For the Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Heineken Lokpobiri, these are not the best of times as he has been involved in one controversy and the other in the past few months. The last one being the allegation that he bought a N9m Ford SUV for his female aide who many claim is his girl friend he brought in as Technical Adviser on Agric Business, Miss Eniye Ambakederimo a former executive director of Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON), the Leaders NG is reporting.
But the latest one is beyond controversy; it is a scandal that is very embarrassing to a public office holder of his status. Not minding that he has right to his private life, the issue is how it has affected his home and office.
The confirmed gist in town is that Lokpobiri has abandoned his matrimonial home over incessant quarrel with his wife, Susan Waibode. The quarrel has reached a level that the minister now eats his meal in the office at the instance of his female aide as he no longer takes food prepared at home, especially those cooked with the knowledge of the bitter wife.
According to the online medium, it was gathered that the minister’s wife took her tantrums to an unbearable level for her husband when news got to her from one of Lokpobiri’s security aides that he was romancing a lady in his office. But it was yet to be confirmed if Susan had openly confronted her husband over this. Her bitterness had reportedly started when the former senator had stories of recklessness with ladies while at the National Assembly between 2007 and 2015.
According to a source in the ministry, Lokpobiri has made it a habit to eat in the office towards closing period and each time, the female aide places the order through one of the security aides. She has also allegedly arranged with one of the minister’s front, known as Engr Bala to have an alternative accommodation for the minister in an undisclosed location.
Also, owing to the domineering attitude of the former divorcee banker whose illicit exploits with big league politicians in Bayelsa state while she was in the banking industry are very embarrassing, some directors in the ministry and even aides of the senior minister, Audu Ogbeh are poised to confront her over her insistence that such staff, especially the females, should seek her permission and approval first before any audience with her boss. It is gathered that she has severally confronted such senior workers over this.
A director in the ministry said: ”Oga (Lokpobiri) appears to have been caged by that his female aide. She has taken advantage of his situation at home and she is already grabbing him as if he is her husband. It is so bad that when she orders for food and they are eating, no one go in no matter how important the issue is, to see her boss, everybody is afraid of her.
”We are all worried but do we do when he has lost control of the home front to the extent that he has abandoned his matrimonial home and we know what is going on but in as much as that is their business, we will not accept a situation where she stands on the way of progress in the ministry. She met us here and will leave us here, so what is the issue?
”You can imagine that the lady has the gut to say we as should pass through her before seeing the HMS, (as Lokpobiri is called). We are just watching events because we don’t want to offend the minister but it will get to a stage that we won’t take it any longer because we are working for government and not in her private office, we are not in competition with her for a husband she badly needs. Just watch what we will do soonest, it got to a level that she stopped an aide of the senior minister from seeing the minister of state”, a senior female staffer said.