Since Obong Nsima Ekere launched into the political landscape, his profile has continued to be on an upswing, with very unprecedented landmark achievements on all fronts.
Ekere’s current ambition to become the next Governor of Akwa Ibom, on the platform of the ruling party, All Progressives Congress, APC, come 2019, has been dubbed, by the grace of God, another feather on his cap of achievements.
An astute politician, Ekere’s profile has become so intimidating and very impressive that it will take the uninitiated in the polity to know exactly where he is coming from.
Little wonder, the entire political circuit in his state has been rooting for this man of cool mien and silent achievements, much to the amazement and endorsement of all stakeholders in the state and even beyond.
Even the opposition has suddenly become jittery and apprehensive over Ekere’s ambition because to them, it’s no longer fear of the unknown rather fear of the very known, given his antecedents in the public and private spaces.
Today, the fear of Nsima Ekere becoming the next Governor of the state has rapidly become the beginning of wisdom for every other contestant, including the incumbent. It is common knowledge that despite all the shenanigans and grandstanding to ruffle Ekere, the man seems not bothered and focused on the task ahead.
But, does Ekere entertain any fear about all these? No, as all arithmetic, math and permutations are pointing in one positive direction for the undisputed widely acclaimed man of the moment in the entire South-South geographical region of the country.
Many of the big wigs in the party have come to a consensus about his candidacy and eventual support for him to become the next occupant of the Government House in Uyo, the capital of Akwa Ibom State.
Maverick and illustrious, Nsima Ekere was born on May 29, 1965 in Ikot Oboroenyin, Edemaya Clan in Ikot Abasi Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.
He started his secondary education at Regina Coeli College, Essene, Ikot Abasi, and completed same at Mary Knoll College, Ogoja, Cross River State.
He had a brief but very exciting stint at The Polytechnic, Calabar, between 1981 and 1982, before proceeding to the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, where he graduated with B.Sc. Honours Degree in Estate Management in 1986.
He is a fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, FNIVS. He is also a registered member of Estate Surveyors and Valuers Registration Board of Nigeria, ESVRBN, a Senior Certified Valuer of the International Real Estate Institute, IREI, Minnesota, USA, and to boot, an associate member of the Institute of Revenues, Rating and Valuation, IRRV, London.
In 1989, the enterprising Ekere set up Gassons Nigeria Limited, an indigenous anti-corrosion, environmental, fabrication/maintenance engineering company.
Before joining politics, Ekere was the Principal Partner at Ekere and Associates, a firm of estate valuers and real estate development consultants with offices in Port Harcourt, Lagos, Abuja and Uyo, which he started in 1993.
He had sat on the board of the Voice of Nigeria (VON) and also served in various entities like Universal Energy Resources Limited, Anchor Insurance before emerging deputy governor of Akwa Ibom State.
Nsima’s political history:
Nsima Ekere’s active and very impressive political career began in December 1997, when he contested and won election into the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly during the Abacha Transition, on the platform of the then fledgling Grassroots Democratic Movement, GDM.
He wasn’t however inaugurated before Abacha died in June 1998 and that transition was truncated.
He then joined the PDP at the start of the General Abdulsalami Abubakar’s transition regime in 1998, and played a very active part in the politics of the state till he emerged deputy governor on May 29, 2011.
In March 2008, Ekere was appointed Executive Chairman of Akwa Ibom Investment & Industrial Promotion council (AKIIPOC), the investments and industrial promotions arm of the Akwa Ibom State Government.
He also served simultaneously and very meritoriously too as the Chairman of Ibom Power Company, the independent power generating company owned by Akwa Ibom State.
He was the leader of the G22, a group of 22 PDP governorship aspirants that protested the manner of conduct of the December 2014 PDP primaries.
He subsequently defected to the APC after some internal wrangling that bared its face in his gubernatorial ambition, a decision he took with an unusual calm and philosophical stead, even in the face of outright condemnation by his assumed cronies in the PDP fold of the state.
Nsima is married to Ese and has four children, who are doing greatly in life. Ese, Nsima’s beloved remains one of his pillars of support and he consistently dotes on his wife saying she’s the woman behind his achievements.
Until he threw his hat in the ring as an aspirant for the governorship of the Land of Promise state, Nsima Udo Ekere was and is the current Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and former Deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom State.
Without any ambiguity, Nsima Ekere is believed to be the APC’s preferred Akwa Ibom State candidate for the 2019 Governorship elections.
Ahead of 2019:
The momentum has grown since the much-talked-about defection to the APC of the former Governor of Akwa Ibom State and former Minority Leader of the 8th Senate, Elder Obong Godswill Akpabio.
For the record, Ekere’s big come back when he was appointed as the Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, was seen as being more than just a ‘job for the boys’, and he has since his coming on board performed creditably well, to further boost his governorship bid, which is fast becoming a sure bet, despite a stiff opposition from the incumbent governor.
Unapologetic and a loyal party man, Ekere is a political warrior, who was once at loggerheads with his principal, former Governor Godswill Akpabio over who would succeed him. However, he has now closed ranks with Akpabio, when the Senator openly admitted his mistake in settling for the incumbent governor, and the two have since been on a roller-coaster campaign to restore the lost glory of the state.
These and many more virtues are why Obong Nsima Ekere’s name is now on the lips of many genuine and thoughtful Akwa Ibomites who earnestly seek a better and more pro-active replacement for the incumbent governor, whose development and performance sheets are only on the pages of newspapers, radio and TV stations and of course the social media.
With the full backing of Senator Akpabio and other principal stakeholders in the politics of Akwa Ibom state, Nsima Ekere appears bound for the Government House of the state, come 2019.
The cap indeed fits him!