Godswill Akpabio vs Joi Nunieh

A former governor of Akwa Ibom State and Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio
A former governor of Akwa Ibom State and Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio

Who would have thought that water; the fish’s natural habitat would cook its tenant and turn it into a serving on the dinner plate?

It was obvious that Godswill Akpabio would someday turn his mentor, Muhammadu Buhari, into a laughing stock.

After all, when it comes to political prostitution, the former governor of Akwa Ibom makes the Biblical Samson cringe.

After serving two terms as a PDP governor, winning a senate seat and becoming the upper house’s minority leader, Akpabio dropped all that for a ministerial slot.

It was evident that Senator Akpabio could have lost all he acquired to EFCC if he didn’t know when to bail.

Jumping boat enabled him have his perceived sins wiped out.

As Adams Oshiomole aptly puts it, when you join APC, your sins are forgiven.

With such a record of loyalty, people should not expect that Akpabio would turn round someday to insult Muhammadu Buhari.

Akpabio knows that in defending a charge of corruption, under Buhari’s government, the best defence is not to bring up certificate verification.

After all, our elders say that the frog asks to be excused when fellow amphibians boast about their tails.

Nigerians have come to accept that their president does not need to exhibit his credentials to run or remain in office.

That is a position endorsed by law, meaning; in Buhari’s Nigeria, sworn affidavits are as good as the real deal.

The ruling excuses Julius Berger hiring a carpenter where an engineer is needed.

It calls for litigants to recruit roadside mechanics as their solicitor and advocate.

When it comes to issues of governance, we have lost the moral right to vilify anyone for their lack of credentials.

Akpabio and his friends would have us believe that only the president could substitute his ‘lost’ credentials by affidavit.

That is not the position of the law and it would be very difficult in law to affirm that as the reason why Barrister Joi Nunieh, ex-NDDC general manager, was having trouble with Akpabio.

Why is an affidavit deposed to by Nunieh not enough for Akpabio when Nigeria accepts Buhari’s deposition?

Being a GM of NDDC is purely administrative.

Frederick Lugard did not need a certificate from a London school of administration to be granted administrative powers over the northern and southern protectorates.

It is shameful that Akpabio showed up on television to answer to shameful charges of corruption by proxy and ministerial high handedness by marriage-shaming Nunieh.

It is shameful to hear that in Nigeria of 2020, appointees still get vetted after their selection by a regime that serially appointed dead people into board positions.

An APC governor lost his seat on the eve of inauguration because his deputy falsified his certificate.

Adams Oshiomole pulled a man from abroad, appointed him head of his economic team, campaigned for him to succeed him as governor only to turn round to say the credentials he vouched for were after all questionable.

Although our country has the lowest possible qualification for election or appointment into public office, political appointees still forge certificates.

Akpabio’s recourse to shaming as deflection against serious allegations of corruption is shameful and fitting the character of a minister in a federal republic.

Akpabio should answer questions bothering on corruption by proxy – a situation where he smartly issues verbal instructions because he is smart enough to dodge leaving a paper trail.

He should take traditional oath that he did not order people to be implicated or sacked as a result of where they came from.

He should tell Nigerians that the woman who supplies darkness after collecting money to stock diesel is not his ‘girlfriend’ as alleged.

He should convince us that he did not order contracts awarded to people who would not lift a finger to do the job.

Nigerians deserve to know how the N40 million NDDC scam happened under his watch.

It should interest anyone why the minister is so interested in an appointee’s failed marriages if he has no pecuniary interest in their personal life.

Except he has proved that Ms Nunieh awarded contracts to her ex-husbands when they were not qualified, or that such contracts were not executed, he should bury his fat hands in his face and keep off an appointee’s conjugal background except it is now a prerequisite for hiring.

As far as male gossips go, the reason Festus Keyamo asked to be deployed from the Niger Delta ministry rather than work with him.

That is more interesting than Nunieh’s alleged failed marriages.

That she divorced, remarried and moved on in life is testimony that a failed marriage is not a failed life or the end of life.

Akpabio should tell Nigerians how far he has gone with the Ogoni clean-up project and what his ministry has done to reduce brigandage, unemployment and poverty in the Niger-Delta.

He should support an independent open enquiry into his tenure as Niger-Delta minister and how he has supervised the NDDC and any other agency under his ministry.

That is how to clear one’s image instead of resorting to the cowardly antics of a secondary school boy.

Certainly a nation gets the leadership that reflects its stride in a modern world.

Maybe its time to dust up Akpabio’s EFCC file.

It should be interesting to see if we won’t find things to corroborate Nunieh’s allegations.

Public officials should learn to respect women.

As they say in Nigeria, Akpabio ‘fall my hand’ on this and many more!

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