The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, CON has expressed profound grief over the death of former governor, His Excellency, Air Commodore (retired)Otuekong Idongesit Okon Nkanga, who died on the eve of 2020 Christmas.

Senator Akpabio who conveyed his sentiments through his Chief of Staff, Sir Etekamba Umoren stated that if it was money that was required to keep the former governor alive, he is sure the entire State would have contributed, adding that since God knows best, we must leave everything in His hands.

The Honourable Minister refreshed memories on how he made Nkanga while he(Akpabio) was governor, Chairman of Airport Development Project, noting that he is happy that through him (Nkanga) Akwa Ibom fulfilled the dream of owning an airport.

Senator Akpabio expressed gratitude to God for the working collaboration he had with the former governor in the realization of the airport in the State, stressing that like him, late Nkanga had love for the State, otherwise the dream of the airport would not have been a reality.

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Former governor, Senator Godswill Akpabio, also recalled how the late Nkanga served as Director-General of his reelection campaign and how they evolved a close working relationship, submitting that he and his wife, Her Excellency as well as the family are deeply touched by his unfortunate demise.

The Minister prayed God to console the family and grant family members and indeed the State, the fortitude to bear the loss.

Responding, the wife of the departed former governor said she remembers the efforts the late husband made in the emergence of Akpabio for a second term, stating that they are happy that the Minister has recognized those uniting efforts for that government and the administration. Mrs. Funmi Nkanga harped on “politics without bitterness” which she said was a virtue her husband upheld in politics, urging all to imbibe the virtue in different ways and stages in playing politics.

She charged Akwa Ibom people to love one another, irrespective of party, social strata and continue to do only those things that would move the State forward, recalling that the husband who stood for peace and togetherness, loved Akwa Ibom so much that he could do anything for Akwa Ibom’s progress.

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Funmi Nkanga concluded that she wants Akwa Ibom people to collectively and individually, irrespective of where they find themselves, look at the future of Akwa Ibom State and work together for the progress of the State.

Family members of late former governor, Ekan and Amanam Nkanga also spoke. Amanam who is a Special Adviser in the current administration, thanked Akpabio whom he referred to as his first boss, having served the latter while he was governor as Special Assistant. He said that Akpabio has shown that politics aside, relationship matters, adding that the visit is proof that even though their elder brother has stepped aside, the relationship continues.

The delegation had the Chief of Staff to the Minister, Sir Etekamba Umoren, the Interim Administrator of Niger Delta Development Commission, (NDDC), Barr. Effiong Akwa, the Leader of All Progressives Congress (APC) Caucus in Essien Udim Local Government Area, Arc. Ubokutom Nya, former Chairman of Eket Local Government Area, Hon. Aniekan Akpan and a host of other dignitaries.