Rejoinder To Godswill Akpabio's Reply To My Open Letter, "Before It Is Too Late" By Dr. Ime Umanah
Chief, Sir, (Dr) Obong Godswill Obot Akpabio. CON,
Akwa Ibom State
I am really happy that you have come out from your hiding to make some statements, purportedly in response to my several published letters to you. The so-called response is vintage Godswill Obot Akpabio, the known 419 kingpin; it was a cocktail of lies, undignified language and childish flip-flops.
From your so-called response, it will be easy for the average man in the street to know the caliber of man that has been running the affairs of this state. If the allegations you are peddling in your reply are anything to go by, then I can understand the level of not just your intelligence as a person, but the standard of information at your disposal.
As a governor, one would have expected that you have sound means of intelligence gathering and credible information gathering apparatus at your disposal. But true to type, you have just exhibited the traits of a thorough breed street rumour monger and shameless mudslinger.
I am going to dignify your undignified write-up with paragraph by paragraph response, to show how shallow and unintelligent you are even as a 'lawyer'. I am not entirely surprised that your reasoning and your actions show a man drunk by the sudden thrust of fortune, especially when one takes a good look at your background of deprivation and uncertain parentage (one of the Akpabios, had during the 2006 primary election campaigns, told the world that you are not from the family and you have often been heard lamenting that instead of taking care of your schooling, your uncles were more interested in who inherits your mother). With such a background it is easy for one, like Godswill Akpabio, to see himself as a god, with the new turn of events.
Governor, you wrote that I ought not to lay claim to statesmanship. How convenient for you! After all, what did you know about the state and its progress before your coming to the state to become a commissioner? Men like you will never see the contributions of others to the state you have so bastardised and divided.
As a lawyer, one would have expected that when your aides write things, as they clearly did for you in the instant case of your response, you should read it for accuracy and adherence to facts. But you have the reputation of not reading anything, including memos. A little care would have shown you the type of suit number they put with reference to the trumped up charges you instituted against me; a suit that you have used to persecute me since November, 2010.
In the Akwa Ibom High Court, there is no number of any case as HU/C2010. The Suit number is actually HU/49C/2010. So much for a 'lawyer'! Any person that has followed the matter, which has been widely reported in newspapers, will know that you and your agents in the SSS have failed woefully in your wicked endeavour. How come your witnesses, which include you as the complainant, are developing cold feet to present your testimonies in court? I hope they told you how hopeless the trumped up charges were that led to your withdrawing the case from the Chief Judge's Court.
The world will get to hear more about this matter later, when it is concluded. I am sure you did not tell your writers how you tried to cajole me to accept that you withdraw the case on some conditions and I refused, electing instead that the matter goes its full length.
I read where you wrote that you created an atmosphere devoid of fear and intimidation in the state. What a man without a soul. Since you have sold your soul to the devil, I will let the spirit of those that lost their lives in the state under your watch to hunt you. You met a peaceful state and turned it into a killing mine, operating all manners of killer squads and empowering all kinds of cult groups that you have routinely used to kill and subdue the people. Remember that the problem between you and Mr. Mike Ejiofor, the former Director of State Security in the state, started with his telling you that you are the one encouraging kidnapping and killings in the state.
That confrontation led to the man's suspension until he was investigated and found out that he was correct in his assessment of the security situation in the state. You had to lobby for Mr. Minty, a man you have kept in the state for more than six years against any known service regulations. But one day; very soon, you will be called upon to answer to the numerous deaths that you supervised in this state.
On the issue of Newswatch Chairmanship, your facts are still so shamelessly faulty. You said I was there for 15 years. I only spent less than 10 years because; I had earlier told them that I was not going to be there for more than 10 years as the Chairman of the Board. I left when it became apparent that we could not work together again. For people like you, who may not know the history of Newswatch, I am only inclined to tell you that I single handedly gave the money used in establishing that magazine. I singlehandedly imported all the equipment the company used; I bought all the cars the editors were using and gave money for the commencement of their London office, ever before other investors came in. The magazine became the reference point in such publications, not only in Nigeria, but in Africa. Go back to your facts, governor!
It will take you less than five minutes to find out from the relevant agencies like the Central Bank and AMCON, whether I am indebted, in my personal name or my company name, to any bank. They will tell you who and who is indebted to banks in Nigeria, but typical of you; you have no idea of research and usually comes out saying things that always embarrass our people each time you address national issues. For the avoidance of doubt, I am neither indebted to Mercantile Bank, nor Century Bank, nor any other bank for that matter.
In your characteristic manner of dodging the issue of accounting for the Akwa Ibom common wealth you have so drunkenly frittered away, you merely engaged in shadow boxing when it came to the turn of talking about our money. Why is the Akpabio administration so shy about telling the people how much has come to the state and how much it has spent on the so called projects?
Why is Godswill Akpabio not telling us why his star project, the Ibom Tropicana, started in 2007, has not been completed even when it has gulped close to N100b? What is the difficulty in Godswill Akpabio telling Akwa Ibom people, how much he spent in constructing the 'Nest of Champions', a football pitch, with no other facility, thereby allowing our people endless speculations as to its cost?
What is so difficult in Godswill Akpabio telling our people, why projects like the Ibaka Seaport, the MRO Hanger of the Ibom Airport, as well as even its permanent terminal building, have not been completed? What is wrong in Akpabio telling the people what has become of Uyo/Etinan/Eket/Ibeno road, as well as the Etebi/Enwang road and its bridge?
How come it is difficult for Akpabio to tell the people why the Anniversary Specialist Hospital, which was also started since 2007, is still lying prostrate, even after the state has consistently led in allocation receipt among states in the country, running into more than three trillion naira? The late Effiong Ononokpono asked similar questions and he had to die.
The truth is that you, Godswill Akpabio, has so impoverished the people of the state that other Nigerians wonder why we are so rich and yet so poor. It is a shame that Akpabio will live with, that our people have become the laughing stock of Nigerians. It is such a shame that each time you ask Akpabio what he has done with the kind of money that came to the state; he goes blank and cannot supply specific projects that could have amounted to three trillion naira.
For a man that has no known job pedigree, or any known means of livelihood to talk so foolishly and glibly about personal investments, is just ridiculous. How can a man whose only past is embedded in his shady pedestal 419, run from his Ajao Estate residence, talk about investment? Thank God you said I had invested and I am still investing, can the same be said of you? All that you are or have are from proceeds from the commonwealth of Akwa Ibom people. A man who came to Uyo in a night bus, from Lagos to take up appointment as commissioner in Obong Attah's government, cannot talk about investment and what it means to invest and succeed or fail.
Chief Don Obot Etiebet brought you to manage his investment in Lagos and what you did was to steal the company dry. You were arrested and locked up in Police cell and you're on bail till today. As lawyer that you're, you should know that no criminal case is time barred. Today, over the FM 101.1 radio program, Chief Etiebet, your former boss reminded you of that criminal charge still hanging around you neck. Shame!
I know you are petty, but you indeed surprised me where I read about some American Heiress and photographs. I ask, how did Akwa Ibom get to the point that a man with this type of mental idiocy like Akpabio could emerge as governor? I made my wealth with honour and sweat. It is still the same successful Ime Umanah that gave you the money that you needed to go to school, that we are talking about here; the same person that helped your uncle Nsima Akpabio to read law in UNN and bought a brand new car for him when he graduated.
I did not need any heiress residing in your vacuous imagination to be the success business story that I have been. Small boy! I am just wondering when you will grow away from your foolishness. Typical of men in your former trade (or have you indeed left 419?), you fabricated the story of a fathom ship laden with Cocaine confiscated in far away India.
One would have expected you as a lawyer to know that General Ibrahim Babangida had no jurisdiction to determine what the Indian government should or should not do with such a crime. But you explained the outcome away devoid of any sensible reason for not being prosecuted. Can a man whose consignment of hard drugs was arrested in India, just walk away without being tried and sentenced if found guilty? The lies you tell smell of someone always high in some substances.
You said I drop names? Little boy, I don't. I have no need of ass-licking like you. I retain the mutual respect of General Ibrahim Babangida. I don't fawn around people like you; I don't seek photo ops with people like you. You may have to ask the General about me.
You said I am cantankerous because I challenged Idongesit Nkanga for accusing Annang people of poisoning his seat in Ikot Ekpene and for insisting that Annang language must not be spoken? Well, I leave you to your stupidity. After all, you and Nkanga are now eating from the same pot. I have had no cause to quarrel with Akpan Isemin, any quarrel must have existed in the foggy recesses of your substance infested mind! As for Obong Victor Attah, I had a legitimate political 'quarrel'. I contested elections with him and had to go to the tribunals, till we ended at the Supreme Court. You must note that that matter led to the dismissal of four High Court Judges!
Make sure that you have not in any way used my name and that of Gov Attah to swindle the state of the sum of N3b. I am sounding this note of warning because you parroted the allegation that Attah awarded a contract for the dredging of Ibaka Sea Corridor to my company. This is yet another deceased allegation from a deceased mind. As I write, I don't even know where Ibaka Sea Corridor is located. What a shameless lying governor!
I challenge you to publish the contract worth N4.5b you alleged to have given me. The only contract I got from your administration was to purchase fire-fighting trucks and fire fighting materials. By the time funds were made available for the importation of the trucks from Brazil, the naira had been devalued by 40 per cent in the first week of 2009. I made the observation, but was asked by the Works Commissioner to go ahead with the job, with the promise that another contract would be given to make up for the losses incurred in the fire-fighting truck contract.
Governor, remember that on June13, 2014, in the presence of your lawyer, Mr Kanu Agabi SAN, and my lawyer, Barr Chijioke Emeka and others, you demanded for a kickback of $2m from me on the contract and I told you that I don't give kickbacks, moreover I made nothing from the contract to warrant such a demand. So if you have recorded a contract of N4.5b in my name, you better go back and find another sub-head to hide your loot. The day of reckoning is fast approaching and there will be no hiding place for you. I am sure you already know this.
On Umana Okon Umana, I must confess that I warmed up to him when you sent your wife after him, storming his office in the Gestapo manner of street urchins. I had waited for you to charge him with any wrong doing in office. I waited for you to accuse him of corruption and any malfeasance, but none came. Knowing who you are, I am sure you would have picked the man and tried him for corruption if you had anything against him. I know this because I know how vindictive you are. But he is clean and that is why I am sure he will be the one that would clean up the mess you have made of governance in this state.
You talked about education being a potential antidote to poverty. How true! But you went into your usual fantasy of free education in the state. I am sure you have not allowed the people around you to tell you the truth about this deception you call free education. I will handle this issue by asking you questions about your so-called free education that I know you will never provide any answers for.
Governor, in the eight years you have administered this state, how many new schools have you built, both primary and secondary schools? How many teachers have you employed, apart from the 576 teachers recruited since March 2013 and have not been paid a dime as salary till date? Why did primary and secondary school teachers proceed on strike in January, 2015, and how far have you gone in meeting their demands?
Can you ask the relevant ministry to publish the result of WEAC examinations from your public schools for the world to see the mockery of education in the state? How long have you stopped paying the so-called subventions to school heads to run the schools? How many laboratories have you built, or equipped since you became governor? I am sure you know that children are writing WEAC now. How much school books have you added to school libraries (I ask as if there are libraries in Akpabio's free education schools!) Free educator, can you publish how much you have so far paid for examinations for the children?
Do you know that parents still pay for NECO fees in your free education schools? How come pupils run away from your free schools to attend private schools, even when their parents can hardly afford it? How come that in a state where we used to see school buses, you have not bought one single bus for any school in the state? Akpabio, the truth is that you have done irreparable damage to the school system in this state. It will take a better head and a better leadership to repair the damage you have occasioned to our public school system and the state generally.
You also talked about my involvement in the payment of compensations to Ibagwa villages. If you had gone beyond rumours, you would have realized that the only role I played in the whole payment was that Abak Local Government Area fought for that compensation when I was the chairman. It was facilitated by the council's legal adviser, Late Barr JJ Umoren, who later became an Appeal Court Judge. The actual payments were done by officials of the Ministry of Town Planning, Land Division, Calabar, under th commissionership of Chief Eniang Essien.
The unclaimed money not paid out was taken back to Calabar and certificate of such return to treasury issued to Abak Local Government council. It will interest you that as the chairman of Abak, I never received a dime as salary or allowance, because I did not need it. It will also interest you to know that under me, Abak had electricity and telephone services, even before Uyo. I am not like you that cannot distinguish between private and public funds. As a governor, you could easily have asked the Abak Local Government council to avail you of the documents pertaining to the compensation transactions, instead of depending on ill-informed and ignorant aides to pen factually inaccurate documents for you to sign.
With your penchant for election fraud, it is right in your eyes to say that the last presidential and National Assembly election were free and fair. As God would have it, He blinded you to fill in your form that you were contesting for Akwa Ibom North East. Fortunately we don't have North East in Akwa Ibom state, what Chief Inibehe Okorie contested and won is Akwa Ibom North West! So be it. Nemesis is catching up with a perpetual election rigger. Remember that your notoriety for rigging is nationally known. Was it not you that told the world that you cancelled one person's name and substituted with another?
Is it not the same you that brought a national embarrassment to the Nigeria Governors Forum, by insisting that 16 is greater than 19? The spirit of 419 has indeed not departed from you. But in this 2015 elections, you will meet your electoral waterloo. You were caught boasting that Mike Okiro, Chairman Police Service Commission sent Mr. Gabriel Achong to help you rig your wife's anointed nominee in this state and that Chief Tony Aneni sent Mr. Austin Okojie, a.k.a ALABAMA, the Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, to help you again as far as the governorship election on April, 11, 2015 is concerned.
On that day, it will be between you and the people of Akwa Ibom State. Be rest assured governor that these people will not save you, as they are already aware of the Change that has come to Nigeria.
You and people around you have been talking about the title Ufan Ndito Ubuene, with such flippancy. I had cause in 2011 to answer you on that title, but you are such a blockheaded lad as you easily forget things, or is it still the substance? The title, for the up tenth time was given to me by the Catholic Church, precisely, the Catholic Diocese of Uyo in 2001. They said it was fashioned around Saint Francis De Paul, who lived and died for the poor.
I am not a Catholic, but they saw something in me that made them give me that title. It will interest you that that title is still the only title I have ever accepted. I am not like you, who go about purchasing titles, from wherever and by whomever. I don't crave for acceptance like you, my work and my life are like open book.
I have taken this pain to answer to some of your ill-conceived and halting allegations and insinuations to see if you can next time respond by answering to specific issues raised. For instance, did you or did you not say that your wife discovered Udom for the position of governor of our state? You were accused of being part of the problems of the Goodluck Jonathan administration? Is it not true that your activities crippled the PDP until its shameful ouster?
Have you been able to tell Akwa Ibom people how much they have received in the last eight years and how much you have spent on their behalf? Have been able to tell Akwa Ibom people why they are still so poor when they are so rich in the eyes of Nigerians? It is not about Ime Umanah, it is about our people you have so impoverished.
Governor Godswill Akpabio, I am still waiting for the reply from you that will answer the very pertinent questions and concerns raised in my last open letter and others to you.
Dr. Ime S. Umanah
(Ufan Ndito Ubuene).