WHO’S WHO IN PDP: OBONG PAUL EKPO – CHAIRMAN OF PDP CHAIRMEN IN NIGERIA
Obong Paul Ekpo was born on 18th November 1969, to the family of Chief Asuquo Ekpo of Nkana Village in Iman Ibom clan of Etinan Local Government Area. He started his primary education in 1974; attended the UNA Primary School, Etinan; sat for and passed the First School Leaving Certificate Examination in 1981.
Between 1982 and 1987, he successfully had his secondary education at the Apostolic Church Secondary School, Ikot Oku Nsit, in Nsit Ibom Local Government Area. In 1987, he proceeded to the University of Uyo for further studies and in 1993 bagged a B.Sc in Political Science and Public Administration. Thereafter, he proceeded to Lagos State, where he did his National Service Corp serving at the Deaveraux Investment Ltd between 1994 and 1995.
He had also worked at the Federal Character Commission, Abuja, as an Administrative Officer from 1999 to 2000. By 2002, he had moved to Nigeria Export-Import Bank, where he served as Head, Administration and Properties.
Obong Paul Ekpo had attended several professional courses and had training in many areas including information and communication technology, human resource and material management, conflict management, and export financing, all in a bid to sharpen his skills in today’s challenging and competitive world.
In 2004, he attended “Credits for Small Exporters and AADFI Agro-Allied Enterprises” in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. He also has professional affiliations with the Nigerian Institute of Management, and the Political Science Association of Nigeria.
Politically, he is a founding member of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. He had variously served as a national member of the political committee of the Mboho Mkparawa Ibiblo; Special Adviser (political) of Akwa Ibom Community, Abuja; Special Adviser (political) of Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio, Abuja; and Director of Social, Akwa Ibom Community, Abuja from 2002 to 2004. For Akwa Ibom Professionals in Abuja, he was their Director of Welfare in 2004.
Also, apart from serving as a protocol member of the Godswill Akpabio Campaign Committee in Abuja, Obong Ekpo had been the Chapter Coordinator of the AKPF (Etinan Chapter) in 2006, and the National President of the Akwa Ibom Grassroot Mandate, AGM, in Abuja.
In August 2007, His Excellency, Chief Godswill Akpabio, appointed him as the Honourable Commissioner for Commerce and Industry and by July 2008, he was re-assigned to Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs. Also, in the July 2009 Cabinet reshuffle in which few commissioners were dropped, some new ones appointed, and few re-assigned to other ministries, Obong Paul Ekpo was still retained by the Governor as Honourable Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, a development many attributed to Obong Ekpo’s loyalty, forthrightness, accountability, dedication to duty, and skill in handling the royal fathers, the Local Government Chairmen, and the Councilors.
As the PDP State Chairman, Obong Paul has amply demonstrated that he is a square peg in a square hole. The steadfastness and diligence he brought to bear on the management of the party, the courage he consistently displayed, and his ability to continually stir up the belief and commitment of the party members, rallied the entire PDP family in the State round the Divine Mandate of Mr. Udom Emmanuel as one strong, invincible and formidable team. All these political energies culminated in electoral victory not only for the governor, but also for all Akwa Ibom representatives at the National Assembly and more than 99 percent of the representatives in the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly.
Right from the nomination of candidates for the 2015 General Elections through the campaigns to the voting and legal contests that followed at the Election Tribunals, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court, Obong Ekpo proved that he was a master mobilizer, a convincing leader, and a political bulldozer. The opposition was too weak to match the strength of the Peoples Democratic Party and the resolve of the Akwa Ibom people to defend their mandate which the Supreme Court eventually upheld and confirmed in February 2016. Presently, he is the Chairman of all PDP Chairmen in Nigeria. This position was not given to him on a platter of gold but as a result of his ability to galvanize and bring together leaders of the party at both state and national to work together for the sucess and progress of the Peoples Democratic Party in Nigeria.
In recognition of his political wisdom and numerous contributions to the growth and unity of our State and country the Chairman, State Council of Chiefs (2008/2009) and Paramount Ruler of Etinan, on recommendation of the State Advisory Council, had earlier conferred on Obong Ekpo the chieftaincy title of Eduek Akwa Ibom. He also holds other titles such as Obong Emem Offot Ukwa, Obong Unwana Nsit Ubium, and Iberedem Abak, among others.
Also in recognition of his contributions in humanitarian services, he was appointed National Patron of Rescue and Safety Volunteers of Nigeria International. Furthermore, in recognition of his outstanding support for the course of women, youths and leadership, he had been appointed Patron of National Association of Women and Youth Vanguard Initiative. The Correspondents’ Chapel, Nigeria Union of Journalists, Akwa Ibom State Council, had also given him a number of awards including Service Award on Community Development.
A happily married man with blossoming children, Obong Ekpo has politics, travelling, reading, and humanitarian services, as his hobbies.