Attracted by his uncommon manifestations of leadership as Governor of Akwa Ibom State, where he literarily turned the state to a fascinating reference of infrastructural valour, so utilized was the resources of the oil-rich state that accolades, awards and pleasurable reviews greeted Godswill Akpabio. It was this resounding governance template that got President Muhammadu Buhari’s attention and in no time, machinery was put in place to have the man integrated into his next level government- little did Buhari knew that he was bringing a man that would stain his administration with insatiable greed.
If what is coming out from the ongoing probe of the Niger Delta Development Agency is anything to go by, we can conveniently say that president Buhari has entered a next level of once chance – with Akpabio as the head driver!
What would have moved Senator Akpabio to be enmeshed in this infamous heist? Is he a victim of manipulation or powerplay? I still can’t wrap my head around the damning revelations that the uncommon man superintends over this mess at the Niger Delta Development Commission. If this man could cave in to the weight of the debauchery at the NDDC – a place he was wholeheartedly called upon to come salvage, then we should forget any form of redeeming light for the devastated oil-rich region of Niger Delta.
A former governor, senator and now minister aptly suits the profile of a real driver of change and total emancipation of the Niger Delta, Alas! He seems at the forefront of its ruination following the filth in the NDDC.
How can such a trusted man that was a darling reference amongst governors suddenly become a stutterer in the circle of former colleagues? It was a pitiable Akpabio at the mercy of lawmakers meandering in embarrassing gibberish. So harassed was he that he kept talking and talking incongruently – a once vibrant and eloquent speaker now drawn in whispers and incoherent mumbles, for his mind, has been corrupted and his tongue stitched. Such a fall of a man given a shinning crown of greatness.
He hasn’t only betrayed his good name but the painful memories of Isaac Boro and Ken Saro Wiwa. Poor Ken who gave his life for the people of Niger Delta would be weeping and tossing in excruciating agony in his grave. Those who ought to make his heavenly abode a resting place has desecrated his honour and the pen warrior and hero live half dead in anguish. The people of the Niger Delta are worse than he was alive.
Senator Akpabio may not be guilty of the fraud at the NDDC but he lays his integrity for all these to happen under his watch. President Muhammadu Buhari defied all odds to entrust the whole of Niger Delta to him, as such, it becomes Senator Akpabio’s responsibility to ensure the vision of the president for the region is achieved. Like unwilling lieutenants that abound in Buhari’s government, Akpabio left everything to fate, cronyism and laxity as the NDDC became a cesspit of corruption. Mr Festus Keyamo should thank his God that he was edged out of the ministry, otherwise, he would have been in the room of this embarrassing situation where a few people ‘barbaricly’ cornered what was meant for the development of their region into personal use.
Akpabio and companions hold every citizen of Niger Delta huge apologies, they haven’t only betrayed their people but have impoverished them silly. It’s sickening to witness this display of shame. imagine this
The blow by blow accounts by both former and current Acting Managing Director of the NDDC Ms Joy Nunieh and Professor Keme Pondei have not just chilling but gory rot in the commission.
Conclusively, Senator Godswill Akpabio is in the eyes of the storm, he has a heavy burden on his shoulders, his integrity is at stake, and everything at the NDDC under him is in ruins as Buhari looks in forlorn the fate of the man he thought was the right driver of his next-level agenda. For now, it is another one chance of change.
Abdullahi O.Haruna Haruspice writes from Abuja