Archive | September, 2011

Upcoming Awards for Governor Godswill Akpabio!

29 Sep

Gov Akpabio crazy for awards

Written By

Douglas Ekarika,

In a special communique issued by the office of special communications headed by unofficial interim Senior PA for communication matters and youtube posting affairs, Ata Ikiddeh, a communique has been released to the public detailing the upcoming awards scheduled to be received between now and december 31st 2011 by his excellency Chief, dr, barrister, transformer, promiser, uncommoner, Obot Oko-oko Godswill Ami Nkere(My name is) Akpabio.

Fresh out of high a powered meeting with award conferring associations as well as joint stake holders in the business of honor bestowing, Barrister Ata Ikiddeh called on all well wishers both in Nigeria and diapora to begin sending their congratulations in advance. He warned that if they wait till later before starting, they might be out of luck because all the newspapers in Akwa-Ibom and Nigeria have been 91% booked for congratulation spaces. He also warned that what this means is that, not only will the cost of praising Governor Akpabio increase if one wishes to do so on a national newspaper, but that there will be no availability left. The only recourse according to the unofficial PA for youtube postings, Ata Ikiddeh, will be for individuals to erect their own billboards at their own expense on any available space in Uyo and sorrounding towns. However, Ata Ikiddeh stressed that certain restrictions and conditions apply to the option. For instance,

1. The bill board must be extra extra large (20feet/20 feet) and stand 20 feet from the ground bearing a larger than life image of the governor wearing a beautiful outfit and a golden crown on his head. (inscription on the crown must be visible from any 10 mile radius, and must boldly read, “Grand Architect of Akwaibomian Transformation”)

2. There must be bright light on the edges/sides of the billboard so that at night, the billboard remains lit up so everyone can see clearly and then marvel.

When asked about the unreliable power supply situation that might make option 2 difficult to fulfil, Ata Ikiddeh suggested that well wishers who go with this option should make sure they have generators chained to the billboards. When reminded that notorious thieves might steal the generators used to power the billboard lighting, Ata Ikiddeh suggested that they could hire a watch night to watch the generator each night for the duration the billboard remains. When asked how long such a billboard could remain erected, he responded in vernacular saying..”Ke Nsinsi Nsinsi…………..”. An Ibibio translator was not readily available as at the time of going to press with the report, so the meaning of those words are subject to readers interpretation.

Speaking to our correspondents Fatai Lasisi Ologbenla and Nurudeen Ojogel in his Uyo office, Ata Ikiddeh, in company of his boss, Aniekan Umanna intimated that no stone must be left unturned in congratulating Governor Akpabio. Here are some excerpts of that interview

Nurudeen: Honorable PA Ata, thanks for granting this interview. Let me ask you real quick about an earlier statement you made regarding the purchase of bill-boards by individuals for use in congratulating Governor Akpabio for his upcoming awards bef…..

Ata: (cutting in rudely)..excuse me, what I said, what..I said, this is how things are taken out of context..

Nurudeen:..but I am quoting your..

Ata: Shhhhh!!My friend, Shhhhhhhhhhh!!! don’t misquote me. Are you arguing with me? Are you saying I do not know…listen what I said was that because of space…in fact if you know how newspapers operate, you will realize that they have advanced orders placed for advertisements. The space is limited because we are coming to the end of the year. So what I was saying was that it is better to begin now congratulating his excellency because if they wait till the last minute, they will miss their golden chance. I don’t know if you ever attended Sunday school,

Nurudeen: I am Muslim Sir…

Ata: It does not matter. Even Muslim sometimes go to Sunday school. If you have ever heard about the story of the 10 bridesmaid, you will understand the point I was making..

Nurudeen: Mmmm…No, I am not familiar with that story. Can you enlighten me?

Ata: Of course..well, the story is that the 10 bridesmaid were given money each and were told to invest it. It was a test, mind you. So 5 of the bride-maids took the money and spent it on useless things. Two of them did not spend it at all, preferring to hide it under their pillow. Another two used the money to learn a trade, while another 2 decided to start business selling fig tree to the Philistines and the Hittites. The remaining 3 were the ones that used their money to place announcement telling people that the bridegroom was a wonderful man that had done great things and that he was coming to marry. Out of the ten, do you know who was rewarded and even allowed to enter the wedding hall?

Nurudeen: …were the bridesmaid more than ten? I thought you said ten..

Ata: Forget about the number you people are always finding fault. The moral of the story is that only the bridesmaid that spent the money on advertisement and praised the bridegroom were recognized and rewarded. So as I was saying, the national dailies are running out of advertisement space. Only 15% space remains between now and December 31st. So as a remedy what my office is proposing is that they should hire billboard makers to erect giant billboards around Uyo township instead.

Fatai Ologbenla: Barrister Ata, is using billboard not expensive? What about internet option? Can the same people not send their messages of goodwill to governor Akpbio by email or on internet social media, such as facebook, okopusem forum, nto-anannag forum, and other sites which is much cheaper and infact free?

Ata: Mmm…Mmmm…you make me laugh. Ok, how many people in Akwaibom state have internet or computer? How many go to cafe to read email? How many? The answer is few my brother. But if you put a billboard 20 feet high, everyone will see it. People will know that it is something serious when the name of his excellency is mentioned anywhere. As we speak right now, even people from the U.S have been reserving spaces for billboards not minding the cost. Some like Dr. Mua Eshiett has reserved 17 billboards by himself alone to be erected all over Uyo and roads leading to and from Uyo.

Nurudeen: Wow! 17 billboards? One person alone? But honorable Ata, isn’t there an expectation of some kind? I mean if a person spends that kind of money, certainly, he or she is expecting or hoping for something in return. Besides, some would say such lavish display of comradery boils down to sycophancy? How would you explai….

Ata: (cutting in again)..ehn heeen, my friend, my friend..have you been listening to Thompson Essien and Eno Adams? Have you been listening to those people that are always against this great man? Do you realize that..

Nurudeen: No, I am just asking an honest question. We have not spoken to anyone..our audience would like answers to some,

Ata: Your audience better ingore those mischief makers. Their mates in America are busy trying to order billboard to the glory of our tranformational governor and all they are doing is criticising. Is that nice? ……Is that nice?

Fatai Ologbenla: Ok, let us switch gear for a second. I suppose someting positive can be said to come out of this idea of billboards placement all around the city and state. Obviously, the idea is catching on fast especially with majority of the orders coming from Akwaibom indegens in America. My guess then is that it is creating some employment in the state, and some people will be hired. Besides, money spent on such project will help create some economic activity.

Ata:..(Thoughtful for a minute) Mmmm…you know I didn’t even think about it like that. Yes, yes, you see now? Do you see what I have been talking about there? The hateful people are saying unemployment is high and that his gracious excellency is not solving it. I am glad you have seen how the Governor creates employment. We must give him the praise and credit. If it were me that said it now, the “I-too-Know” people would have said it is propaganda.

Nurudeen: But to be fair, is this really a works program designed by the governor? Seems like you are saying this was his strategy. I thought the whole idea of the billboard project was to Congratulate the governor in a larger than life manner. So are you now saying that Akwa-Ibom indegenes have been finding work as billboard mounters?

Ata: Well no, but employment has been created from demand. It looks like you don’t undertand enconomincs very well..

Fatai: Can you please explain your statement?

Ata: What I mean is, this demand for Governor Akpabio congratulatory Billboard is in demand in Akwa-Ibom, but it is a chinese company that has the contract to build and erect them.

Nurudeen: So they hire Akwaibom youths to work?

Ata: No they don’t. You know these Chinese people how they are….they like to bring in their people from China to do the work to ensure high standard, and that is a good idea. That is the way they do things so their quality is not compromised, but the important thing is that there is demand for billboards, and they are more qualified and have the right equipment. So you must understand that and let them do the job instead of finding fault in that. Are you fault finder? Please be a fact finder instead. Even as a journalist, you should know that it is better to be a fact finder than a fault finder.

Nurudeen: Honorable Ata Ikiddeh, thank you very much for your time today. We will paste the list of upcoming awards for Governor Akpabio so our audience who see and congratulate him accordingly. It is very extensive and several are from foreign organizations.

Ata: You are welcome…you see, I will not be surprised if His excellency is soon nominated for the Nobel Prize in good governance, very soon. Also, the United Nations, given their global presence, are taking note of his excellency’s mighty works. We are on the move and his excellency is taking us to the land of Promise. Nice talking to you.

Ekarika writes from Brunswick, Maine.

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AGAIN, SEPTA GAS, HOST COMMUNITIES CLASH IN AKWA IBOM STATE

28 Sep

By Assam Abia

Worried by the non-payment of approved claims and compensation for the septa Energy Gas pipeline route which traverses Ikot Abasi local Government Area through Mkpat Enin, Onna,Eket and Esit Eket Local Government Area, youth of the affected host communities are poised for war with septa Energy Nigeria and the state ministry of lands if the said claims and compensation are not released to the  communities through their various consultants before the end of September, 2011.

The youths under the auspices of youths of affected Host communities in septa gas pipeline project in Eket Senatorial District vent their anger while reacting to a publication in a local tabloid in which one Barr. Ime Ndon of the Ministry of Lands and Town Planning was quoted as saying that the Ministry of Lands and Town Planning had paid the sum of six hundred and Eighty Million naira to the affected host communities in the five Local Government Areas.
Speaking to newsmen, the chairman of the youth group, Obong Oku Edoho described the said publication as false, misleading and an imagination of the said staff of the Ministry.
Obong Edoho recalled that since the Ministry hurriedly convened a meeting to publish the schedule of payment in July, 2011, it had only unilaterally paid what it termed community interest to the communities without taking care of individual claims and compensation.
The group wondered how Nine Hundred and Thirty Thousand Naira paid to each of the seventy one villages cleared by the Ministry could translate to six Hundred and Eighty Million Naira.
They claimed that they have been denied the right to use the large expanse of affected land for farming and other means of livelihood thereby causing them untold hardship, even as the second season planting had commenced.
They also wondered the foot-dragging in the payment of the claimed sum of money even though they are aware of the huge amount of money septa Energy paid to Government as compensation which was in billions naira.
The youth group therefore threatens to do everything humanly possible to make sure they get what rightly belongs to them.
Collaborating, the position of the youth, some traditional rulers who pleaded anonymity described the situation as an abuse of the patience and understanding of the affected host communities.
They lamented the stress and vigorous efforts they had put into restraining the youths, and called on the relevant authorities to act rightly before the matter gets out of hand.

Amakpe Refineries: CEO Describes Akwa Ibom Govt Divestment As Unfortunate

25 Sep

Eket (Akwa Ibom, Nigeria) – The Management of Amakpe International Refineries in Eket, Akwa Ibom, has described the withdrawal of the state government from the project as unfortunate.
Mr. Nsima Ekere, the State Deputy Governor, on September 12, announced the pull out of the state from the proposed 12,000 barrels per day (bpd) refinery project.
Ekere directed the management of the refinery to refund the state’s equity contribution within 21 days, saying it discovered that the promoters lacked the funds to undertake the project.
In his reaction, Chief Usua Amanam, Chairman/CEO of the project, told newsmen that the decision of the government was unfortunate.
Amanam said that the withdrawal of the state came at the time when the refinery had been fabricated and ready for installation, adding that the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) had certified the design and fabrication.
He said that raising capital from financial institutions to finance major projects was legal if the company could meet the lending conditions and stressed that the refinery had the confidence of both Nigerian and U.S. financial institutions.
The chairman said that although a consortium of Nigerian and US banks approved 24. 6 million dollars loans, the refinery drew down only 14.02 million dollars from Sterling Bank and NEXIM Bank in line with the resolutions of the board.
He dismissed allegations that the promoters took loans without the consent of the government, saying that Akwa Ibom Investment Property Company (AKIIPOC) represented the interests of the state government on the board.
“There is absolutely no basis for the decision to divest and ask for a refund of government’s investment within 21 days when we have deployed the finances in addition to the project loans and promoters’ equity to fund fabrication of the first phase of 6,000 barrels per day .
“The U.S lenders required evidence of full application of promoters’ equity contribution of 12.3 million dollars and AKIIPOC ‘s investment in the refinery project as condition precedent to disbursement of approved loan.
“How can anyone say that we lacked the requisite funds; bank loans are indispensable for projects of this magnitude.
“We think that the reasonable thing Akwa Ibom government has to do is to negotiate the divestment with the Amakpe promoters and majority shareholders to allow for other Niger Delta states and foreign investors that have indicated interest in investing in the project,” he said.
He said that a three-man delegation from the state, led by the secretary to the state government, visited the U. S to verify the status of the fabrication in 2010.

Amakpe Refinery – As a matter of fact – Part 1

16 Sep

Written By Chris Oduok,
Houston Texas
chrisoduok@hotmail.com

With all due respect to the office of our Governor and Deputy Governor, the said Press Conference, SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT is SADDER than LAUGHABLE. It is sad because even without the facts, and just on the strength of the transcript of this Press Statement, a couple of things stand out like a sore thumb. There is enough time to dissect this transcript, but lets chew on a few questions while I gather the facts for future publication.

It was sad to read the following statement: “………….purporting to be President/Chief Executive Officer and Vice President/Chief Operating Officer, respectively in Amakpe International, Inc.”( If the founders of a company (with majority shares 75%) cannot be the President/CEO and Vice President/ COO of a corporation they founded,  who then should be?, )

The statement further states: “The name Amakpe was coined from “Ama” (Amanam) and “kpe” (Ikpe).” ( What a trivial inclusion in a “serious” press conference, would the name have mattered if it was jeremiah or Monica International Refinery?). It goes to show how petty the Amakpe issue has been reduced to, by this government.

I must admit that the Maths in this Press Statement looks like fuzzy math to me, it states, “One year later (2000) Amakpe International, Inc, came up with a cost estimate of $60 million in a shares allocation and cooperation agreement and urged the Akwa Ibom State Government to pick up three percent allocation of shares amounting to $3 million of the project cost.” Can 3% of 60 = 3?, Interesting, and the $60 million was an ESTIMATE quoted in 2000, Right?, WRONG! WRONG!! WRONG!!!. The correct figure was $36 Million, obviously,  the AKSG does not have the facts and or related Project Documents.

The Deputy Governor (DG) said “Three things led to Government reconsidering its relationship with Amakpe. One, the Board met clandestinely in California (without the representatives of the Akwa Ibom State Government namely Prof. Ekpo and Mr Isok) and Chief Amanam moved a motion to allot the shares to AKIIPOC and the motion was seconded by Mrs. Ikpe……….” If the Board (of 2) met CLANDESTINELY in California without Government Reps, how did the DG find out who did what?, Was there  minutes of the clandestine meeting?, who took(wrote) the minutes and when did it show up at the DG’s desk?, if that was the story relayed to the DG by the previous government, did the DG bother to authenticate the story before swallowing line, hook and sinker?.

It is also interesting to note that the only time Obong Ekere, our now DG showed up in this Amakpe affairs is the visit to authenticate the 100% claim. Is it really true that he never attended any Amakpe Board meeting where decisions were made? Amakpe intends to present evidence to show government Representative’s participated in all key Board meetings and let Akwa Ibomites decide “who is fooling who?”.

The story about Escrow will be presented in a couple of days as well, so that Akwa Ibomites can know exactly “who has been fooling who”. How can Amakpe withdraw money that is lodged Government Akiipoc’s Account, when only Government officials as signatories?

Here is another sad story: Two, they (Amakpe) demanded that Governor Attah should approve the construction of access road to the refinery site at the cost of N79 million. This is very telling, a government, both previous and present who is interested in attracting Diaspora investors is “complaining” about building roads to a refinery but boast of building roads to Oron, Ikot Ekpene, Eket etc, but not one to a Refinery site? (And you want Diaspora to come and invest in the state while you promise them HEAVEN ON GOLD? WHO ARE YOU FOOLING?) Now, if money was the problem (and I doubt it considering these fuzzy math), couldn’t the state government have said, ” lets build a road to the refinery as part of the state government’s MASSIVE road network in the state?” It is doubtful that Amakpe would have said, ” No, don’t build us a road, we want money and if we don’t get it, we will abandon our multi million dollar refinery, HABA!, are Akwa Ibomites Lilliputians with no brains?

This might even be “laughably sad”: “Three, in spite of a consultant being recruited to hire a Chief Executive Officer, a project consultant, a company secretary and a quality control engineer for the refinery and persons being interviewed for these positions, these personnel were never hired.” So a minority share holder (25% AKSG) was not “allowed” to overide the majority shareholders (with 75% shares) to recruit and hire, is that what all this force is about? Fellow Akwa Ibomites, here is the company chosen by Amakpe to handle that business as opposed to government EXPERTS, http://www.turnermason.com/default.htm.

WOW!, here is another line: “Now sharing the worrries which prompted the Attah Administration to litigate, the (PRESENT) Government decided to authenticate claims by Team Amakpe that the refinery had been a hundred per cent completed in the fabrication yard of Pasedena, Texas. As the Executive Chairman of AKIIPOC then, I visited the plant in the company of the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Umana Umana and the Special Adviser  on Technical Matters, Engr Etido Inyang. What we found out was that the refinery was sadly not completed”. Today I weep for Akwa Ibom. So, three (3) AKS government officials who are not all engineers ( and even if they were, but whose specialty is not in Refinery Business) went to AUTHENTICATE the 100% claim by Amakpe and found out that AMAKPE was not completed”?. Ok people, I know we have very intelligent Akwa Ibomites all around the world, lets follow this logic.

Sometime in January 2010 Ventech Corporation (A renowned refinery firm) claimed 100% completion of Amakpe Refinery Module. In April 2010, three (3) AKS government officials visited the Ventech yard (spent about 2 hours) to authenticate the claims of Amakpe/Ventech. As later claimed in the Governments Press Conference,the refinery was “sadly not completed”. However, they (Govt.) did not communicate this “findings to Ventech nor Amakpe verbally or in writing (preferably for documentation purposes) until September 2011. In May 2010, the Federal Government of Nigeria, through Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) visited Ventech yard (spent 9 days, May 10 – May 19, testing, checking and rechecking) the Amakpe Module, at the end of which the DPR issued  the following statements : “The inspection EXERCISE (emphasis mine) REVEALED that the fabrication of the major units of YOUR REFINERY project PHASE 1 (6000 BPSD) have been COMPLETED, and the DESIGN, MANUFACTURE and TESTING of THESE PROCESS and utility equipment WERE DONE IN LINE with INTERNATIONAL codes & STANDARDS and GOOD ENGINEERING PRACTICE.

The DPR letter then advised Amakpe to “make arrangement for SHIPMENT of the facilities to the project site for INSTALLATION.

HERE IS WHY I WEEP FOR AKWA IBOM STATE: Three (3) sets of people are involved in the authentication of the completion of Amakpe refinery Module in Pasadena TX, (1)Ventech corporation (The Manufacturer of the refinery, spent years building and testing the equipment), (2) Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN-DPR) (The licenser of the refinery spent 9 days at Ventech yard testing and checking the equipment) and (3) The Akwa Ibom State Government (AKIIPOC) ( The Minority share holder 25% of the refinery  spent 2hrs with DIGITAL CAMERAS filming/snaping pictures). The two (2) sets of people who did extensive CHECKS and TEST( Ventech and FGN) concluded that the Refinery Module had been 100% completely fabricated, however, the one who spent two (2) hours in suits (AKSG) just looking around the Ventech yard CONCLUDED that the refinery module was not complete. IS THERE ANYTHING WRONG WITH THAT PICTURE OR AM I JUST CRYING FOR NOTHING?

It appears that AKSG is now claiming that the Federal Government of Nigeria through DPR, conspired with Amakpe to Dupe Akwa Ibom People, that is a hefty allegation to make agaist the Federal government headed by the Late Shehu Yar’Adua/ Goodluck Jonathan (please see documents and pictures attached).

When you take a critical look at the governments statement, you are bound to see the subtle reasons why officials of government are attempting to kill the Amakpe project, here is one of such statements: “We began to doubt the capacity of the promoters to undertake a project of this magnitude and at the same time we were alarmed by information which tended to indicate that they were borrowing from a lot of sources unknown to the State Government. And some of these lending institutions were becoming worried about the security of their funds”.

Hmmm!, yes, the project is huge, they call it multi-million dollar project and the Govt. is saying that no Akwa Ibomite is “capable” of such a project? WILL AN AKWA IBOMITE EVER BE CAPABLE OF SUCH PROJECTS? WHEN? if not NOW. When “little people” lie, it is bad, but when the government is economical with the truth to the people it “governs or rules”, it is criminal and shameful. How can the government (of the people?) claim that Amakpe was borrowing from “a lot of sources unknown to the state government” when all borrowed funds are on public display on Amakpe website for all to see. http://www.amakperefineries.com/investor/Current_Status_Report_July_2010.pdf.  If the government knows any other “lot of sources where money is borrowed”, let the government state those sources and let Akwa Ibomites know WHO IS FOOLING WHO?

Lending institutions are not worried about the viability of the Refinery (they know it is a money minter) nor are they worried about the integrity of Chief Amanam or Mrs Ikpe, the institutions are concerned about a government which sees a cash cow such as this refinery project and is so ABUSIVE to its own people, that it is willing to do everything in its power to kill the project and keep Akwa Ibomites in servitude within their own state. Accountability is not Amakpe’s problem, can the state government say the same?

At least PRICE WATER HOUSE COOPER, a formidable auditing company has audited Amakpe refinery, who are the auditors of the Akwa Ibom state government?. The neighboring Rivers State has been audited by Standard and Poor’s (S&P, who recently down-graded the U.S. credit), who has audited Akwa Ibom State? Other states have equally been audited, when will our state be audited and the audit report made public?

Fellow Akwa Ibomites, I have not gone into the fuzzy math presented in the press conference because at face value, it does not add up, does not make sense and only designed to confuse the unsuspecting public, It appears that the government, both past and present who did not keep adequate records of its stewardship to the Akwa Ibom people, and who had nothing to say all these years, waited for Amakpe ( a store house of meticulous record keeping) to put out a Press Release and having been mortally “wounded” by the facts in Amakpe’s Release, decided to “horriedly” put up an ” inaccurate” Press Conference. However, without its own set of facts, the government decided it would “borrow” pieces of information from Amakpe’s Press Release and concoct this ferry tale that doesn’t add up no matter how it is sliced. In the coming days, we will “wikiLeaks” Amakpe/Government documents so that our people can see transparency and demand same from our government, (we should “all” be able to embrace such transparency, shouldn’t we?

SCAM OF WORMS: AKISAN President Buffer Eyo To Face Expulsion

15 Sep

Written By
Eno Adam INN/ Hayward, CA

If and when Miami Chapter of Akwa Ibom Association of Nigeria (AKISAN) holds its general meeting on the first Saturday of next month, being October 1, 2011, which coincides with the 51st Anniversary of Nigeria’s independence day, the president of AKISAN Mr Buffa Eyo (an Akpabio boy) will know his fate as a member of the chapter and  whether to continue in office, be expelled or suspended.
Last Saturday, Mr. Eyo dodged the bullet at this month’s general meeting of his chapter held at the home of the National PRO officer of the Association (Dr. Sonny  Abia) whose wife Inemesit Abia, MD, is Miami Chapter President. During the meeting there were lots of speeches, grievances and accusations leveled against Mr. Eyo during his one year in office. At the same time, they were not allowed to air their views whether by purpose or design or lack of time. Some issued were personal in nature with nothing to do with the association.

Since Mr. Eyo knows that he is a president by virtue of being a member of his Chapter and his Chapter holds the national secretariat with him as its representative, Mr. Buffer is putting all efforts to thwart his removal. He knows there is a mountain of wrongdoings against, including defrauding the association. For a small listing, please read below:-

o   taking credit for on-going medical missions that Nto Annang, ODU, Pro-Health, AIDN are equally taking credit in order to obtain money from AKISAN.
o   Claiming to have purchased medicine and medical supplies with $38,000 with no proof and collecting $20,000 already from the Board for it.
o   withdrawing/causing the sum of five thousand dollars ($5,000.00) to be withdrawn from association’s account without due process to travel to Nigeria
o   using AKISAN’s funds to transport non-AKISAN members to Akwa Ibom
o   non-adherence to National Constitution or Chapter’s Charter in the daily operation of the National Executive office
o   running/converting AKISAN as or to his private estate by using its debit card for his private use
o   causing Aniekpeno Mkpanah (a non-member and visitor) to read the president’s Citation at the Convention in place of the National Secretary Mr. Bassey Okon.
o   failure to deposit AKISAN’s funds collected at the convention within 48 hours as mandated by the National constitution
o   becoming a financial liability and otherwise for Miami Chapter as a representative and sponsored candidate from the chapter
o   showing disrespect for Miami Chapter Women during the last Convention – non-inclusion of their items including cultural dance in the program booklet and refusal to listen or amend it to accord them the proper place and recognition for a successful hosting of the convention
o   endorsing/media blitz of Gov. Akpabio for second term election as president of a non-profit cultural association in violation of the United States IRS rule
o   signing of an article written for him to support Gov. Akpabio for second term as president of a US non-profit organization
o   unconstitutional removal of Mr. Edet Udofia from Emergency Trust Fund (ETF) in the middle of his tenure and replaced with Mr. Peter Umoh. Mr. Udofia contested the last election with the president and lost by two votes.
o   Taking a unilateral decision to remove Mr. Bassey Okon, AKISAN Secretary without tabling the matter with the local chapter and showing no respect for the office
o   rebuking and accusing Mr. Okon in an executive meeting of lining up with “opposition” when Mr. Okon shook hands with, greeted and took pictures with Mr. Edet Udofia and Mr. Mike Essien (Legal Counsel) during October 16, 2011 First National Council Meeting.
o   Got $200,000 for security at the Convention from state government and has not reported/ accounted for it to the organization
o   Hired mercenaries to harass fellow Akwa Ibomites at the Convention
o   Was given N15,000,000 to split with three people and has not reported to the organization he represented
o   With another N75,000,000 in the till, sharing this one is causing a rift within the group

In the end two motions were raised last Saturday against Mr. Eyo: the first was/is to expel him from the chapter for his actions while the second, a counter motion was/is to suspend him from the local chapter. When it came time for vote and in order to save face and extend Mr. Eyo’s tenure to travel to Akwa Ibom for the State Birthday Celebration, Dr. Sonny Abia drove members of his chapter away from his home with the support of Mr. Ita Ntekim, the VP of the association. As of yesterday, the chapter president already has embarked upon calling some members to level with and soften their pedals against Mr. Eyo. Besides Mr. Buffer Eyo being roundly condemned by his chapter, some of the actions of the national president may lead to IRS having to revoke the status of the organization and steps must be taken to curb his excessiveness in the interest of the Association.

Appendage: It would be recalled that Gov Godswill Akpabio used  millions of Naira during the election period of last year in support of Bufa Eyo who will do his bidding all the time. This is the same thing that he goes around doing in order to place his candidate in all Akwa Ibom State Diaspora groups. One of the reasons for this is to pave way for  him to canvass for more awards and brew sycophants.

Governor Akpabio: An ‘uncommon’ kindred spirit

12 Sep

Written by
Prof Patience Akpan-Obong
The e-mail spam folder must have been invented to save everyone a ton of headaches. But trust me to go seeking the headache by scavenging through the spam folder every now and then. Like all scavengers, I hope to find the treasure in the heap of trash.
Occasionally I do – in the form of e-mail from old friends and former colleagues. My work and Yahoo e-mail filters assume that every mail that comes from a Nigerian-sounding name must be a 419er. In the process, I’ve missed some serious e-mail. The one that I dredged up a couple of weeks ago was definitely not one of the good ones. It was a made-up story on Governor Godswill Akpabio and his “Coming to America.”
Of course, at the time I didn’t know the carefully detailed story was spam at its best … or worst. I was therefore surprised to see a “Note” on Governor Akpabio’s Facebook page last weekend. It looked like a speech delivered to Akwa Ibom folks in the United States. I had to be absolutely certain that he was “really” in the United States. It wasn’t enough that one of our brothers here, an Akpabio, had travelled to Houston a few days earlier to see his cousin, the governor. It wasn’t enough that a guy had ambushed me at a mutual friend’s home to persuade me to join the “Arizona contingent” to Houston for the governor’s visit. I had to see for myself … and Google came to the rescue!
The story in my spam box was that Governor Akpabio had done so much “njakiri” that the Americans refused to grant him and his entourage entry visas. Obviously, this wasn’t true for the governor came … and spoke. It is the speech, “Akwa Ibom: The Story of Uncommon Transformation,” that caught my attention. The poetry of the speech was an added surprise. Biblical and Shakespearean tropes and turn of phrases were used liberally and deftly to craft a masterpiece. I can only hope that its delivery did justice to the speech. Its writer should certainly give him – or herself – applause for a great piece of writing.
Beyond the packaging, the substance of the speech resonated as well. It was a chronicle of Akpabio’s accomplishments in Akwa Ibom, much of which is no longer news. One of the narratives in the speech that hit close to home for me was about the “factory” for houseboys and house girls that Akwa Ibom had become. Indeed, it had often been said that Akwa Ibom was a state of civil servants and house servants. Akpabio talked about how humiliated he felt when, as a Lagosian, his friends would tell him about their house girl/boy who was “your sister” or “your brother.” Like the governor, I too confronted this. Like him, I was often asked by friends and colleagues to get house help from Akwa Ibom for them. (No, I never did. I always replied with, “Are there no house girls or house boys in your village?”)
Back in the early 1990s, I was part of an informal group in Lagos known as the “Akwa Ibom Seven.” We met monthly to discuss the “way forward” for the state. We resented the houseboy/girl syndrome that had become our identity. We wanted to stop our people from farming out their children as house girls and boys. We wanted to stop being the “servant state.” As time went on, one of the “AK Seven” became a governor. I was already living outside the country by this time but I rejoiced for him and our state. Finally, I thought, Akwa Ibom would sit at the table as an equal partner rather than wash dishes in the kitchen of the rich and powerful.

Akpan-Obong writes from Arizona, USA

Gov Akpabio

Nigeria’s Qua Iboe Terminal Oil Spill: One too Many

12 Sep

 

Written  by

Esema Joseph Esema

 

 

Taking cognizance of the adverse effects, it is pathetic to note that since May 1 2010 when the Exxon Mobil Qua Iboe Terminal (QIT) oil spill in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria occurred, it has not been given much attention as the occasion required.

 

It is even more appalling that while our government appears from its indifferent response not to have noticed the effects of the spill, examples are being drawn from the region during the debates on the way out of the Gulf of Mexico spill in the United States. More enraging are the defiant statements that have been credited to the management of Exxon Mobil to the effect that the QIT oil spill is small when compared to any in the history of oil spill. This makes one wonder whether the small’ spill has no disastrous impact on the environment.

 

Needless to say, the QIT oil spill has affected the aquatic state of the waters and has brought untold hardship to the fishermen settlements close to the terminal, whose major source of livelihood lied in the polluted water.

The Nigerian government could borrow a leaf from the response of the American government over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, where the president’s interest has gone beyond official to personal, the Congress has commenced intensive investigation and the management of BP Oil America has in addition to their several apologies, taken giant strides towards restoring the earlier state of the affected waters.

 

It is important to note that if the QIT spill is not addressed promptly, it would extend to other coastal areas with the attendant troubles. Again it would encourage the trend where oil giants skirt safety rules since virtually no sanctions are applied.

 

It is submitted that efforts at cleansing the affected areas should be expedited. Firstly, the source of the spill should be plugged, then dispersants could be used to break up the oil on the water, in addition, Exxon Mobil should be made to pay compensation that is commensurate with the impact of their actions on the environment and on the disrupted business activities of those living in that area.

 

The Harmful Waste (Special Criminal Provision etc) CAP H1 Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 2004 could succinctly deal with the situation. However, the problem lies in the implementation as no specific agency has been established to prosecute crimes arising from the Act.

 

Considering the impact of these spills and the quick succession at which they have been occurring in recent times it might be necessary to evolve standards and regulations which the Ministry of Environment and other relevant agencies would apply in addressing oil spill cases when they arise.

 

Eseme writes from Uyo, Akwa Ibom State

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