Bassey Albert: A Senator Imbued With a Great Sense of Stewardship and Patriotism

By Franklyn Isong

I have closely followed the activities of our National Assembly members and I am quite satisfied with a number of them, particularly the Senator representing Akwa Ibom North East Senatorial District (Uyo) and Chairman, Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream), Bassey Albert Akpan.

Apart from his sterling legislative performance on the floor of the Senate, he has impressively touched several lives across the State through his philanthropic gestures.

Suffice to say, a giver is a giver, no matter the situation s/he finds her/himself. A miser remains a miser whether living in financial affluence, controlling billions of dollars, pounds, and Naira.

Here’s a Senator with the heart of gold – like him or hate him – that remains an indisputable gospel truth. Notwithstanding that Yours truly has not benefited directly from his kind-hearted predilection, I know several beneficiaries of his, some of whom, are close to me and are doing greatly well in life today, courtesy the Senator.

But for confidentiality, I would have disclosed the identity of a Caddie who hails from Uruan local government area (Akwa Ibom North East Senatorial District) who sometimes carried my golf bag and clubs whenever I played Golf at Ibom Icon Hotel and Golf Resort, who is now gainfully employed in one of the top oil companies in Warri, Delta State through the effort of Senator Bassey Albert.

It is also worthy of note that on the 14th of October 2020, Senator Bassey Albert Akpan was duly recognized and awarded with honor as the ‘Most Outstanding Senator in Nigeria’ after various evaluation and assessments of his significant contributions to the Nigerian economy and national development via his legislative engagements and strong capacity in the exercise of his oversight functions in the Red Chamber. The event which featured other prominent Nigerians in their various field of endeavors took place at Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.

On March 11, 2021, Senator Bassey Albert celebrated with Mr. Celestine Obot Williams, who hails from Ini local government area (Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial District) over his re-instatement in the Nigeria Police Force and promotion to the rank of Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) through his (Senator’s) efforts.

For those who might not have followed this case, Celestine Williams joined the Police Force in the Lagos State Command in 1993 as a Constable. He was redeployed to Cross River State Command where he and a team from the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) were assigned to investigate and unravel the circumstances surrounding the death of a serving Commissioner in the State. They successfully carried out the assignment, arrested several suspects, and recovered arms and ammunition from them. But one of the suspects, who was highly placed and well connected, used his connections to deal with Williams and others. They were arrested, wrongfully detained for 11 months and, thereafter, dismissed from the Police Force without trial. In his travails, his wife and family members abandoned him. In 2016, he approached Senator Akpan with his pathetic case. Notwithstanding that Williams hails from a different senatorial district, the Senator took up the matter on the floor of the Nigerian Senate. The Senate investigated the matter and, thereafter, recommended Williams’ re-instatement and promotion to the rank equal to that of his mates in the Police Force. In May 2017, Mr. Williams was accordingly re-instated but not at his due rank. The Senator still did not give up the struggle until the Police Service Commission waded into the matter, concluded its investigation, and, in May 2020, Mr. Celestine Williams was promoted from the rank of Constable to Assistant Superintendent of Police, 21 years after his dismissal.

What a way to surmount a painful experience! All thanks to God for the humanity in Senator Akpan which brought justice to Williams, with adequate remedy to compensate for his losses and capped it with unending joy.

In December 2020, as part of Senator Albert’s efforts towards human capacity development, some youth and women were trained on barbing, hairdressing, and other skills in collaboration with the Small and Medium Scale Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN). The trainees were empowered with items, such as hairdryers, towel warmers, clippers, foot massage machines, electric thongs, etc, to help them find their feet in the quest to establish their choice businesses towards self-sufficiency.

From my findings, over 381 students in the 2019/2020 academic session are beneficiaries of his second batch scholarship programme which has so far recorded over 2,925 beneficiaries from inception. Over 520 physically-challenged persons were empowered in 2020 through training in various entrepreneurial skills and equipped with start-up capital while hundreds of youth and women were trained and financially empowered in agriculture and other entrepreneurial opportunities. 25 of his constituents were given cars, 30 got tricycles (Keke Napep), while 65 received motorcycles in December 2020. All these beneficiaries were selected based on a needs assessment carried out by a team of assessors.

Again, in April 27, 2021, he submitted a petition to the Nigerian Senate on behalf of his constituent, Mr. Ignatius Udom, against the Nigerian Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC) over the unlawful termination of his employment.

Udom was allegedly dismissed from the NMRC under the most spurious excuse that suggested his employment was embedded in the appointment of an erstwhile MD/CEO of the establishment, who retired in 2018. The petition has been referred to the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions.

This piece is yet another voyage in the discourse on the persona of the man – Bassey Albert Akpan – with bias on his service to humanity and contributions to the society.

He stands out amongst his colleagues and contemporaries in the Nigerian Senate in the service to mankind.

I am an Apostle of good governance and responsible leadership. I appreciate leaders that are passionate about humanity. I am always bias in favour of accountable leadership. It is ideal, therefore, to encourage good leaders who are performing dutifully by celebrating them devoid of sentiment.

Here’s a Senator imbued with a great sense of stewardship and patriotism. I commend him for regularly putting smiles on the faces of the downtrodden and the oppressed in Akwa Ibom State and Nigeria at large.

Distinguished Senator Bassey Albert may Almighty expands your horizons, kindly step out and take a bow for your good and commendable works for the society!

~Franklyn Isong is a public affairs commentator and conscience of the society.

Senator Bassey Albert decorating ASP Celestine Williams with his new rank.


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