Call for Akpabio’s sack,
misplaced and infantile
Godswill Obot Akpabio Loyalists and Supporters (GOALS) are constrained to issue this statement after due consultations with the entire membership of this noble group across the Niger Delta region.
We view with very serious concern the needless and misplaced call by a highly compromised group; The Ijaw Youth Conference (IYC), for the sack of the incumbent Hon Minister for Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, by President Muhammadu Buhari.
For record purposes, the group, IYC, is not known for deftness and brilliance, but for restiveness, threats of violence and throwing tantrums that border on youthful exuberance.
We are therefore, not surprised by its call for the sack of Senator Akpabio as Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, simply because the cash cow of its corrupt paymasters, which is the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), is now being reformed.
Indeed, over the years, IYC leadership and some members have corruptly benefited by turning NDDC into an AT Machine for questionable contracts and free money.
Senator Akpabio understands who and what he is up against in a bid to reform the NDDC, as directed by Mr President, and would therefore, not be deterred by evil plots and sponsored petitions by corrupt leaders and youth groups in the region, knowing that he has the overwhelming support of his many loyalists and most Niger Deltans, who have remained at the receiving end of this endless rape of the region by selfish leaders over the years.
If the President of IYC, Eric Omare, had just a streak of convincing argument with which to support his call, he would have given at least, one strong example of how Senator Akpabio’s activities is causing instability in the region. Instead, he rambled along to expose his Council’s lazy, freeloading and parasitic dependence on the corruption ridden NDDC.
Let it be known to Omare and his strings of jobless youths that his misplaced outburst cannot stop the change agenda that President Buhari is now putting in place through the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs.
Reasonable and peaceful Niger Deltans, who desire growth and development commensurate with huge revenue and other resources flowing into the region do not place emphases on how long it takes to comprehensively audit and maximize efficiency in the NDDC. Rather, they want a paradigm shift consistent with President Buhari’s policies for the Niger Delta region.
Niger Deltans are very happy with the way Senator Akpabio has so far handled issues of the region. Therefore, IYC can neither dictate to President Buhari nor Senator Akpabio how oversight of a Commission in the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs must be done.
The Hon Minister has an admirable track record of uncommon transformation throughout his public service career and does not need any form of manipulation by IYC to succeed.
In Nigeria, it is common knowledge that NDDC, since inception, has been the cookie jar from which certain compulsively corrupt politicians, public servants and contractors steal funds in order to sustain themselves and settle their violence prone ethnic groups such as the IYC.
Given the overwhelming support by Niger Deltans for a forensic report, and the rousing welcome given to members of the NDDC Interim Management Committee, it is obvious that IYC is nothing but a sore thumb infested by corrupt, self aggrandizing and irresponsible persons who want nothing good for the region.
We are confident that members of the newly inaugurated Interim Management Committee are eminently qualified, specially selected and with capacities for timely delivery of the Presidential Order in lieu of a Senate confirmed NDDC Board of Directors and Commissioners.
Together with all other reasonable Niger Deltans and other Nigerians, we will not allow any corrupt politician or public servant to distract them from performing their core mandate, which is to temporarily manage the ÑDDC during the period that a Presidential Order for forensic audit is carried out.
We vehemently disagree with IYC and repudiate its insulting remark that Chief Ibanga Etang as Acting Executive Director of Finance and Administration, is to use the NDDC to promote personal aggrandizement of the Hon Minister.
Chief Ibanga Etang, in addition to being a tested and experienced administrator, is not new to Senator Akpabio’s uncommon transformation agenda. For this reason, we know that he is one of few honest and capable hands, who can deliver excellent results from the Presidential Order.
As ethnic bigots who are no more Niger Deltans than others, but have a false sense of dominion over the Niger Delta, IYC only knows to hatefully target Akwa Ibomites, for example, and that explains why the juvenile group cannot pick any particular offence against an Ijaw person, but resort to petitions writing against Akwa Ibomites
As “usual beneficiaries” of the N1.9 billion water hyacinth contracts who never lift a finger to execute any contract, IYC does not take kindly to any reform process that threatens the free flow of funds.
It is public knowledge that President Buhari is specially interested in unraveling and cleaning up the corruption cesspool that NDDC has become since inception and as Minister of Niger Delta Affairs with oversight authority over the NDDC, Senator Akpabio has a responsibility to effect Mr. President’s special interest.
We wonder why IYC is so worried about the forensic audit of NDDC if not for being “usual beneficiaries” of deep corruption that has plagued the Commission.
Calling for Senator Akpabio’s sack and for reversal of current NDDC reform processes is not only preposterous, but a mere tantrum that must be studiously ignored.
We call on IYC members to embrace Senator Akpabio’s inevitable transformation of the Niger Delta region and become responsible citizens who do not depend only on corrupt ethnic politicians for handouts.
Ijaw youths are not the only Niger Deltans. We are spread across the Nine oil producing states and they should never, in their wildest imaginations think they can lord it over other ethnic groups within the Niger Delta region, as such moves and plans would be vehemently resisted.
Allow Senator Akpabio and his team to deliver on their laudable plans for us , as ordered by Mr President for the good and benefit of Niger Deltans, not the wish of a misguided and paid splinter group of youths in the region.
Comrade Mfon Patrick