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GOVERNOR AKPABIO AND HIS PHONEY PROJECTS

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If you are a first time visitor to Uyo or perhaps you have not visited Uyo since 3 years back, you are most likely going to be taken in by the seeming beauty of the town.

The sight of your entry route from say Idoro road to Ibom plaza and going up to Oron road, gives you the intended impression that indeed Gov Godswill Akpabio is really working. If for instance you lodge in any of the hotels in Ewet Housing estate or infact Le Meridien, you would go back home deceived that Akpabio has indeed 'transformed' Akwa Ibom Ibom State.

This clearly is the intention of this dubious performer who has plundered the state dry. He wants visitors to Uyo to praise-sing his performance owing to what they would see driving along these major routes. But beyond and beneath these 'ugly beauty' scenes, lies a city or infact a state in ruins, lying prostrate having been mindlessly raped by Akpabio and his gangs.

Please pardon the “ugly beauty” metaphor which has no place in the English vocabulary. I mean to merely use it to explain that what you are seeing as beauty is nauseatingly ugly in real terms, if you get to know what Gov Akpabio is doing with the resources of Akwa Ibom State.

In Uyo, he has planted a few flower stands under his famous 'flyovers', built three roundabouts at Nwaniba road, Wellington Bassey way and Uniuyo junction all part of his “uncommon transformation” he boasts so much about.

To Akpabio, past governors and administrators were non-performers, and did nothing during their tenure. Whatever thing of beauty one finds in Uyo today is therefore attributable to Akpabio's sense of duty. Lies. Fabrications.

Hear this O ye visitors, that all the major roads and street lights that you see in Uyo are not done by Gov Akpabio. He cannot therefore claim any credit for them. He has constructed Idoro-Itu highway. Akpabio has also constructed Aka-Nnung Udoe road and the new airport road. That is all. Nothing more in Uyo city during his over 5 years misrule of Akwa Ibom State. How the above listed projects translate into “uncommon transformation” beats my imagination.

Akpabio is a lie. He knows it. Akpabio is a disaster of no mean order. He is a big mistake. He is the proverbial “bull in the china shop.” I mean no insult here but merely stating the obvious. When we fall over one another to celebrate a mediocre like Gov Akpabio, we are doing the society a great harm.

To appreciate what Akwa Ibom people have been complaining about, let's take a critical but objective look at Akpabio's “uncommon transformation” projects.

We the suffering masses in Akwa Ibom state take serious exception to some comments by our brothers from other states, who claim that their governors are doing worse than Akpabio and so we should not complain. The point is that we should hold our governor accountable to the people over issues of governance. If what your state government is doing is the yardstick to measure performance in your state, so be it. We demand nothing but responsible and responsive governance from our leaders and not vain glory seeking stunts. However, it has to be pointed out that Akwa Ibom receives the highest revenue allocation from the Federation Account every year. Why should we not expect more from our government?

This Governor Akpabio is the most wasteful Governor in the history of Nigeria. His comfort and that of his immediate family he does not joke with, but prefers to murder, maim and strangulate other citizens who dare raise their voices against his evil deeds.

Gov Akpabio is alleged to own two private jets, houses in UK, USA, Dubai, Spain and other world cities. He is also known to own properties in all major commercial cities in Nigeria and South Africa. If he cares this much for himself and his immediate family, does it not matter to him that he should also devote time and resources in the service of the citizens he governs rather than waste money on endless list of inconsequential visitors feasting on the common wealth?

Since the emergence of Gov Godswill Akpabio, the Nigerian political class and the judiciary have not been the same again. He has completely dazed the leaders of his party with so much money that none can stand up to him.

The judiciary or more appropriately, the judges that sit on his many legal cases can tell you that they and their descendants would never know any more lack in their remaining earth lives.

Akpabio's slogan of “what money cannot buy, more money can'' is really working hence he is now extending his frontiers to “with small arrangement, man can see god'' (I don't know the god he is talking about but certainly he cannot be referring to the Almighty God). If indeed he is, then the world should watch out; another Adolf Hitler has been born and made in Akwa Ibom State. Next time when you see Gov Godswill Akpabio just proclaim “with small arrangement, man can see god”, and you would be his friend for life. Try it.

UNDERGROUND “JACK-UP” WATER DRAINAGE: Nobody is accusing the governor of being responsible for the flooding in Uyo. Flood is a natural occurrence with disastrous consequences sometimes. The whole world is today witnessing extra-ordinary floods. But what Akwa Ibomites are saying is that Gov Akpabio awarded a contract for flood control in Uyo. He named it first in Africa. He had boasted that once the project was completed, Uyo would no longer experience any over flooding in the city. He had claimed that 2 minutes after heavy rainfall, the whole of the city would look like it never rained.

It may interest you to know that this project had since been completed; infact the commissioning ceremony was performed by the vice-president last year (2011). Trust nature, the lie that this project is, was proved on the day of commissioning as the entire city was heavily flooded such that the vice president's convoy got stuck every inch of the way. Up till moment, Uyo is still as heavily flooded as ever any time it rains. Where then is the first in Africa drainage system that Gov Akpabio spent billions of Naira on? A monumental failure!

ENTERTAINMENT CENTRE ALIAS TROPICANA:
This project is a daylight robbery that should be in the Guinness book of records. The governor had claimed that Tropicana project would provide over 10,000 jobs during and after construction. As a matter of fact, the governor publicly told the people of the state in 2011 during the 24th anniversary that “work was on the 14th floor” of the centre. If you visit Uyo, please take a trip to the Tropicana site and see for yourself if there is any building that has up to 14th floor. In any case, work has since stopped on the project, even after the governor has collected N50billion loan to finance on-going projects in the state. Please note that this white elephant (or is it black elephant?) project has so far gulped over N40billion! What economic benefit would a cinema house generate to justify sinking that kind of money in? How can a man waste and squander scarce resources of the state in this manner? Uncommon transformation? You be the judge.

8 (EIGHT) LANES RING ROAD:
During the celebration of Akwa Ibom @ 24, the governor declared that “work was at advanced stage in the construction of 8 lanes ring road”. It means therefore that the government had actually budgeted for 8 lanes ring road.

Those of you relapsing into ethnic sentiments in defence of Gov Akpabio should be bold enough to tell other Nigerians, where in Akwa Ibom State we have 8 lanes ring road that “work is at advanced stage” on. If it is the Idoro-Abak ring road, project, what we have there is a 2 lane carriage way.

If this is not dishonesty on the part of this government, I wonder what else is.

I have been wondering aloud what national election Gov Akpabio is going to contest to warrant the high noise- making; inviting all manner of visitors to come and see the beautiful water fountain in Uyo tagged uncommon transformation. What is the purpose of his current campaign? There is real hunger in the state. The people are ravaged by poverty of no small measure. If Gov Akpabio is serious let him say how many jobs he has created and by what means since assuming office as governor in 2007. Sorry I almost forgot. Recently, the state government recruited 1,400 teachers out of which number, Ibibio had 200, Oron 100 and Annang, the governor's ethnic group had 1,100 teachers! What has Gov Akpabio done to upgrade educational institutions in the state aside his empty radio and television free education? What manner of free education? The federal government through Universal Basic Education (UBE) funds education up to JS 3 in the country. Where is he spending all the money he votes for education each year when most primary and post primary institutions in the state are still dilapidated?

He has a loquacious nightclub gangster, who engages in nightclub brawls at the slightest opportunity, overseeing his Housing and Urban Renewal Ministry. Each accounting year, billions of Naira is voted for this ministry. Which of the few urban towns in the state have seen new housing estates projects or even renewals (whatever this means?) since 2007? Let the government publish the figures as they relate to activities of this Ministry for Nigerians to see.

INDUSTRIALISATION:
This government is claiming that it has set aside N20 billion to finance establishment of industries in the State. Up till this moment, there is no enlightenment campaign of the populace on how to access this fund. That the State government has not made public the guidelines on the usage of this fund is no oversight or mistake.

The Akpabio family and their stooges have already shared out the N20 billion before now. There is therefore nothing left for other citizens who may have viable industry to promote.

This policy is going to end up like many others, failed and abandoned; in fact it is already dead before it is born; the entire fund siphoned abroad! By the way, a government that spends over N40 billion to build an entertainment centre but allegedly sets aside just N20 billion to finance industries in all 31 Local Government areas of the State appears to be standing logic on its head. Does this reasoning show evidence of stimulation of production that is capable of generating jobs or of consumption? You know the answer.

Let us do an “academic” exercise and assume for the purpose of this argument that there is N20 billion set aside for industrialization. It would appear as if the policy is not built on any study or research as to the needs or profitability of industries to be set up. One would have expected that the State government would have done feasibility studies on what type of industry would best suit each Local Government; that is which Local Government has a comparative advantage in hosting a particular industry. Are we to believe that the promoters of these industries are expected to conduct feasibility studies from the funds accessed? In addition to this, the line of products to be manufactured ought to be such that they would reduce our dependence on other sources for such products. It has to be acknowledged that if indeed there is any N20 billion to be accessed, the scheme would fail without adequate legal and economic framework. What a way to industrialize! 

Finally, I wish to remind the governor that he owes it to the people to respect their views on issues concerning them. He should seek their opinion on issues affecting them. He has no right to fritter away money accruing to the state as if such is of his private estate. He is an elected(?) Governor, not an emperor ruling over a conquered territory.

EYENISONG.
Email: [email protected]

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Articles by Eyenisong Ibibio