Tag Archives: Governor

WHY YOU WILL NOT BE OUR GOVERNOR.

4 Aug

By Dr Sam Etuk

*WE are tired of ungubernatorial speeches

For weeks I have been contemplating writing this letter, but discarded the idea 12 times. But since Akinwande Oluwole Soyinka says that, ‘The man dies in all who keep silent in the face of tyranny’.-The Man Died (New York: Harper & Row, 1972- p. 13), I think I have seen enough tyrannies to force me to speak up because I don’t want to die. Yes it is not in my character to die as a coward, though all of us in Akwa Ibom State are being forced to take that option, we should see and speak not. When you speak friends desert you and declare you a no go area, some even blackmail you for pittance just to satisfy their bandwagon fear of the unknown, but I will opt out of the spineless crowd and differ from such idiosyncrasy, because I know cowardice is a devastating weakness, for the sake of myself, my Children and their future, I will speak up today, I don’t need any supporter. The truth must be told. I have not compromised my integrity, no not yet not within the labyrinth of lies and confusion, elevated by threats and stock piling of ammunition for their perceived craving for power.

For weeks I have been contemplating writing this letter, but discarded the idea 12 times. But since Akinwande Oluwole Soyinka says that, ‘The man dies in all who keep silent in the face of tyranny’.-The Man Died (New York: Harper & Row, 1972- p. 13), I think I have seen enough tyrannies to force me to speak up because I don’t want to die. Yes it is not in my character to die as a coward, though all of us in Akwa Ibom State are being forced to take that option, we should see and speak not. When you speak friends desert you and declare you a no go area, some even blackmail you for pittance just to satisfy their bandwagon fear of the unknown, but I will opt out of the spineless crowd and differ from such idiosyncrasy, because I know cowardice is a devastating weakness, for the sake of myself, my Children and their future, I will speak up today, I don’t need any supporter. The truth must be told. I have not compromised my integrity, no not yet not within the labyrinth of lies and confusion, elevated by threats and stock piling of ammunition for their perceived craving for power.

In the past months, I have had to defend some gubernatorial aspirants from Akwa Ibom State, who are angling for the 2015 ticket before my very cerebral children. They believe venturing into politics in our clime is a waste of time, they are not interested in the dubious financial gains, because  they believe their parents’ antecedent is worth dying for or protecting forever. They are always proud and keep reminding me of their great grand Uncle cum father, Sampson Udo Etuk, the Ibibio Union icon, who denied himself overseas scholarship, whereas he was in charge of the funds and administration of the educational award, to allow others, who did not have the wherewithal like him to proceed abroad under the scholarship scheme to further their education, why he sponsored himself and later his children.

Today’s politicians would rather pilfer the money to build mansions for themselves and their siblings, and rape the society of such a great opportunity. The likes of Sampson Udo Etuk have long gone; even his colleagues at that time were very   much undecided about issues that favoured others. One is proud to be chiseled out from such honoured and celebrated stock. These kids   yearn to keep the legacy.

 

I read Assam Assam’s letter to Udom Emmanuel with stoic calmness that was why I chose to read it around midnightor about 30 minutes past midnight. I needed that kind of a serene environment to enable me digest the letter and perfectly decipher what he was trying to convey, knowing that “The greatest threat to freedom is the absence of criticism”-Wole Soyinka.

I know he wrote it and did not need to pay a letter writer to do it for him. He may be a cantankerous person as his critics claim including Udom Emmanuel, but  he  intelligently marshaled out his points, forget his so called antecedence, but his language were civil, although he flew off the handle in few places, it was logical. He did not dissipate his energy trying to lie to tell the truth or malign personalities, he focused on issues of import.

 

Days after, my loquacious human right activist colleague, Clifford Thomas woke me up from my sleep and dropped a printed version of the Udom Emmanuel’s reply on my lap. I was not disappointed because as most replies (advertorials) from the Akwa Ibom State present government connote, so many innuendoes were used to convey his message.

Udom Emmanuel

Although Udom made his points, such submissions were beclouded by the personal attacks on Assam, which made the letter amateurish. The art of discrediting your adversary before correcting any perceived cuff could work in a court room, but Udom can bear me witness that as a boardroom player that he is like me, it is usually counterproductive rather bare facts and truth work. Udom disappointed me and others of that class. He might have made his point but it was not very convincing for a man who hopes to rule us. Politics is a different ball game, one slip can affect the mindset of your supporters, forget about the executive rascality which is a Nigeria power fort, but when the time comes, the true supporters will be revealed based on your words.

While contemplating writing this letter I stumbled on my friend, Fani Kayode’s article and this quote attracted me: ‘”why should we speak out? Why should we bother? What difference will it make? Why should we risk our lives? Why should we swim against the tide? Why should we bother fighting against the government or the authorities because we can never win?” These are deep and difficult questions but thankfully Dante Alighieri provided the answer to some of them when he wrote that ”the hottest place in hell is reserved for those that remain neutral in times of great moral crisis”. This is not only true but it is also deeply profound.’

It emboldens me and I just let off a wry laughter because most of us have been hounded into the pit, and our mind is seared, without feelings. Those who perpetrated the 2010 hideous crimes are still around- The threesome. Therefore when those mean men arrogantly want to break every bone to triumph in a democratic set up, don’t forget we had been watching your back for years.

The office of a governor is respectable and should be treated as such. No amount of provocation should make a respected governor lower his esteemed position because he wants to trade words with a mad man on the street or show the public that he also has guts. Such brash bravery is not expected from anyone who aspires to such an office, this is why like many respected Akwa Ibom people, I am disappointed. The diatribe is a reflection of what we should expect if any of such ilks becomes our governor. I also wonder what we mean by backdoor even the one expressed by our governor, Chief Godswill Obot Akpabio was vaguely presented and if one reads meaning to it now, stones will start flying from all cylinders including the unintelligent passersby. This is one area we have not defined as we try to reinvent the story of Absalom. This is why we should succinctly present it before I write my own definition, which I have the journalistic license to do because for two good years I studied interpretative reporting, before they start accusing me of quoting Absalom, sorry backdoor out of context. Also I have THE POETIC LICENSE to be vague too. The Bible has been so battered by our claims to Christianity and respect for God, yet our actions do not portray the character of godly people. Perhaps, it is the religious titles that get our head swollen. According to the forerunner of Christianity, Jesus, the Christ, FORGIVENESS is a virtue in Christian living. It is highly desirable –even the Lord’s Prayer that we invoke on ourselves daily teaches us the right thing to do- “Forgive me my sins as I forgive those who sin against me.” Therefore it means if I don’t forgive others I will not be forgiven. God did not place this conditionality on us, we did it by ourselves by invoking it anytime we pray and should be responsible for it.

Mark my words our impetuous braveness will not make us governor of Akwa Ibom State nor claims which are underlined by lies. The Ibibio Elders Forum, once said to be a campaign team of a guber aspirant and not recognized by government as a reputable organization (advertorial signed by government appointees on behalf of the government stated this clearly) despite its founding father being late Dr Clement Nnyong Isong, our quintessential former CBN governor and civilian governor of then Cross River State, is now being used by aspirants to pep up their political profiling and their media touts resorting to blackmailing the group of those distinguished and accomplished elders, whose ages range from 55 to 90 years. A stone that was rejected….. Why claim an endorsement that has not happen,  the same Elders Council also hosted other aspirants and none turn around to claim, we’ve been endorsed by Ibibio Elders Forum.

Don’t let me say more. Once again accept my compliment and sincere gratitude for expressing your interest in contesting to serve us, but desist from insulting our sensibility, as more letters are coming from my stable in the near future.

Sincerely

Sam Inyang  Etuk

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I will establish industrial renaissance in Akwa Ibom – Amb Assam.

21 Mar

 

Amb Assam Assam at a town hall meeting in Houston

 

The Nigerian Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Russia and Belarus, His Excellency, Ambassador Assam Ekanem Assam  (SAN) has lauded the Akwa Ibom State governor, Chief Godswill  Akpabio for  changing the infrastructural landscaping of the State and making the state accessible to industrial revolution. Ambassador Assam made the commendation early this week   in a Town Hall Meeting with business community, intelligentsia and socio-cultural groups in Houston, Texas, the United States of America.

He maintained nobody was capable of faulting the governor when it comes to his infrastructural transformation agenda. He argued that when Akpabio talked about making changes with anger, it did not translate to mean he was an angry man; rather he came and saw the road decay, got angry over it and in the same vein, transformed it.

Ambassador Assam Assam in chit-chat after Town Hall Meeting in Houston

Ambassador Assam Assam in chit-chat after Town Hall Meeting in Houston

Ambassador Assam said when elected into office, he will transform the state to an industrial renaissance in a few years in office. He said there was no denying the fact that people of the state have complained bitterly about hunger and poverty as one of the indices critically bedeviling the state, a case which he said his administration will pay serious attention to, especially in areas of agriculture, technology, industry and trade.

“There’s no doubt that this administration has adorned the state with infrastructural facilities; and you will agree with me that this is the dot that connects industrialization. Akpabio must be applauded for this; and even his critics will be silent on this salient fact. I will no longer donate too much time on this direction but to ensure that our people get opportunity for massive employment. You cannot go to school and study when you’re hungry; you cannot even take medication with empty stomach. That’s why I’ll make Akwa Ibom an Industrial hub for massive employment to set in. It is a goal I want all of you all both at home and in Diaspora to support me with.” Assam said.

Ambassador Assam Assam chatting with top academic during Town Hall Meeting in Houston Texas

Ambassador Assam Assam chatting with top academic during Town Hall Meeting in Houston Texas

On whether he was intimidated that Governor Akpabio was fronting a particular candidate for the governorship position, he said he was not aware of anybody being anointed by Akpabio to succeed him, and the governor being a true democrat, he will not venture to impose a candidate on the people, as the people will resist such imposition. He maintained that any qualified candidate of the state will not hide behind the governor or the president to seek an elective office; only the misfit could do that.

“My people, I don’t think governor Akpabio has anointed anybody to succeed him. Let’s assume that this is coming from the rumor mill. The governor, whom I know, is a true democrat; and true democrats do not impose leaders on the people. The people are allowed by democrats to elect their leaders. If anybody intends to impose a leader on the people, the people will rise against such imposition. You’re the people, will you allow anybody to impose any leader on you? Assam asked rhetorically?

On whether the zoning system affects him adversely or favorably, Chief Assam maintained he was not contesting the governorship position based on the zoning arrangement. He stated that the rotation and zoning principle was entirely the People Democratic Party’s (PDP) affair. He explained that since zoning principle was enshrined in the PDP constitution, it was the party decision to make arrangement based on its constitution; and if it decided on the zoning, it would be more favorable to him given that he’s from Eket Senatorial District (ESD) which governor Akpabio and majority of the people of the state have zoned the position to; but if it were going to be a free for all contests, he sees himself as the most qualified candidate given his vast administrative, political, social and professional experience.

“I have served in various positions of the government. I graduated as lawyer since 1979 and was called to Bar in 1980. I have played active politics since then, and have represented my people both in the local, State and federal levels most diligently; this you all know. I have represented a lot of you sitting here, my brothers and sisters, in various cases in court and won. I have been an Attorney General of the state; today I am representing the Federal government of Nigeria as an Ambassador of Russia and Belarus. I don’t need to sing my praises; I just want to remind my people of the quality person that you will have to support as a governor of your state. It is my credentials that intimidate other aspirants. That is why some of them want to hide behind somebody to contest election.”

Assam called on the Diaspora to participate actively in the politics at home to change the thinking and orientation of the people and fight the culture of ethnic politics which is currently raging like wild fire in the state.

Amb Assam Conferring with Business Community during the Houston Town Hall Meeting

Amb Assam Conferring with Business Community during the Houston Town Hall Meeting

Larry Esin Replies Thompson Essien: Mrs. Amawo Innocently Misquoted Me.

19 Jan

                                                    Written by Mr. Larry Esin
Ete Thompson,
Larry Esin

Larry Esin

Happy New Year and best wishes. Ete, this is Larry Esin, your friend; I hope you still consider me a friend. Because of my respect for you, I have chosen to write you this personal explanation vis – a – vis the controversy that has arisen over my interview with Mrs. Amawo last year.”

Ete, I assure you that I was misquoted, albeit innocently by Mrs. Amawo. I have known Mrs. Amawo from my days as National Chairman of the PPA, and I never doubted and still do not doubt her professional competency.
When Mrs. Amawo met me that morning of the interview, it was our first meeting in almost three years, and she came that morning not to interview me but to inform me of the birth of her first child after many years of marriage. It was a joyous occasion as you can imagine.
Mrs. Amawo, having spent the last two years as she put it, trying to track me down, decided to seize the opportunity that morning and secure an interview even though she was ill prepared. She did not even have a recorder with her. I pleaded unsuccessfully to reschedule, but Mrs. Amawo would have none of that. Such is the relationship I have with her. At the end, she decided to use the recorder of her small Nokia phone for the interview.
As you would imagine, the interview was interrupted frequently by incoming calls, and each time a call came through Mrs. Amawo had to apologize, pause, answer her call and reset the recorder to continue the interview. It was during one of such interruptions that I was explaining the reason and consequences of my late entry into the 2006/7 governorship race. I said then, that because I entered the race so late “I was accused of running to help my friend Akpabio “, because most people could not understand why anyone in “their right Mind” would enter such a contest barely 30 days to the elections.
I believe that during the recording, and Mrs. Amawo confessed that there were gaps in the recording due to the poor quality of the recording and the intermittent calls that came through during the interview. Unfortunately, I was out of the country in Asia (I flew out the same day of the interview) when Mrs. Amawo was transcribing and she could not reach me to fill in the gaps. She made an innocent but costly mistake in trying to fill in the gaps herself.
You may then want to know what I have done since the story broke. I did contact Mrs. Amawo to express my concern over the consequences of the misrepresentation. We also discussed a cause of action including a press/media statement on the issue. I decided to wait a bit on any cause of action because I did not want to heat up the already tense ethnic squabble in our State. In retrospect that may have been the wrong decision.
As one who seeks to govern Akwa Ibom, I am under no illusion that I will have 100% support of the electorate; neither will I be judged always by the content of my character or my commitment to the cause of a free and just Akwa Ibom, where we all will be treated as equals under the law. I lean my hopes therefore on God almighty who knows the content of each of our hearts and my commitment to the truth.
I would have felt better if all the outburst and attacks I have endured since the story broke had all to do with my capabilities or lack thereof and less to do with a friendship with a fellow Akwaibomites in 2006/7. I have not been part of the administration since its inception and cannot therefore take responsibility for its actions.
My response to Barrister Iyanam’s publication was to inform the world that the majority of us Akwa Ibom people are not ethnic minded, especially when it comes to our politics. I used my personal experience as an example, and the fact that Barrister Iyanam, an Oro man, will not vote for an Oro man simply because they share an ethnic identity.
Ete, you are a man of balanced thinking and void of sentiments, let your conscience guide you. My warm regards to your family Sir and best wishes for the New Year.
Larry Esin
Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone.

Moscow: Ambassador Assam Assam: Talking sports more than diplomacy

13 Oct

By Onochie Anibeze, Vanguard, Nigeria

Chief Assam E. Assam is Nigeria’s Ambassador to the Russian Federation and Belarus.

Seasoned diplomats carry themselves with candour. They portray dignity in their functions. There’s so much diplomacy in the way they talk and in their actions too.

Chief Assam represents all these. But when sports is the discourse, he discards diplomacy and hits the nail on the head. He jabs the authorities for failing to advise the government on real sports development and in turn frowns at government for not appointing people knowledgeable in sports to manage it.

Assam Ekanem Assam

Assam Ekanem Assam

Emotions get the better of him when he discusses sports. He makes some technical points which give him away as a player or technocrat in the field of sports. Assam gives a clue on sports development, administration and promotion and you wonder what such a man could do if he were a governor of a state in Nigeria or in such a top position to influence decisions on sports in the country.

Assam was baring his mind in a chat with Chief Solomon Ogba, the President of Athletics Federation of Nigeria who visited the Nigerian Embassy here in Moscow with the Technical Director of AFN, Navy Commodore Omatseye Nesiama. This reporter was there too.

Assam was calm when he gave a history of Russia and their transformation from the Bolsheviks Revolution of 1917 to the break up of the Soviet Union under Gobarchev who introduced Perestroika and to present day. He gave kudos to the way they manage their oil production and sale. The Russians, he said, own all the oil blocks. They, in turn, invite the oil companies and other partners. Russians are the driving force. In Nigeria, it is Shell, Chevron etc.

“There’s no such case of producing, for example, 2,000 barrels and declaring 1,500. You will go to jail if you do that, nothing, absolutely nothing like that in their oil business,” Assam said with authority.

He said that the Russian economy was strong and that Russians were better for it.

The affluence in the city of Moscow here absolutely confirms the fair assessment of Assam. Those who nurse a picture of communist Russia need to visit this place. They would not believe that free market economy only started in 1991. Russians were bold in addressing their problems and they are reaping from their efforts now.

Assam, would not, as a diplomat, publicly draw comparisons between Russia and Nigeria. There couldn’t be any basis of comparison, in the first place. But inferences can be drawn on how they managed their problems in spite of their political upheavals and the failure of Nigerian leaders to do same.

Assam was brilliant in discussing different economies and what he feels will be a great approach for Nigeria.

“A developing country is like a young girl. You must take care of her clothing, all her needs especially education. If you must borrow to send her to school you must do so because it is an investment that will surely produce results,” he said apparently hoping that the listeners understood the perspective of his analogy with regard to the current policy.

But Assam showed greater passion in using sports as tool for human capital development. He was at home with sports.

“The future lies in the development of human capital and nothing develops the mind more than sports,” Assam says, pointing out the brain work athletes employ to win games. He even gave example with himself, citing how, sometimes, he prepares for a game of squash.

“I visualise how my opponent plays, his weak and strong points and what I should do at every point of the game. You even play the game in your mind before the game.”

Assam is sad that there’s no high quality sports institute which trains coaches, sports administrators and which has programmes for talent development.

“We need sports institutions, we need infrastructure and we need to engage more youths in sports. Why do we not have sports facilities in our schools any more? And why are we not keeping busy some of the few sports facilities we have in the country? Why would you in the first place build a stadium if you would not have a programme to make such a facility productive? Don’t we know that during depression, especially, sports is one of the things that could engage the youth and provide employment?

Assam would not stop. His voice became loud, his gesticulations kept his body busy. When he analysed the men and women 100m finals in the ongoing 14th edition of the World Championships, pointing out the elements he felt produced the champions in Usain Bolt and Shelly Ann Fraser Pryce, Ambassador Assam clearly showed his depth in the technicalities of sports. He clearly impressed his guests. Solomon Ogba was nodding and saying “we need people like him.”

Some of the things Ambassador Assam noted that we now lack in Nigeria were once prominent.

Sports in schools was a serious feature and he recalled how, as secondary school students, they were grouped according to their talents and they all participated in sports. Facilities were in schools. Many of them have now been taken over by weeds or buildings erected on them. Some universities even awarded sports scholarships and sports was part of the school culture.

“What happened to Nigeria? What actually happened and caused this rot?,” I asked Ambassador Assam. He paused and asked if I wanted an answer. “Yes”, I said. He smiled with a tinge of drama.

“The people who lit the candle and handed it to us left and we let the candle burn out on our palms.”

He meant that the colonial masters and the missionaries who laid the foundation for sports development in the country handed the baton to Nigerians and they destroyed the structures and the system that were left behind for them to build on. The same Nigerian factor that everybody complains about but which the leadership fails to act on.

Ambassador Assam’s passion for sports excites. It compels one to admire him and just dream.

“Mary Onyali met him on the flight to Moscow from Lagos and kept on saying that we needed to get hold of him,” Commodore Nesiama told Ogba.

Assam is a chief, a lawyer, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria(SAN) for that matter and Nigeria’s Ambassador to Russia and Belarus. He may need a platform to practice what he preaches in social mobilisation, economy and most importantly sports development. The man is from Akwa Ibom State. And charity, they say, begins at home.

– See more at: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2013/08/ambassador-assam-e-assam-talking-sports-more-than-diplomacy/#sthash.ratAJLem.dpuf

U-N-B-E-L-I-E-V-A-B-L-E: Nigerian governor best man to a cook during marriage (Photo)

21 Sep

suswamFor Peter Anyiman, a cook serving Catholic Priest, Rev. Father Michael Tumba, his wedding last Saturday at Our Lady Perpetual Help Cathedral, Makurdi, Benue State, was made just a lit bit more special by the fact that his best man was Governor Gabriel Suswam.

Suswam told the guests at the wedding reception which was held at the same venue that the groom who had served Tumba in Abuja for 18 years had demonstrated commitment to his job and deserved to be honoured. He advised people to take their jobs seriously.

Putting his advice to practice, the governor took time to adjust the groom’s tie and wipe sweat from his face to the admiration of the guests who attended the ceremony.

Anyiman said he considered himself lucky to have the governor serve as his best man and could not have wished for a better wedding gift.Image

THE NATION

Obasanjo, Jonathan Strike Deal To Make Andy Uba Anambra Governor

23 Aug

Peter Obi and Andy Uba

A huge political tension has developed in Anambra State over a deal struck between former President Olusegun Obasanjo and President Goodluck Jonathan to impose Senator Andy Uba as the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party as well as the next governor of Anambra.

Several sources in Abuja and within Anambra State told SaharaReporters that Mr. Obasanjo was one of the architects of the plan to make Mr. Uba governor. A PDP executive in Abuja disclosed that the Uba deal was one of the conditions given by former President Obasanjo to settle a rift between him and Mr. Jonathan.

In addition, Mr. Jonathan has told his associates that he needs Mr. Uba in control of Anambra in order to guarantee him a landslide victory in the state come the 2015 presidential election. “The president wants to ensure that he carries Anambra and other southeast states,” said a source. “That’s why he needs Chief Uba to be in charge.”

Mr. Jonathan’s administration has been under fire from former President Obasanjo, who has expressed dissatisfaction with the incumbent president’s performance. Mr. Obasanjo has also told his associates that he was seriously considering the option of backing a northern candidate to run against Mr. Jonathan in the 2015 presidential election.

“I can tell you that nothing scares President Jonathan more than Chief Obasanjo’s ability to marshal forces, within Nigeria and abroad, against him,” said a source who is close to the current president. “He has been so jittery ever since Baba [Obasanjo] started launching his attacks. That’s why he quickly agreed when Chief Obasanjo told him that Andy must become the new governor of Anambra.”

Many top political sources within the PDP and the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) told SaharaReporters that President Jonathan has enlisted the hierarchy of both parties in the scheme to put Mr. Uba into the governor’s seat in Anambra by hook or crook. In meetings with Governor Obi and other PDP and APGA interests, Mr. Jonathan instructed that all steps be taken to ensure that Mr. Uba’s enthronement as the next governor becomes a success.

But the plan is being stoutly resisted, according to a spokesman for a coalition of interests from across different political parties, including PDP members. “Obasanjo couldn’t help his daughter carry his own polling station in Ogun State, but he thinks he can choose who will be our governor in Anambra,” said the man, who in a telephone conversation declared that his anti-Uba coalition was confident of resisting both Obasanjo and Jonathan. “Our people voted solidly for President Jonathan in 2011. Yet, instead of treating us with the respect we deserve, he sits in Abuja and wants to dictate who will rule us. Their evil scheme will fail.”

According to several of our sources, the recent upheaval in APGA was part of the plot to clear the way for Mr. Uba to coast to the governorship. Last week, APGA announced the disqualification of Charles Soludo, a former Central Bank Governor, Oseloka Obaze, an erstwhile top aide to Governor Peter Obi, as well as other key governorship contenders. “The [disqualifications] were part and parcel of a deal to ensure that Chief Andy Uba becomes the next person to rule Anambra,” said a longtime member of APGA.

Several sources revealed that Governor Obi was previously interested in supporting either Mr. Obaze, a lawyer and retired employee of the United Nations, or former banker, Willie Obiano, to succeed him. SaharaReporters also gathered that APGA chairman, Victor Umeh, once backed Mr. Soludo for the governorship. A source said the former CBN governor, who recently resigned from the PDP and registered as a member of APGA, had provided substantial cash to Mr. Umeh to help run the party.

However, both Mr. Soludo and Mr. Obaze became casualties of President Jonathan’s decision to appease Obasanjo as well as position a dependable ally in Anambra. Several sources revealed that Mr. Jonathan and his associates felt that neither Mr. Soludo nor Mr. Obaze could be fully trusted to help him in 2015. In addition, Mr. Jonathan and his team dread the prospects of Senator Chris Ngige winning Government House, Awka. A few days ago, Mr. Ngige emerged the APC’s governorship candidate in a controversial congress that some party members described as undemocratic.

According to some sources, President Jonathan persuaded Governor Obi to abandon Obaze, his primary choice as successor. SaharaReporters learned that the Presidency also paid a huge sum of money to APGA chairman, Umeh, to persuade him to back away from Mr. Soludo.

A source close to Mr. Obi revealed that the Anambra governor was “taken by surprise and is very unhappy” with the president’s advocacy for Mr. Uba. “He [Obi] wanted either Obaze or Chief Willie Obiano, but what can he do once the president has spoken?”

Of all the serious APGA aspirants, only Mr. Obiano, a respected former banking executive, survived the purge that swept away Mr. Soludo and Mr. Obaze. A source in APGA told SaharaReporters that the Presidency perhaps spared Mr. Obiano because they saw him as a political push-over who would be easily rigged out by the PDP machinery. But the source added that both Mr. Obiano and Mr. Ngige would beat Mr. Uba in any free-and-fair contest in Anambra.

One of the members of the emerging anti-Uba group told SaharaReporters that the PDP would have had an uphill task winning an election in Anambra even with a good candidate. “But when it becomes clear to our [Anambra] people that Obasanjo and Jonathan are engineering Andy as our next governor, more of our people will rise in stout opposition.”

A PDP member of the coalition vowed that the people of Anambra were tired of what he called “the politics of imposition.” “Don’t forget that Chief Andy Uba did not even win senatorial election. We all know that the seat he has in the Senate truly belongs to [Nicholas] Ukachukwu. I can assure you that our people still remember the role Chief Uba and Eselu [Mr. Uba’s younger brother, Chris Uba] played to destroy Anambra when Obasanjo was president. We won’t allow a partnership of Ogboni members to treat us like boy-boys,” he said.

A source within APGA told SaharaReporters that the blame for what is happening should go to Mr. Obi. “The governor disappointed us and our late leader and father, Ikemba Nnewi [Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu] when he effectively turned APGA into a branch of the PDP and an arm of the Presidency.”

Several PDP members told SaharaReporters that party officials had directly or indirectly told major governorship aspirants within their fold not to waste their money and time. “We were told not to bother spending our money, that the [governorship] ticket will be delivered to Dr. Andy Uba,” said a source who said he was mulling a run for the post. He added that other aspirants like Nicholas Ukachukwu and Annie Okonkwo had received the same message.

“Is this democracy that we are seeing in our country?” the source questioned. “Our party says nobody should run again except Andy. And the oppositions are doing the same thing. Dr. Ngige was just announced like that, without following any real democratic way.”

The source said he had heard of the group mobilizing to fight against the imposition of Mr. Uba, but said he was not a member. Asked if he would campaign for Mr. Uba, the source spoke angrily. “If they impose him, why then should I fight for him? Let those who imposed him come and fight for him.”

– SaharaReporters

HOW GOV. GODSWILL AKPABIO LOOTED AKWA IBOM STATE TREASURY

5 Nov

27th October 2011

A LETTER TO THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

THROUGH

THE SENATE PRESIDENT,

THE SPEAKER OF HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY COMPLEX,

THREE ARMS ZONE,

ABUJA-FCT.

Your Excellences, Mr. Senate President and The Hon. Speaker

House of Representatives

RE: NIGERIA; A NATION OF DOUBLE STANDARD AND COMPLICITY

Let me crave your indulgence to address you on the above topic in my capacity as a tax payer and bonafide citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

In 2009 when our President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Alhaji Umaru Yar’dua became incapacitated by illness, the issue of vacuum was resolved through what is now known as the doctrine of necessity through which the Vice President Dr. Goodluck Jonathan became acting President and Commander in Chief of Armed Federal Republic of Nigeria.

May I also recall that the event that led to the manipulated impeachment of former Governor of Bayelsa State Dr. D. S. P Alagmehsia by the Obasanjo Presidency in addition to state of emergency declared in Plateau and Ektit States by that regime.

My belief is that those actions were taken to launder the national image at a time there was a need to do so. Right now, Nigeria is in more desperate position as it is deep in the mud water of corruption and other anti democratic tendencies.

I wish to draw your attention to what is happening in the 21st state of Nigeria, Akwa Ibom State, otherwise known as The Land of Promise. The present regime ruling the state came into existence by fraud and corruption and has no accountability to the people. This is manifested in the exhibition of total impunity and recklessness.

Governor Godswill O. Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State does not understand the Federal Government Procurement Act and to him the due process theory belongs to the winds. Bills of quantities used in construction in the state are probably copied from the astral world as 1 kilometer of road is estimated and fixed between N1b and N3b Naira.

When Mr. President Dr. Goodluck Jonathan in his maiden visit to Gombe state 2009 he observed and remarked that the Governor of that State Danjuma Goje was very prudent in management of resources of that state. He openly announced that Federal Procurement Officers may be sent to learn from the State. Mr. President was particularly excited by the cost effectiveness on projects like the Airport and the Banquet Hall of the Government House. The Airport project was put at …… while the Banquet Hall consumed N1.3 Billion Naira. Mr. President did not know that in Akwa Ibom State the Government House built at the cost of N7.4 Billion Naira in 2008 to 2009 also added a Banquet Hall in the 2010 Budget at cost of N10 Billion Naira. Today Akwa Ibom State Government House Complex is worth N17.4 Billion Naira and must be the only of its kind in Africa.

Your Excellences let me reproduce for your perusal a part of the corruption index I wrote and sent to the Presidency on the 6th Day of September 2010. It covers a period of January 2008 to June 2009 taken as a case study. A comprehensive review and auditing will reveal that most of the awards upon which mobilization of anything from 30 to 100% were mostly scams. They should be made to publish the status of those jobs that earned 100% in the last four and the half years. They should be made to identify all vehicles purchased during the period. It is noticeable that vehicles are not ordered in the terms of their makes, units and quantities.

All the contracts recorded against the Hon. Commissioner for Works and Transport should be made public in complete details including all those that were mobilized 100% at the first instant.

On Akwa Ibom International Airport Project, which was re-awarded to Alcon Ltd. by Governor Akpabio, there is need to explain the exact job the new outfit did for $150,000,000 in addition to the 80% contract value already paid for by immediate past administration in the State. More so, when the contractor on the runway has not been changed.

Who owns the following companies, PROD GLOBAL LIMITED, CHINTO TECHNOLGIES LIMITED and OAK MOTORS? Please check also the date and the frequencies against each contract award on the enclosed table. The mind bugling revelations therein will be difficult to comprehend.

The highlight shows that the Hon. Commissioner of Works and Transport awarded contract at alarming rate directly to himself and the operating companies are run by his elder brother. Information including bank accounts and the account officers in various banks have been made available to relevant agencies including the anti-graft agencies. Unfortunately, nothing came out of the exercise.

Please find enclosed table for total details.

Recently, association of quantity surveyors of Nigeria cried out at the outrageous contract costs in the country and called for actual valuation of roads and other constructions in the country. There is no doubt that Akwa Ibom in particular is their reference point.

Your Excellences, in Akwa Ibom State Project are mostly designed for the purpose of siphoning our resources to align the pocket of the Governor, his family members and cronies. Today, there is no Akpabio either by birth or marriage that has not joined the league of Billionaires. Media houses are heavily hired to sing the song of massive infrastructural development. Sycophancy is reaping the highest harvest in Akwa Ibom State. This is the picture of lootocracy and kleptocracy on exhibition in our State. It is more than a calamity.

Recently the House of Representatives rejected supplementary appropriation bill of N96 Billion Naira for the remaining part of the financial year from the Presidency. The reason for the rejection was for non inclusion of details regarding the actual implementation of the whole Budget.

Your Excellences, as I write this letter the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly are busy rubberstamping a whooping N94,000,000,000.00 supplementary estimate for road construction and payment of salaries for the remaining 2 months of the year 2011. The roads in question are mostly Federal roads including the dualization of Uyo – Ekot Ekpene – Ekot Umoessin to Aba in Abia State, covering a distance about 50 kilometers, Oron Ibaka, Ini to Ikono road among others.

It is doubtful whether any information to warrant such an extravagant spending when the financial year is almost ending is available. This represents the level of inferiority and ineptitude the State House of Assembly.

Currently, the Federal Government and Lagos State Government are having serious friction over who should rehabilitate/construct the Lagos Ibadan Express way.

If Nigeria is not a country of double standard, is it possible an act of this nature could be tolerated? Thus the misapplication of public fund not amount to financial indiscipline and abuse of office?

Form the mouths of Mr. President and Senior Federal Government Officials have clearly stated that any State Government who undertakes building of Federal roads shall be compensated at the standard rate for a single lane whenever they are ready to make such refunds. In other words, dualizations and expansions shall be deemed illegal. If this is the position, is the Federal Government not encouraging fraud and corruption as well as guilty of complicity against the people of Akwa Ibom State? The much publicized war against corruption, where is it being fought from? How does the International Community see this Giant of Africa when people like Godswill Akpabio are given the free hand to destroy and loot away the collective destiny of Akwa Ibom people through massive fraud and corruption?

Your Excellences, personally, the recent statement by our President Dr. Goodluck Jonathan to the effect that he was not a General, Lion, or a Pharaoh, to say the least, was not only disappointing, but very embarrassing.

Please Sirs, when next you meet our President tell him that apart from the fact that we need much more, we expecting him to be a Moses. A leader, who was trained in the best tradition and education of the Egyptian Empire, remained a mould and decoy of God and eventually manifested supremely in the emancipation of Israelites from the land of bondage. We certainly need a Moses.

Your Excellences, in addition to the issue of corruption we cannot ignore the case of terrorism and insecurity created in the State by Governor Godswill Akpabio and his government. The recent landmark judgment from two separate High Court of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State in respect of State sponsored crimes and subsequent frame up of innocent persons for the same crime. Rivers and Bayelsa State have been exposed to be their breeding ground for terrorist, murders, assassins and kidnappers. This is perhaps why Akpabio as a con man has been accusing neighboring state of harboring the bandits.

May I refer you to two judgment mentioned above;

1. THE HIGH COURT OF AKWA IBOM STATE

HOLDEN AT UYO

CHARGE NO HU/12C/2010

JUDGMENT DELIVERED ON THE 14TH JULY 2011.

BEFORE THE HON. JUSTICE E . I EDEMEKONG

2. THE HIGH COURT OF AKWA IBOM STATE

HOLDEN AT UYO

CHARGE NO HU/10C/2010

JUDGMENT DELIVERED ON THE 4TH AUGUST 2010.

BEFORE THE HON. JUSTICE ANDREW OKON

I enclosed here with certified true copies of the two judgments for your perusal.

In the recent report on the Federal Government Administrative panel on pre and after election violence headed by Hon. Justice N. Aremu, Akwa Ibom State has been indicted. The report, inter alia commented on the sophisticated weapons used in the Akwa Ibom for the violence, whereas those used in the North were mere local items such as knife, machetes, bottles and other minor weapons, the Akwa Ibom action involved weapons such as Ak 47, Machine guns and Grenades among others.

The judgment mentioned above has already showed that the Honorable Commissioner for Works and Transport is the State arms and ammunitions coordinator for the Governor. He is the head of “the Peace House”, the killer squad of the Governor.

Finally Your Excellences I see the National Assembly as the supreme authority with relevant oversight functions to properly fix this Nation for us, our children and posterity. You cannot afford to be indifferent when people like Godswill Akpabio are with impunity making nonsense of the rule of Law and Order as well as general recklessness. To do otherwise will see you as Emperor Nero of Rome sleeping while Rome was burning. The Auditor General of the Federation has already indicted the National Assembly for encouraging corruption in Nigeria.

Do something.

Thank you

Ime T. Mbatessien

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