Citation on Distinguished Senator John James Akpanudoedehe, B.Sc; M. Sc; Ph. D; cert. In Leadership (Havard), read out by his SA Media and Publicity Mr. Ata Etuk, on the occasion of Senator Akpanudoedehe’s invitation to the Onyema Ugochukwu Auditorium of the University of Uyo, Uyo, on Thursday, May 4th 2017, as Guest Speaker, at the UNIVERSITY OF UYO ALUMNUS GUEST LECTURE.
Distinguished Senator John James Akpanudoedehe was born in Afaha Offot, in Uyo LGA of present day Akwa Ibom State, on Monday, November 10th 1960. He is the third son of his parents; and the third child of eight siblings.
His mother, Madam Grace Akpanudoedehe was a successful trader, while his father (Hon. James Akpanudoedehe) was an astute businessman, politician, and community leader.
It is probable that his father’s endeavours dictated those of his son’s, as the younger Akpanudoedehe forayed into the same. Apart from owning the thriving haulage and transportation business (Akamaosio Motors), the elder Akpanudoedehe had a robust political career.
He served as Chairman of the defunct National Party of Nigeria (NPN), in Uyo LGA; and later contested elections into the then Cross River State House of Assembly in 1999, which he lost to Chief Okokon Etuk.
He was later appointed into the Board of PAMOL Nig. Ltd, where he served for twelve years under the Chairmanship of future Head of the Nigerian Interim National Government, (Chief Ernest Shonekan); and then subsequently elected Supervisory Councillor for Finance, and later, for Works, in Uyo Local Government.
Senator John Akpanudoedehe enrolled in Jubilee Primary School, Aka Offot, Uyo, in 1969, for his primary education, and obtained his FSLC in 1974. He was then admitted into Holy Trinity College, Mbiakong, Uruan LGA, in 1975, for his secondary education; where he obtained his GCE in 1979.
In 1990, Senator Akpanudoedehe enrolled in the University of Uyo, and graduated with a B.Sc (Second-Class Upper) in Sociology/Anthropology, in 1994. He went on to obtain his M.Sc in Sociology of Development at the University of Calabar in 2007; and proceeded to secure his Ph.D in the same discipline (Sociology of Development) from the same University, in 2011.
He then added a Certificate in ‘Governance in Crisis’, which he obtained from the prestigious Harvard University, USA. Senator Akpanudoedehe began his working life as Sales Manager/Personal Assistant to the Chairman/MD of DAJUCOM Nig Ltd (Chief Dianabasi Umondak), who was not just his father’s bosom friend, but also a revered clergyman; a former Commissioner of Agriculture and Water Resources in the South Eastern State; and a political stalwart of the Second Republic era.
Senator Akpanudoedehe must have made such a good impression on his boss, as to dictate his boss considering him worthy of ordination as an Elder in his (the boss’) Christ Sanctified Church, in 1982. He benefitted from his boss’ strict missionary influence, until the latter’s death; when he struck out on his own, and established his own company John Silver Nig Limited, in which he serves as Managing Director and Executive Chairman, till date.
In 1996, when Senator Akpanudoedehe indicated his interest to contest for the Chairmanship of Uyo Local Government Area, he was dismissed by political stalwarts and elders of the era; his Clan; and even his Paramount Ruler (who entreated the then Military Administrator of the State to disqualify him).
Passion for a generational shift; an unmistakeable sense of direction; and something near to rock-solid confidence, must have emboldened Senator Akpanudoedehe to discountenance the views and permutations of the political elite of the time, who conspired to disqualify him five times, only for destiny to re-qualify him five times for the contest.
At the elections, Senator Akpanudoedehe defeated his opponents, and was elected into office. He became the youngest Chairman at 36 years of age; and in the capacity, was also: Head of Legislature in Uyo Local Government; as well as Chairman of the Peace and Security Committee of the Local Government.
Senator Akpanudoedehe resigned his position as Chairman in circumstances many people erroneously construed as being “controversial”, but which actually depict him as a very bold man, guided by solid principles.
He had (as Chairman) directed the closure and relocation of motor parks to a central area on account of their proliferation within the metropolis, and the attendant traffic problems they caused. But when his directive was countered by the then Military Administrator, in favour of one outfit (The Young Shall Grow Motors); and for reasons best known to the Administrator himself, Senator Akpanudoedehe rightly considered this as an affront on his authority, and resigned from office; only to be arrested by the Administrator.
But then, Senator Akpanudoedehe’s lawyer wrote a strong petition to General Sani Abacha (the then Head of State) who ordered for Senator Akpanudoedehe’s immediate release.
Senator Akpanudoedehe In 1997 won election as Senator for Uyo during the attempted return to democracy under General Sani Abacha. In 1999 he again ran for the Uyo Senatorial District on the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) platform, and was elected.
He held office until May 2003, after taking his seat in the Senate, Sen. Udoedehe was appointed to committees on Industry, Labour, Finance & Appropriation, Internal Affairs, Information, Privatization (chairman) and Government Affairs.
Akpan Udoedehe was Vice Chairman of the Campaign Organisation for election of Obong Victor Attah as Governor of Akwa Ibom State in 2003.
He was chairman of Godswill Akpabio’s successful campaign for Akwa Ibom governorship in 2006/2007. This made people often say that he made Senator Godswill the Governor of Akwa Ibom State.
He was appointed Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) by President Umaru Yar’Adua on 26 July 2007.
His Senate screening passed successfully despite opposition from party leaders in his state. He was relieved of his position on 29 October 2008 in a major cabinet shake-up.
In 2010 he had started campaigning to become the 2011 PDP candidate for governor of Akwa Ibom State. The Akwa Ibom Democratic Voice, a group led by Annang people loyal to the incumbent Governor Akpabio tried to prevent his political campaign in the Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District, pulling down his posters.
In June 2010 a former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Obong Victor Attah, endorsed Udoedehe as candidate, saying Akwa Ibom had become a failed state under Akpabio’s administration.
Senator John James Akpanudoedehe is has been a Reverend Pastor in the body of Christ Jesus.