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Abak LGA: Treading The Path Of Providence

 The parent local government of Abak Five, Abak Local Government Area had for long had its affairs determined by mediocres who only delivered mediocrity for governance. Apart from late Dr. Ime Sampson who presided over the affairs of the local government in the 70s and brought some development like electricity to the area, others have been mere occupants of the office of Chairman with the responsibility of that office duly abdicated. But the cheering news is that things are getting better. With Dr. (Barr.) Emmanuel Udosen, a performing Transition Chairman preparing to hand over to a humble, amiable unobtrusive and experienced politician of the ilk of Barr. Imoh Williams; a man who has made loyal service his creed, Abak is sure to sustain a continuum that would break permanently the jinxed and jaundiced leadership that had for long become an unfortunate tradition for the local government.

Elder (Barr.) Imoh Williams comes across as a thorough bred gentleman who enjoyed early inculcation of core values. The son of a consummate teacher, Barr. Imoh is an eloquent testimonial which posits that it is what you put in a today’s child that you reap in a tomorrow’s man. Some of the rarest attributes in our clime and which are in short supply across the bracket of our youths include patience, hard-work, long suffering, perseverance, humility and service orientation. It is difficult to find young people who have a combination of these attributes. Where they manage to have some, pride and ego combine to overwhelm and relegate them to redundancy. But not for Barrister Imoh Williams who seems to see these core values as the only assurance to ascendancy. It takes wisdom to build such insight and knowledge and fear of God to exercise them to the glory of His name.

The life of Barr. Imoh Williams is an interesting study of how the application of values can engender growth and self-development. One of the noticeable attributes of his life is the willingness to serve with total immersion in any responsibility that is assigned him. Between 1999 – 2003, he was special assistant and member of

Protocol unit, Abak Local Government Area. His orientation for service had fuelled his ambition to seek the councillorship of his Ward. The prevailing forces then scuttled that bid willfully. But a political stakeholder who noticed his zeal to serve invited him to work with him as a Personal Assistant. From that period, Barr. Imoh Williams became a recurring face in the politics of Abak serving in committees at local government and community levels.

Like a golden fish which has no hiding place, Barrister Imoh Williams’ service acumen was noticed by the member, representing Abak State Constituency who brought him on board as special assistant. He played that role with dedication/devotion from 2011 till 2017 when his ambition to serve on a more veritable platform was again fuelled.

Barrister Imoh’s quest to serve and his bourgeoning community spirit could also be captured in the plethora of organizations which he is passionately associated. Apart from being a member of the Nigerian Bar Association, Imoh is also a church Chairman, Qua Iboe Church, Ikot Akpabio, Abak Superintendency. He is Chapter Legal Adviser of PDP, Abak Chapter; State Legal Adviser, Akwa Ibom Consolidation Alliance (ACA); Secretary General, Ujo Afaha-Obong; Secretary General, Ikot Akpabio Solidarity Forum; National Legal Adviser, Samuel Bill Theological College Old Boys’ Association; Legal Adviser, Afaha-Obong Youth Congress and member, Divine Mandate Campaign Organization. His preponderance across groups, organization and communities illustrates him as a man with generous spirit and team player; attributes that would certainly leverage him as Council Chairman. 

Barr. Imoh Williams’ advent into the Chairman race was initially seen by many as a futile venture. But as something that has the trappings of providence, it has confounded pundits who saw him as a dark horse and gave him no chance. It is always in the gap between public perception and outcome that we find God’s will. Barrister Imoh Williams is therefore God’s will for Abak given the circumstance of his emergence.   

But it is a preponderant testimonial that God always makes something out of nothing to give it the force of miracle that he is known for. A cognitive example is Jesus who had to be born in a manger and yet ascended the throne to be the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords far above other kings who may have been born in affluent conditions. The case of Barr. Imoh Williams brings us to the fact that only God makes kings and He can make whoever he pleases. It has pleased God to make him the Chairman of Abak Local Government Area even when he was not in reckoning among the contending forces. He had no godfather but he had a God factor in Heaven.

The emergence of Barrister Williams should serve as a lesson to persons who seek position of leadership. The moral derivable from this is that they should seek the face of God and restrain themselves from desperation. Desperation can only lead to violence or illicit access to the office without God in it. What shall it profit a leader whose absence of God in his reign only prepares him for ignominy or destruction and an era his children can never be proud of. We must seek power for the purpose of using it to improve the human condition and advance society and not power for power sake. Power for power sake can only erode the value of the power and cast the holder of that instrument of power as ignoble. As William Shakespeare opined in one of his works, ‘public life is poorer when people choose power over purpose’.

For Barrister Imoh Williams, God has chosen him for a purpose. He will therefore not only fail man if he fails to rule Abak with the fear of God, he will indeed fail God WHOSE thought for Abak is a thought of good and not of evil. If evil besieges Abak, the people would blame him and not God for He has given unto his people the right person barring any change on his part. When people emerge in a manner as providential as that of Barrister Imoh Williams and Lady Benita Ukpe, they depend on God entirely for His divine guidance. To access this divine guidance, they must allow themselves to be guided by the fear of God. I have confidence that as an Elder of Qua Iboe Church, he would walk in the light of God and ably assisted by the Vice chairman whose piety for the things of God could be asserted as the only singular reason for her miraculous ascension.

It is safe to deduce that the plight of Abak people finally reached God and in His magnanimity, he did not want to limit His benevolence to restoration, He began to consider Abak for reward to make for the lost or locust years. It is what can subsist as possible explanation for the blessing of two great leaders in a quick succession chain, one coming immediately after the other. We must, as a people, continue to be fervent in prayers that God should henceforth bless us with quality leaders.

Barrister Imoh Williams was born in 1974. He attended St. Andrews’ (RCM) School, Ikwek, Afaha-Obong. He proceeded to Samuel Bill Theological College, Abak, where he graduated in 1990. Between 1993 – 1996, he was in the University of Jos, where he obtained a diploma in Law. In 2002, he joined the University of Uyo and finished in 2007 with an LLB. Between 2008 – 2009, he was in Law School. He is currently doing an LLM programme in the University of Calabar. Nothing refines like knowledge, education and the fear of God. With these in Imoh Williams’ kitty, we cannot expect anything less than a benchmark in local government administration in his era. He looks very well prepared for that. As he himself put it during a conversation with yours truly: “At least I have where to stay, I will therefore not be desperate to build a house. I want to serve in a manner that the difference would be distinguishable”. We can pray and believe that he would walk the talk when the time comes. 

The Peoples Democratic Party is fielding Elder Imoh Williams and Lady Benita Ukpe as Chairman and Vice Chairman candidates respectively for the December 2, 2017 local government election. The party and the candidates are consulting and campaigning vigorously across wards. Abak being a PDP local government, the landlords are set to sweep the polls in the upcoming election.

Joe Iniodu is a public affairs analyst.

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