GEN EA AKPAN: PERHAPS IT WOULDN’T HAVE COME NOW – Samuel Edet, Ph.D
Peace and security happen to be the panacea for development. It is on record that an administration in this state promised one industrial concern in each of the thirty one local government areas of Akwa Ibom State. For all of eight years, not one was delivered! That was because the state was, at that time, a hot bed of insecurity. Kidnapping was rife, politically motivated killings, armed robbery, child theft and all sorts of violent crimes. No sane investor or businessman would want to do business under such an atmosphere.
However, with the coming of Governor Udom Emmanuel, peace and security returned to the State. In fact, the State is rated one of the most peaceful states to do business in Nigeria. Therefore, in just about five years, the Udom Emmanuel administration has brought about sixteen industrial concerns to the State and the counting is still going on. This tends to prove Paul Harris, the founder of Rotary right when he said; “the greatest resource which a nation can have is the resource of peace; it counts for more than arable lands, more than mines of untold riches”.
Unfortunately, it was during those dark days of insecurity that General Edet Adam Akpan FITD,Fss,mni,Dss was kidnapped by the evil men of that infamous era. A man who had risen to the high echelon of the Nigerian military, a man who had joined hands with others to fight for the creation of Akwa Ibom State, a man who had contributed his quota for the development of the state – that man was manhandled by a group of riffraff, taken to a cubby hole of a place, made to suffer severe humiliation without food and change of clothes.
That singular incident dampened the General’s spirit and morale. Probably in his thinking, “if I had put in a better part of my productive life in the service of my people and the same people did this to me, it is very unfortunate and maybe regrettable”. Consequently, he removed himself from public glare and remained rather inactive since 2010. That is what that singular act caused him and probably, also caused the state.
In the military, people are trained to withstand hardship. Maybe if he had not been a trained military man, he would have died earlier than now. Perhaps, if that incident had not occurred, General AE Akpan would have still been alive and kicking and assisting in the development processes of the state. After all, older and less privileged persons are still alive!
It is time for us to rededicate ourselves to peace building in Akwa Ibom State. Let us join hands with Governor Udom Emmanuel to secure the state by doing everything possible to avoid its relapse into those dark days. According to Charles Keller, a one time President of Rotary International; “if we do not find the path to peace, whatever else we do will not make much difference”. We should consistently seek the path of peace and security, and all other things shall be added unto us.
Adieu General EA Akpan. May your death be a wake up call for all to seek peace and security so that in the end, you wouldn’t have died in vain.