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By Kingsley Okoye
Abuja: Sen. Godswill Akpabio (APC-Akwa Ibom) has been sworn in as the Senate President of 10th National Assembly after he was elected by the Senators-elect in Abuja.
Akpabio, who represents North West at the national assembly, scored 63 votes to beat his rival, Sen. Abdulaziz Yari who polled 46 votes in the election.
Sen. Barau Jubrin (APC-Kano) was also elected as the Deputy Senate President.
Akpabio was born on Dec. 9, 1962 to the family of Chief Obot Akpabio and Madam Lucy Obot Akpabio (née Inyangetor) of Ukana, Ikot Ntuen in Essien Udim Local Government Area (LGA) of Akwa Ibom.
He did his primary education at Methodist Primary School, Ukana and had his secondary education at the Federal Government College, Port Harcourt, after which he gained admission to study law at the University of Calabar and graduated in 1987.
Akpabio completed his law school studies at the Lagos Law School in 1988 and was subsequently called to the Nigerian Bar.
After he was called to the bar, he worked briefly as a teacher and also as an associate partner with Paul Usoro and Co., a leading law firm in Nigeria.
He also worked with EMIS Telecoms Limited, a pioneer fixed wireless telecommunications company in Lagos.
In 2002, he rose to the position of the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the company. While still in the Telecoms industry working as a Director at EMIS, Akpabio, served as the National Publicity Secretary of the Association of Telecommunication Companies in Nigeria, (ATCOM).
In 2002, Akpabio was appointed as Akwa Ibom state’s Commissioner for Petroleum and Natural Resources and later Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs.
In 2006 he was appointed as the Commissioner for Lands and Housing.
In April 2007, he contested for the state governorship seat on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and was successful.
In the 2011, Akpabio contested for a second term and was successfully re-elected as the governor of Akwa Ibom.
In 2015, he contested for the Awka Ibom North West Senate Seat and won on the PDP Platform.
He was the minority leader of the 8th Senate. Akpabio was the Minister of Niger-Delta Affairs in the immediate past administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari.
He is a recipient of the Nigerian National Honour of the Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON).
He holds several international, media and academic awards.