Friday, 3 June 2022

Akin Ricketts: Tribute To An Unsung Hero

Okorn Tabi Okorn | 3rd June 2022

 In our world of big names, curiously, our true heroes tend to be anonymous. In this life of illusion and quasi-illusion, the people of solid virtues who can be admired for something more substantial than his well-knownness often prove to be the unsung hero: the teacher, the nurse, the public servant, the hard worker at 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 him.

 They failed to see the true quality of leadership that I've seen in his person. 
 Nothing can be more axiomatic and befitting in describing Chief Akin Ricketts, than the words of Daniel Boorstin. In Cross River Central Senatorial District, Chief 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. 

Ricketts sits on a traditional stool as Obol Kepon of Aboni (The Head of a lineage in Ugep). Despite his many traditional and official portfolios, Chief Ricketts has remained a man in the neighbourhood.
One who has quietly built monuments and epitaphs in the hearts of many 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,  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 like 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 humanitarian par excellence. To him, Politics is a means to an end and not an end in itself.

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  Lecturers in CRUTECH UNICAL and other Federal Institutions. He has further influenced many Federal appointments to Cross Riverians in several MDAs across the country. A few months ago, he trained and empowered over 50 women in fashion design in the Central Senatorial District of the State.

Chief Ricketts had continually to carried out an empowerment programme for widows whether in Office or out of one.
 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. 

His love for human capital development led to his scholarship scheme for the vulnerable youths and children in Ugep, and later 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 senatorial District with over 100 motorcycles 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 proudly talking about Chief Akin Ricketts. I pride myself on 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 may have schemed him out of the Senatorial race, but to the ordinary people and the electorates, Chief Akin Ricketts remains an unsung hero.

Writes from the Border Community of Ajassor in Etung LGA.