If there was ever any doubt anywhere about the capacity of the new face in Ikono seat of power in the person of Hon. Kingsley Elijah Akpan who was sworn into office a fortnight ago as Chairman, Ikono Local Government Transition Committee, by the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Pastor Umo Eno, the diligent steps the Ibesikpo Ikot Udo-born geologist turned politician has taken so far, has cleared such seeming doubts and acquitted him as one that came prepared for governance. Truly, his, has been the case of “when opportunity meets preparation”.

Conscious of the fact that the best way to avert disastrous collapse in the process of building one’s house is getting it right at the foundational level, Hon. Akpan has been very deliberate about setting his administration on the foundation of peace and unity.

He believes that regardless of how lofty the plans he has for the people of Ikono may be, if the people are not united, achieving meaningful and all-round development will remain a mirage.

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That’s why, for him, adopting Gov. Umo Eno’s peace-building approach to governance remains the surest roadmap to building enduring legacies and attracting development to Ikono, and he seems poised entrenching that in the polity of the area under his stewardship.

Akpan, is so sold out to Gov Eno’s leadership ideology that soon after taking oath of office and administering same to his teammates in the Transition Committee on 7th December 2023, the next day he started the process of reaching out to critical stakeholders in Ikono project regardless of political leanings with his “Come let’s build Ikono together”, plea.

So far, he has made consultative visit to the likes of Sir S.U Akpan, Senator Alloysious Etok, Sir Victor Etefia, Hon. Itoro Columba, Rt. Hon Iboro Ekanem, Barr Goddy Umoh, Mr. Moses Essien, Rt. Hon. Victor Udofia, Chief Moses Akpan, Barr. Ekemini Uba, Mr. Inem Inyangette, Dr Martins Akpan, Dr. Unyime Akpan, just to mention a few. And he’s still on that journey.

Administrative wise, Hon. Kingsley Akpan has demonstrated strong leadership acumen by seeking to first understanding what the problems are in order to know how to tackle them.

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Shortly after formally taking over from his immediate predecessor as well as holding his first official meeting with members of the Transition Committee on 13th December 2023 at the Council Headquarters, Ibiaku Ntok Okpo, Ikono LGA, the next assignment the Chairman embarked on with his team was a holistic inspection tour of facilities within the Council premises.

In that tour, the Chairman went round office by office, block by block seeing things for himself firsthand and taking notes accordingly.

He did not just stop at the office blocks but he led his team members to trek kilometers to where the Security Village is located to see things for himself – the good, the bad and the ugly.

At the Security Village, the Chairman felt disappointed at the level the multibillion naira investment has been allowed to rot away against the original purpose the place was to serve.

Moved by what he saw, the Chairman, Hon. Kingsley Akpan penciled down the renovation of the Security Village as one of the first projects his administration will embark on to ensure he and his team move into the Villa as soon as possible.

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In a move to foster a cordial working relationship with members of staff in the Council, so far, Hon. Kingsley Akpan has met with Management Staff and all the Principal officers in the Council to know what their challenges are and how to possibly intervene.

The Chairman has also had fruitful engagement with members of Nigerian Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Ikono Chapter, extracting the commitment of the Union to work in harmony.

With the open door policy that the new Ikono Chairman has maintained in reporting for duties at the Council and attending to both official matters and that of groups and individuals most time late into the night without complaining shows that this Chairman came prepared.

Augustine Akpan writes from Ikono