The Honourable Minister for Niger Delta and former Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State, His Excellency Senator Godswill Akpabio is bereaved of his Sister, Minister Asuama Victoria Akpabio. The body of the bereaved will be laid to rest in Detroit Michigan, USA.
Earlier today, the Wife of the Minister, Her Excellency Mrs Ekaette-Unoma Akpabia joined family members and well-wishers of the late Minster at the Haley Funeral Home, Michigan, for lying in state ceremony.
Below is full Text of the Minister’s Funeral Tribute Message;
FUNERAL TRIBUTE TO A BELOVED SISTER, LATE MINISTER ASUAMA VICTORIA AKPABIO SYDNEY.
There are many glowing tales about our dear sister, but discussing her in past tense is indeed an agonizing experience. Her shocking and tragic death has etched a frightening spectre on our psyche and compels us to ask the recurring question, what is this life really worth?
Today, we are forced to say farewell to a dutiful mother, a diligent sister, a compassionate woman, a mentor like no other, a minister of the Gospel and a people’s person. But I am inclined to ask the same question a French novelist, Honore de Balzac asked, “What does farewell mean, if not death? But will death itself be a farewell?” How fair is this tragedy that has engulfed us?
Our late sister, Asuama Akpabio Syndey was a great woman. She was a woman whose life was in strict compliance with core values. Asuama also believed totally in the family and she never shirked taking actions that would enhance its image. Her role in the family had the trappings of moral rejuvenation as well as a stabilizing force. Her death is indeed a deficit that has foisted a yawning gap in the family.
Late Asuama was not someone who took anything for granted. When my wife, Her Excellency, Ekaette Unoma Akpabio as First Lady while I was governor of Akwa Ibom State, appointed her as Coordinator of her vibrant pet project, FAMILY LIFE ENHANCEMENT INITIATIVE, she brought capacity to bear on the job and delivered in full measure the vision of that organization. That organization left a legacy of many compassionate services ranging from medical interventions, provision of shelter and empowerment programmes. Her devotion, diligence and sincerity are still without parallel.
Late Asuama believed in service and considered delivering it with altruism to the people as the ultimate end of life. As a minister of the Gospel, she evangelized with her life and conduct. She chose to be a Christian with her life more than her lips. But she also ensured that anything that issued from her mouth was edifying and capable of glorifying God.
My late sister preferred to be unobtrusive. As a sister to a governor then, she never abused the privilege of that relationship. There is no record that she appropriated undue advantage to herself in all of the eight years I served as governor. She carried out all her assignments with all modesty and diligence and stoutly resisted exploiting the sentiments of being a close sister of the governor and confidant of the wife.
Yes, we can shed tears that she is gone or smile because she lived. Her life was a perfect example of life verging on the ideal. As recorded in Philippians 1:23, “For me to live in Christ, and to die is gain”. Our late sister lived in Christ and her gain is eternal life with God.
As humans, we wallow in grief from the pains of this tragic loss. But as Christians, we are consoled with the Scripture as recorded in Isaiah 15:8, “He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord will wipe away tears from off all faces”. God will certainly wipe away our tears and heal the searing pains of this loss.
To my dear sister, as you embark on this homeward journey, ride on the wings of angels for you lived a life deserving of a peaceful journey.
Adieu my dear sister, friend, confidant, ally, counselor and teacher of the Word.
Senator Dr Godswill Akpabio,
Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.