When Law Professors Endorsed Effiong Bob
When the Guardian Newspaper in their 2020 Independence Day edition celebrated Effiong Bob as one of Nigeria`s most exemplary leaders with high integrity,… who has lived a life driven by passion for public service, the newspaper was not only re-echoing what the public knows but was reminding the nation that the goldfish indeed, has no hiding. The Guardian eulogy came on the heels of a similar seminal endorsement by legal scholars and luminaries led by Prof Ojeih and Prof Oniekoro, two of the cited professors in the Nigerian law school.
Whatever inspired over 40 law professors and commentators to commit their mental energies into a compendium in honour of Effiong Bob in 2014 is worthy of reflection but such is a snapshot of how the informed public perceives the distinguished leader. Cast in 47 chapters authored by some of the most sought after scholars, the book is expressed in 1081 loaded pages with over 500 legal citations, the book LAWMAKING, GOOD GOVERNANCE AND ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE IN NIGERIA is the gold standard, the largest and indeed the most authoritative work on the Nigerian Jurisprudence and public administration. According to Prof Gasiokwu, the Dean of Law of the Delta State University who wrote its foreword, the book is “a tapestry of kaleidoscopic legal opinions”. From the quality of legal ideas and isms embedded in the deeply researched chapters, one is tempted to conclude that apart from Bryan Garner`s Black`s Law Dictionary, no known publication commands the language of law like this compendium.
Published in 2014 by Ekidio Press, the book is divided into four sections namely, good governance, administration of justice, arbitration, and general contributions. This segmentation, according to the editors, was designed to reflect areas of Effiong Bob`s contributions to governance in Akwa Ibom state and Nigeria. In its preface, the editors while insisting that worthy people like Sen Effiong Bob should be celebrated during their lifetime, agreed with the age long adage that while some people are born great with their emergence announced by the gods even prior to their birth; others have greatness thrust on them by circumstances of their birth or affiliation; whilst others earn greatness by sheer hard work, determination and commitment in life. This book is just one of the deluge of honours bestowed on the distinguished leader which draws attention to his public acceptability – sort of a soft call on the honouree to serve again in a another capacity. While some pundits are pre-empting his next political moves and a possibility of his gunning for Akwa Ibom top job, Effiong Bob has rather maintained his signature calmness inspite promptings from community leaders and stalwarts whose calculation is that the former senator is best suited for the top job given his maturity, accessibility, generosity and excellence. While his admirers are praying for him to accept the challenge his admirers are still salivating over Godswill Akpabio’s comparison of Effiong Bob to afere-atama, an iconic Ibibio broth which gets sweeter as it ages.
The festschrift by over 50 law professors remains the single loudest endorsement for any political leader in Nigeria. May God use Sen Effiong Bob more in the service of Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria and the humanity.