Tag Archives: Akwa Ibom State

THE UNTOLD STORY OF #IBOMTROPICANA: How over N68 Billion went down the drain under Akpabio’s watch

28 Jun

#IbomTropicana

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In September 2008, the then Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Godswill Akpabio had signed a N33 Billion contract agreement with Silver Bird Group for the construction of Ibom Tropicana Entertainment Centre. The centre was proposed to be modern class leisure and business resort that would provide employment opportunities for over 5000 Akwa Ibom people according to Akpabio. But 11 years after, the project has yet to see the light of the day even after billions of naira have reportedly been sunk into the white elephant project.

During the 2019 electioneering campaigns, members of the opposition party, APC instigated by their state caucus leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio had severally attacked Governor Udom Emmanuel of abandoning the Tropicana project. Defending the allegations levelled against the Governor by the opposition, an inside source privy to the transaction, said the Akpabio administration never wanted to complete the project, as according to the source, “That government was simply using the Tropicana Project as a Conduit pipe”. Another source further revealed disclosed that “based on available records, close to N68 Billion had been spent on Tropicana by the previous administration. So, you can imagine of such an amount of money had been spent on that project, yet up till now it hasn’t been completed”.

Akwa Ibom people in general and in particular members of the host community of Itiam and Afaha-Ibesikpo are worried that a project they welcome excitingly and gave out their land in anticipation of a facility that would change the economy of the area has not seen the light of the day, several years after.
The only component part of the project that is functional at the moment, is the cinema hall which is being managed by Silver Bird.Image may contain: 1 person

It would be recalled that the then President Umaru Music Yar’adua had performed the group breaking ceremony of the proposed entertainment village in October 2008 at a colourful ceremony. Modelled after the Sun City of South-Africa and the famous Disney land in the United States of America, USA, the uncompleted Ibom Tropicana Entertainment Centre which is located at Udo Udoma Avenue in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, lies on a land mass of 128,227 square metres, (12 hectares of land). It was meant to be a major investment in the hospitality industry complete with an ultra-modern convention centre with a multi-floor capacity of 5000, a five star hotel with 250 rooms, children park, a galleria with cinema, a 10,000 sitting dome, shopping mall, as well as a theme park with various dry and wet rides and many other attraction.

Findings reveal that construction work on the much talked about ‘convention centre’ which was a component part of the project was stalled mid-way during Akpabio’s administration after technical details showed that the foundation of the building was faulty. The contractor was directed to stop work, and nothing was done by that government to continue with the work which led to the contractor leaving the site.

A shopping complex is being built by the current government with a view to getting the shopping mall component of the facility underway.Image may contain: sky and outdoor

AKPABIO AND HIS ALTER-EGO: ANY LESSON IN NEBUCHADNEZZAR FALL? (PART 1)

23 Jun

By Thomas Tomas.

Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall

Humpty Dumpty had a great fall
All the King’s horses and all the kings’ men
Couldn’t put Humpty Dumpty together again

Thousands of men have fallen from their on-top-of the world positions but had not deserved the attention of history. Not that they refused to clear their way into the reckonings of history; and not that history deliberately refuse to recognize their falls. But, perchance, because while they were on top of the world, they reasoned that a day would come when they would descend from the echelon to the ground, and their actions would either defend or crucify them.
Of a truth, the majority of the people in the world today, especially in this part of the globe are metaphorically like those who are on board an aeroplane – those they see on earth are tiny. Any leader who has an aerial view of his followers or compatriots is arrogant and is bound to fall, and once that happens, he’s gone!
King Nebuchadnezzar is an example of a leader with an aerial view of his followers/subjects. The feelings of his subjects did not matter to him. God was nothing to him either. He also destroyed God’s chosen and refused to heed God’s warning. Nebuchadnezzar was severely punished: his throne was destroyed in Babylon, while he roamed in the bush like an animal for seven years!Image may contain: one or more people and eyeglasses
Leaders like Nebuchadnezzar have a penchant for publicity. They can do anything to get publicized. Their own hypes are often mischievous – to cover up their dirty tracts. It works for them, though. This is the tactics Chief Godswill Akpabio employed while he was holding sway, such that those who were not indigenes of the Akwa Ibom State were swayed by the publicity stunts heavily sponsored by him. The former Senate Minority Leader would seize any available opportunity to reel out drums of his “uncommon transformation”. In the Senate, he abandoned legislation and pursued clownery to the detriment of the State. In fact, majority of the people of Akwa Ibom State, including his former lieutenants, had wished for Akpabio’s uncommon fall, and of course, they knew he would fall, just that they wanted it as quick and sudden as possible to commiserate his atrocious and comic reign in the State and in the Senate. Those who knew he would finally “kiss the dust” politically did not know it could happen “like play, like play” because of who Akpabio made them believe he was. Who could have believed that Senator Godswill Akpabio could be dethroned politically in less than 3 hours before the election was over against his wish? Certainly, it was, and still is, a shock, to so many people across Nigeria. Akpabio defeated?!Image may contain: 1 person, suit and text
How Akapbio fall (or fail in the last election) is not within the scope of the piece. What concerns this piece are the lessons of (or in) his fall. But it is a subject of debate for decades now among historians whether men actually learn from the lessons of history or not, hence Professor Abednego Ekoko once admitted jokingly that “history has no lessons, but the only lesson of history is that men refuse to learn from history”. What are the lessons of Akpabio’s sudden and Nebuchadnezzaric fall?
The main lesson which Akpabio’s fall teaches mankind is a lesson in humility – that is, how not to play God. Senator Akpabio in the past 12 years had carried himself as a demigod. Because of this, lives were wasted, people were humiliated and or made to fall from their grace; ethnicity was data shot with impunity. The former Governor spent the State’s resources to procure awards for himself and his wife to the extent of attempting to fight his way to the Guinness Book of Records just for self-aggrandizement. All these were to aid him in his craze to intimidate the very people he professed to govern. Then, there was so much noise in the State, and bogus names like “Ono Mkpo Inam”, “Uko Akwa Ibom”, “Utueneikang Ibibio”, “Eka Esit Mbom”, “Mother Theresa of our time’, etc. made airwaves.
Senator Akpabio treated so many people in the State like pariahs and with utter disdain. He did what was in his mind at any given time. He was able to coerce Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly to always carry out his instructions with immediate effect, and whipped every institution including the judiciary, traditional rulers, etc to his line. Arrogance! Pride! Pomposity! The Bible says “pride goes before fall”.
Secondly, Akpabio’s fall seems to set Akwa Ibom people free and restore hope and decorum (so I think). Many people would not have a chance so long as Akpabio holds sway. He would have still decided who gets what, when, and how. He would have continued to deny people their rights, and turn the minority into the majority overnight. Now, there’s a new lease of life, and Akwa Ibom people now know that they can dethrone any leader who goes against their collective aspirations.
Finally, Akpabio’s fall has taught people to respect one another no matter their status, stature, creed, religion, background, sex, etc. Senator Akpabio has now realized that he should have consulted his people before he took the decision to move to the APC. He has since discovered (though he’s yet to recover) that he has no fools for followers – that those he claimed were fools or his dependants were no fools or his dependants, after all. He has now come to his senses that he should have begged for votes, not going about with the assumption that he had done much for Annang people when he was the governor, therefore, they cannot stop voting for him to return to the Senate.
Like Nebuchadnezzar, Akpabio is now crawling on his knees, begging every Tom, Dick and Harry for leniency and for political recognition. Has Akpabio gone out of his mind like his alter-ego? But packing the entire youths of the State to the Tribunal recently is a clear sign of dementia (I may be wrong), but verily, if Akpabio will repent, and purge his mind of all arrogance and other vices, especially self-assumption, like his alter-ego, his throne may be restored (Daniel 4 verse 34-37).

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Thomas Thomas is the General Editor of Global Concord Newspaper, Uyo

ATA IKIDDEH, A BEWILDERED PERSONALITY OF A CON ARTIST & #419

25 Mar

 

By Umoh Cosmas

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It can be very ridiculous when a full grown man attempts to hide behind a finger. For sure, right-thinking members of the public will never take such a personality serious, no matter how much he tries to get attention, especially when his unstable antecedents are well known.
Hiding behind a finger is what Atta Ikideh has been doing ever since his failed attempt to swindle the Akwa Ibom State government through 419 proposals. He has over time latched on frivolous statistics and concocted ‘failings’ in his attempt to ridicule and downplay the achievements of the state government.

Rather than activate a self-destruct mode through blackmail and deceitful publications, Ikiddeh may do well for himself by utilizing his resources to resuscitate his stranded law career, which he abandoned here in Nigeria, having failed to make it to the Nigerian Law School. Since he made a fortune from the last administration as a willing tool of blackmail, he should make his late father and indeed the larger Ikideh family proud by investing in meaningful ventures.

Ikideh’s latest opinion piece where he asked “why is it all bad news about Akwa Ibom State from the National Bureau of Statistics?” exposes him as one with a warped imagination who eagerly awaits bad news about his native land, Akwa Ibom. He should be aware that his recent ignoble undertakings against the state government have kept right-thinking Akwa Ibom people at home and in the diaspora wondering if he does not need a mental check. They might just be right!

It is a sad commentary that one who claims to be a patriot would go in deliberate search of bad news about his state and would go further to give vigorous publicity to dubious and politically motivated negative statistics. The question is, where was Attah Ikideh when the same NBI rated Akwa Ibom state, under the leadership of Governor Udom Emmanuel as the second best destination for Foreign Direct Investment in Nigeria? How much publicity did he give to that rating?

The antics of Ikiddeh’s ilk are well known to those of us who have consistently follow developments in Akwa Ibom state. Once they fail to get what they want, they resort to blackmail and lend themselves to spent paymasters and drowning godfathers, whose trade in stock is to whip undue sentiments against a focused administration like we presently have in Akwa Ibom State.
It is public knowledge that Akwa Ibom government, through its Health Commissioner, has satisfactorily addressed the NBS rating of Akwa Ibom as the state with the highest prevalence rate in the 2018 national survey. In case Ikideh is not aware, HIV prevalence has been on the decline since Governor Udom came on board. While the state’s prevalence was 10.8% in the 2014 national survey, it dropped to 5.5% in the 2018 survey.
On the latest rating of the State as having the highest cost of living, the likes of Ikiddeh should be informed that it is not every statistics reeled out by agencies that should be taken hook, line and sinker. While an agency like the NBS may have done well in time past, it is not unlikely that its recent activities may have been politically motivated.

Dazed by the outcome of the last general elections in Akwa Ibom State, especially the sweet victory of Governor Udom Emmanuel, it is pitiful that Ikideh and his co-travellers are still befuddled, and therefore, have continued their search for anything that will keep them on the payroll of their equally stunned paymasters.
The pains of the resounding loss by Ikideh’s masters is understandable. Nevertheless, it is high time he turned a new leaf and team up with the rest of us Akwa Ibom sons and daughters who have vowed to stop at nothing is supporting Governor Emmanuel to realize the dream of a greater state, where peace, progress and development stand in bold relief.
A word is enough for the wise!

Cosmas is a public affairs commentator.

GODSWILL AKPABIO LANDS IN BIG TROUBLE IN AKWA IBOM STATE, OVER REIGN OF TERROR

14 Mar
Senator Godswill Akpabio, a former Governor of Akwa Ibom State and recently defeated Senator, has been accused by over five hundred (500) stakeholders, political leaders, party executives and his cousin, Prince Ukpong Akpabio, of unleashing violence and terror on the people of the region, during the last Governorship and State Assembly elections, in the State.
Image result for Prince Ukpong Akpabio
Prince Akpabio, who led the stakeholders, in a World Press Conference, which held at the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Secretariat, in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, on Thursday, alleged that the Senator masterminded and executed the militarization of the electoral process, witnessed in the area. The stakeholders and leaders signed a communique read by Barrister Imo-Owo Okpokpo.
They claimed that one Supol Idorenyin Akpabio of SARS, in the company of other Policemen, shot at people indiscriminately, detained and maimed PDP supporters, on the directives of Senator Akpabio.
Part of the communique reads:
“Essien Udim people condemn in strong terms, the various electoral offences and irregularities masterminded and perpetrated by Senator Godswill Akpabio and his cohorts, in which almost all the election process in the area was marred by unlawful militarization, rigging, and assault on INEC Electoral OfficersAmong the atrocities committed by Senator Godswill Akpabio, include carting away of electoral materials and INEC Ad hoc Staff, in all the units of the 11 wards in the area, with the help of Military men with armoured vehicles, to the residence of Barr Ibanga AkpabioSenator Godswill Akpabio with his cohorts, apart from assaulting INEC Staff, also beat and machete some PDP faithfuls, to the point of unconsciousness.”
Image result for godswill Akpabio
The Stakeholders and Leaders of Essien Udim maintained that in units where elections were not duly conducted, the PDP won overwhelmingly, and they have their result sheets intact, describing any other result as fake, and do not represent the votes of the electorates of Essien Udim Local Government AreaThey rejected the published results so far released by INEC in the State, and equally condemned the cancellation of results in nine wards in the Council Area.
Essien Udim people used the forum to admonish Senator Godswill Akpabio, to desist from the further advertising of his declining and dwindling political status, through various Press interviews, as such will continue to deepen his failing image. We have totally rejected him as a people, they said. They commiserated with the Corps members and other INEC Staff, who lost valuable items as a result of the alleged mayhem perpetrated by Senator Godswill Akpabio, stressing that, Akpabio is still bent on killing some PDP Stakeholders, even as the elections are over.
They restated their hope on INEC’s capacity to correct, as well as address the election anomalies, with her avowed commitment to conduct free, fair and credible elections in the country.
However, in a previous Press Conference, held by Senator Akpabio, he alleged that the violence witnessed in Essien Udim, during the elections, was perpetrated by members of the PDPHe insisted that the APC won overwhelmingly in his Local Government and other Local Governments, but the INEC in collusion with the PDP-led State Government upturned the results against his party, the APC.
Akpabio added that he has facts and pieces of evidence to back his claims at the Tribunal when the time comes.
Image result for godswill Akpabio
What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments.
-Dailyadvent

Kidnapper-Cum-Assassin-In-Chief, Godswill Akpabio Sets 11 INEC Buses Ablaze

18 Feb
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Former Governor, sitting senator and kidnapper cum Assassin-In-Chief, Mr Godswill Obot Akpabio has ordered the burning and attack on buses conveying sensitive electoral materials by Independence Electoral Commission (INEC) officials in Obot Akara on Saturday.
Akpabio who has been chanting war songs during the campaign season all through, as well as his most notorious violence-induced cliche ” Warsaw, saw war and war saw Warsaw.” is believed to be the mastermind of the dastardly act. An eye-witness, Joe Uko Idung, told our reporters.
The officials boarding the burnt cars sustained gruesome injuries and burns critical to their lives.
Senator Akpabio who decamped from the People Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressive Congress (APC) as he was being hounded by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) for fraud and theft of money to the tune of N900 billion is trying to install an APC candidate, Mr. Nsima Ekere as governor, a man who was his Deputy Governor but forced to resign in 2012 when he was facing corruption, assassination and theft charges.Image may contain: one or more people, tree, sky, outdoor and natureImage may contain: 1 person, sitting
In the interim, the PDP has condemned the violent attack and blamed it on APC and Chief Godswill Akpabio for both incendiary comment and deliberate order given to hoodlums sympathetic to APC to launch the attack.
In a press statement signed by the State PDP Director, Public Communications, Divine Mandate Campaign Organization, Otuekong Emmanuel Ibiok said the attack is an attempt by Akpabio and his APC hatchetmen to portray Akwa Ibom State as a violent state in order to call for election postponement to enable them to bring in mobile policemen and military to take over the state during the election which will give room for intimidation and rigging.
“This action corroborates our earlier disclosure that the APC plans to sponsor violent criminal operations that could enable its poorly orchestrated script for postponing the elections in Akwa Ibom State,” Ibok said
Eleven buses hired by INEC in readiness for the postponed election of Saturday were all together touched by the APC hoodlums.
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MARGARET ITAUMA: PERSEVERANCE PAYS BACK

27 Aug

By Dr. Inyang Oduok

Margaret Itauma - AKISAN President

Margaret Itauma  – AKISAN President

 

Those of us familiar with her fighting spirit knew she wasn’t going to give up. She is not a quitter. Defeat may test us, but it needs not stop us. If at first we don’t succeed, we should try again. For every obstacle there is a solution. Nothing in the world can replace perseverance. There is no failure except in no longer trying. The greatest mistake is giving up. Margret Itauma’s victory is a living testimony.

Being around her you know she is for real. She is not a feminist you would say, but her take on the plight of Ibom women’s civil and political liberties is a serious business.   

Her support for the various organizations, visit to the sick members of Ibom families, funerals, driving miles for graduation ceremonies, weddings, writing checks and assisting in raising funds for various organizations in various states is fervent. She has never missed one medical mission to Ibom State since its founding. Where you are committed to a cause, you go where the need is.  

Yes, you did not vote for Margret Itauma’s Presidency. Fine. But join her in doing the right thing for the good of our people rather than staying back to find false and criticize.

I have learned, as the years have passed that there is nothing to be gained from regret. It changes nothing, leaves us melancholy and in perpetual pain.

Throughout her private and public life, she has recharged herself as much as others try to sideline her or take her down or create barriers on her way.

A night before the balloting,  the author could not figure out why Margret Itauma after grabbing the Presidency would not leap with joy as one could have expected,  but told the author in his dream that it was not just about wining AKISAN presidency, it was about the clean -up  job that was to follow.

She rode the clean-up truck, equipped with paints, brushes, dry leave wreck and her heart all by herself from Arizona to Texas.  Margret Itauma to AKISAN is a gift from God. Her Presidency is rooted in spirituality.

Margret Itauma, ladies and gentlemen, a critical healthcare provider, EDC President Emeritus  was not born to a sovereign who reigns over a vast kingdom or a political dynasty or a privileged background as the daughter of a renowned minister but to a father and mother with a simple and humble beginning.

Her election victory is a testament of her role in the lives of our people.

FOR OUR STATE, FOR OUR PEOPLE. FOR US ALL IN AKISAN USA. INDEED FOR OUR NATION, Congratulations to Margret Itauma. May the Good Lord pilot you on.

 

Dr. Inyang Oduok.

Atlanta Georgia.   

#Udom replies #Akpabio: You didn’t build a single company in 8 years but I have built 9 in three years.

21 Aug

 

    

Udom replies Akpabio: You didn’t build a single company in 8 years but I have built 9 in three years

Akwa Ibom State Governor Udom Emmanuel says his achievements in office shows that he is not a mistake.

He said this while responding to Godswill Akpabio, his predecessor, who described him as a mistake that must be rejected in 2019.

Akpabio who recently defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC), said this at a rally in Ikot Ekpene.

AFTER CRIPPLING STATE OWN FOUR POINTS SHERATON, SENATE MINORITY LEADER AKPABIO MOVES TO CALABAR TO BUILD MULTI-BILLION NAIRA HOTEL

Responding through Charles Udoh, his commissioner of information, the governor said Akpabio has mortgaged his conscience and is now attempting to deceive Akwa Ibom people.

“A governor that records the achievements despite the challenges of an epileptic national economy cannot be a mistake,” Udoh told TheCable.

“I doubt if there is any first term governor in Nigeria who has recorded this level of achievement.

Godswill Akpabio spent eight years as commissioner under Obong Attah; spent eight years as governor at the height of the state’s income receipts from the federal government yet he couldn’t complete Uyo-Ikot Ekpene road (the road to his village) despite appropriating almost all the sums budgeted for the project.

Four Points By Sheraton Ikot Ekpene: Akpabio Commissioned a Building Not a Hotel, We Need Over N2.5 Billion to make it a Hotel – Governor Udom Emmanuel

“Godswill also commissioned an uncompleted building with rented furniture and fitting and called it 4 Points Sheraton Hotel.

FOUR POINTS BY SHERATON HOTEL: AN INDICTMENT OF GOVERNOR UDOM

Udom has, as at today, facilitated the setting up of more than nine industries in just three years; Godswill spent eight years with zero industry

“It’s unfortunate that Akpabio has mortgaged his conscience and is now attempting to deceive Akwa Ibom people. Akwa Ibom people are wiser.”

TheMail

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