Ekpenyong Ntekim, a lawyer and former governorship aspirant tries for the senate this time around. Segun James reports
In a world where there are no guarantees, life isn’t the same in the polity, especially at the National Assembly where many legislators are angling for a repeat performance and quality representation has been lacking. This is why the battle for who represents the people in 2019 has become very critical.
As the tempo continues to rise, the people have realised that only the best is good for them.
In Akwa Ibom State, the Eket Senatorial District may be reflecting this succinctly, hence only professionals are have indicated their interest to contest.
Enter, Ekpenyong Ntekim, a legal practitioner and businessman. To him, most of what is said about Nigerian politicians these days may be true or false, depending on the angle from which you are viewing things; and that is because politics is too complex and too diverse to be described by any blanket statement.
In 2014, Ntekim contested the state governorship primary
election under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He lost to the incumbent governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel.
Four years, after, he has shelved that ambition; the reason for this: if a man is doing the work he was elected to do creditably and qualitatively, then there is no need to seek another. To him, you don’t substitute a winning horse; that is what Governor Emanuel is.
Despite losing the primary, Ntekim, unlike many of his other contemporaries refused to decamp to another party; instead he remained loyal to PDP and the governor in the interest of the state. He has continually and consistently worked for the progress and growth of the party.
Ntekim’s decision to contest the Eket senatorial seat followed intense consultation with key stakeholders in the district under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP); he believes that the people of Eket Senatorial District are yearning for quality representation at the Senate to complement the works of the state government; he has come to fulfill that desire.
Ekpeyong Ntekim was born on August 22, 1956, in today’s Okobo local government area of Akwa Ibom State. He was educated at the famous Methodist Boys’ High School, Oron, where he obtained his WASC in 1974, Advanced Level papers in 1975 and the Higher School
Certificate in 1976. He obtained his LLB (Hons) degree in 1981 and was called to the bar the following year.
As a youth corps member, he served as State Counsel, Department ofPublic Prosecutions, Ministry of Justice, Akure, Ondo State (1982 -1983). But unlike many of his colleagues, immediately after his service year, he proceeded to Uyo to set up his own law firm. He became the first non-Ibibio person to set up law practice in Uyo.
However, because of his resourcefulness and knowledge, instead of seeking for jobs, the jobs come seeking him. He was soon appointed Deputy Company Secretary, Guinness Nigeria Plc between 1986 and 1991; and not surprisingly, he also served as Company Secretary to Guinness Farms Ltd and Emerald Trust Company Ltd.
Between 1992 and 1998, upon joining The Sanctuary, an Uyo-based law firm, he gained recognition and reputation as an outstanding lawyer.
He was elected Chairman, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Uyo, in 1995.
In July 2000, he became a member, Body of Benchers, Supreme Court of Nigeria. Subsequent recognition of his sound legal and leadership
standing led to his emergence as member, Council of Legal Education,
Nigerian Law School, Abuja; member, Akwa Ibom State Law Reform Commission, 1997 – 1999; and member, Akwa Ibom State Committee on Impact of the ICJ Judgment on Bakassi Peninsula, Uyo, 2008.
In between these, he was elected National President, Okobo Development Union (ODU) 1995 – 1997; Secretary, Akwa Ibom State University of Technology Appraisal Committee, Uyo (2007); and Director, Mercantile Bank of Nigeria Plc, Calabar (1989 – 1992) and later, a two-time Attorney-General of Akwa Ibom State and Commissioner for Justice.
He achieved his enviable pan-Akwa Ibom connections on the basis of his penchant for placing corporate interest above personal gain. As a true leader who believes in strengthening the structures of governance
even at personal pain, he twice turned down offers to be appointed a Commissioner, first by Navy Capt. Adeusi.
At a critical time when lawyers were trying to re-build the bar, he preferred to remain as the Chairman of NBA instead but nominated Chief Mike Akpabio for the post.
His second impressive gesture was during the time of Obong Victor Attah, when he was tipped again for the post of Commissioner, he declined it so as not to jeopardize the chances of a friend, Chief Peter Linus Umoh, whom he had introduced to Governor Attah for the Speakership position in the state House of Assembly in 1999.
Despite these selfless gestures, Ntekim has had the opportunity to serve as Director, Ibom Power Company Limited, Ikot Abasi; Director, Akwa Ibom Airport Company Limited, Okobo; and Director, Ibom Industrial City Company Limited, Mbo.
Ntekim believes that knowledge acquisition is a lifetime experience; hence he attended several seminars and workshops. He participated in the Nigerian Stock Exchange Effective Corporate Communications (The Secretary and The Company Administrators) training (1985); NBA Company Law Review Seminar (1987); Guinness Management Appreciation Course (1987); and Regional Seminar On Industrial Property, World Intellectual Property Organisation, Abuja (1987); the Dynamics of Law in a Rapidly Changing World, Commonwealth Law Association, Hong Kong, 2009; Conference on Globalization and the Law of the Sea, Marriott Metro Center, Washington, DC, 2010; and Use of Forensic Evidence in Trials, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom (2012).
A well-grounded professional and seasoned technocrat, Ntekim has satisfactorily paid his dues both as a business executive and a politician. In all, he had participated in over 40 local and international seminars and training programmes.
On the political front, between 1991 and 1993, he was the Treasurer, Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Akwa Ibom State before becoming the pioneer chairman of the PDP in Akwa Ibom State. He proved his mettle by leading the party to victory in 1999.
In a country where appointees and other office holders hardly resigned on principle, Ntekim became the first chairman of a ruling party in the south-eastern part of the country to resign due to irreconcilable differences with the governor in power at that time. A committed team
player and a thorough breed politician, Ntekim insists that with the sophistication and development going on in the polity, the people of Eket, nay, Akwa Ibom must endeavour to send only its first 11to the National Assembly.
He presents an invaluable experience having served as the State Chairman of the PDP; a two term Commissioner for Transport and Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice.
He was a former chairman of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) in the state where he set a standard which is still enduring today. He has also served as a board member of several companies across the country, Ntekim, believes that he has the experience that will add value to the people of Eket Senatorial District.
At every given opportunity Ekpenyong Ntekim has always demonstrated unimpaired soundness, undivided loyalty, and venerated devotion to the development of Akwa Ibom State.
Not surprisingly, he is never given to careless, wanton or ostentatious display of any kind. He is equally not given to disastrous rush to nowhere. Albeit, he demonstrates the moral courage to navigate and deliver on any assignment he embarks upon.
Ekpenyong Ntekim, is a politician from Okobo LGA, in Oron Federal Constituency, under Eket Senatorial District. The call on him to contest for Senate is supported by the dictate of competence he will be bringing to the job.
He is an astute politician, a political strategist and tactician, and a gentleman who enjoys the support of the people of Eket Senatorial District.