brands in the annals of Nigerian political history. The Akwa Ibom born financial expert and immediate past commissioner for finance is known by all and sundry in Akwa Ibom state. His political dexterity and sagacity, his all-encompassing personality, in spite of his calm mien had already guaranteed him a large space in the hearts of Akwa Ibom people. This is evident in his overwhelming victory at the polls. In the euphoria of change, Obong Bassey Albert stepped into a new political arena as a Senator, howbeit with a differing song of ‘Change’. The 8th Senate did not know that Senator OBA’s addition to its fold will change the semantics of its members from the chest-beating ‘History and Pedigree’ to the contemporary axiom of ‘Brains and Vigor’, that, of course, had already been achieved for Nigeria.
Last December, at Christmas, Senator OBA displayed one of his signatures in the middle of a time that was unanimously described by Nigerians as ‘The worst Christmas ever’ OBA defied the yearnings of his personal treasury to supply gas free to the entire people of Uyo Senatorial District which he represents. This was indeed another show of extraordinary love for its people, and there is no doubt that Uyo Senatorial District has, for the first time, felt the impact of having a Senator, for George Bernard Shaw had noted that ‘One man who has a mind and knows it, can always beat ten men who haven’t and don’t’.
In recent times, the online media has become awash with senator OBA’S scholarship scheme for students of Uyo Senatorial District studying in tertiary institution. Due to the high level of chicaneries that is always the character of such magnanimity by politicians, some students developed cold feet. I visited the online blog, what I saw melted my heart. The blog is designed with a tincture of passion for service, I saw dedication and genuine commitment to the challenges confronting the Uyo Senatorial District, I saw an inspired sacrifice built on selfless service, I saw an icon reserved for request for assistance, I saw a sense of brotherhood built on genuine love. It is often said that every war has it turning point, the definitive turning point for the students of Uyo Senatorial District is having OBA in the senate, and like a fine wine, senator OBA will get better with more political responsibilities.
On online media, Senator OBA does not hide his passion for service to his people, you will see him taking out time in his busy schedule to post on his personal account, almost appealing to Uyo Senatorial students to apply for the scheme. He educates them on the proper passport to use and other regular filling of the form, while also assuring the defaulters that they will not be screened out based on that mistake.
With the above observation, it could be concluded that, the Senator representing Uyo Senatorial District has set the pace in empowerment in Akwa Ibom State, and has led the pack of other Senators in grass-root development and programmes. Akwa Ibom will be better off than this, if the other two Senators follow suit.
Paapa Akpan Esq.
Faculty of law
University of Uyo.