A tribute to Akin Ricketts
By Klem Ikoi
“In our world of big names, curiously, our true heroes tend to be anonymous. In this life of illusion and quasi-illusion, a person of solid virtues who can be admired for something more substantial than his well-knownness often proves to be the unsung hero: the teacher, the nurse, the public servant, the hard worker at the lonely, highly underpaid, unglamorous, unpublicized job” – Daniel Boorstin.
I chose to intentionally write this piece after the APC Central Senatorial Primary Election, as writing this before the primary, may be misconstrued by many as a work of a Political jobber or attention seeker. This is not to say that I didn’t anticipate a victory for Chief Akin Ricketts in the just concluded election, I am only bemused that the APC delegates failed to see what I’ve seen in Akin Ricketts. They failed to see the true quality of leadership that I’ve seen in him. Nothing can be more axiomatic and befitting in describing Chief Akin Ricketts, than the words of Daniel Boorstin. In Cross River Central Senatorial District, Akin Ricketts is one of our foremost unsung heroes.
Though born into a royal family in Ugep, Yakurr Local Government Area, Chief Akin Ricketts has consciously remained self-effacing. He is also the Obol Kepon of Aboni (the Head of a lineage in Ugep). Despite his many portfolios but traditionally and Officially, he has quietly built monuments and epitaphs in the hearts of men with his good deeds, yet these deeds remain unsung. In all ramifications, Chief Akin Ricketts is a shining star and a gift to Cross River State, especially Central Senatorial District. He is as constant as the Northern Star in quality, character and panache. A man of integrity and stellar qualities, whose integrity saw him through the turbulent and murky waters of conspiracy against his person by Political detractors.
Chief Akin Ricketts was appointed the head of a grade A Federal Board–the Nigerian Port Authority Precisely. Due to his level of integrity, he was conspired against, petitioned and removed but was reappointed by the same administration a few months later, after a series of an intensive audits. His reappointment is a testament to the fact that his level of integrity is uncompromising. For a nation as ours, it is near impossible to see a Public Office holder removed and reappointed without any form of indictment, but for Chief Akin Ricketts, integrity is everything. He is a humanitarian par excellence. To him, Politics is a means to an end, not an end itself.
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I enthusiastically followed the APC Central Senatorial primary because of Chief Akin Ricketts’ aspiration. I had expected the delegates to look beyond cabalistic sentiment and elect a pacesetter like Akin Ricketts as their Candidate. Amongst the array of men that indicated Interest in the Senatorial race, Akin Ricketts remains unrivalled.
As an individual and an Appointee of Government, Chief Akin Ricketts facilitated and completed 5 Roads in Yakurr, 3 Roads in Obubra, and 2 Roads in ABI Local Government. He has influenced the appointment of 6 Lecturers in CRUTECH and 3 in UNICAL. He has influenced and offered many Federal appointments to Cross Riverians. A few months ago, he trained and empowered over 50 women in fashion design across Central Senatorial District.
He has continued to carry out an empowerment programme for widows. The first batch of his empowerment saw him empowering over 1000 widows across the Senatorial District. The second and third batch was the empowerment of over 150 and 350 widows respectively.
Chief Akin Ricketts has offered scholarship opportunities to many students from Central Senatorial District. To his credit, over 30 University Students are currently under his scholarship Scheme while over 50 Secondary School Students are currently enjoying the same scholarship opportunity. As a way of creating employment opportunities, Chief Akin Rickett empowered Youths of Central SenatoriaI District with over 100 bikes. For the women, he empowered over 100 women with Sewing machines.
If there’s any leader in Cross River State that has consciously impacted the lives of Cross Riverians, yet refused to blow his own trumpet, Chief Akin Ricketts is the one. As the current Chairman of Nigeria Port Authority, Chief Akin Ricketts has opened a new frontier for employment for qualified Cross Riverians and Nigerians at large. As a young man from Central Senatorial District, I am proud to talk about Chief Akin Rickett. I pride myself in the fact that he has epitomized a modest form of philanthropy and service to humanity.
Conclusively, I want to assure Chief Akin Ricketts that he has the love and support of well-meaning Cross Riverians as his deeds are forever evergreen. The APC cabal may have schemed him out of the Senatorial race, but to the ordinary people and the electorates, Chief Akin Ricketts is our unsung hero. May the odds favour him forever.
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