When I saw corruption, I was forced to find truth on my own. I couldn’t swallow the hypocrisy
My Dear President
I bring you Calvary greetings. Before I start, I swear that everything you will read here is nothing but the truth and a reflection of the minds of well-meaning sons and daughters of the Niger Delta extraction. So help me God.
When you set up the Interim Management Committee (IMC) to oversee the affairs of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) after stepping down the initial names sent to the National Assembly, we didn’t scream down the heavens because we were already tired of the thieves who masqueraded as MDs and Executive Directors of the commission over the years and truly yearned for the long-awaited forensic audit to be carried out.
Little did we know that the worst sets of rogues that will make Lawrence Anini look like a Saint that will ever grace the NDDC and turn the place into what Warri folks call “their cocoyam farm”. Since Godswill Akpabio was appointed the Minister of Niger Delta, the place has known no rest. He has imported the looting syndrome that he inflicted in Akwa Ibom into the NDDC and abandoned the other works that his ministry is supposed to do and channelled all his energy on NDDC.
With his appointing of Cairo Ojugboh, a known soldier of liars as the Acting Executive Director of Projects, the restiveness became worse than the actual days of agitation and struggle for the recognition of the Niger Delta as the region that lays the golden eggs. Rather than sanitizing the place, the duo has turned it into their conquered kingdom, awarding contracts to friends and cronies. Contractors daily cry out on how they pay Cairo Ojugboh 30% of payments made to them and anyone who does not agree to this is not paid. It is an open secret that for years, 10% was the norm but the Minister and Cairo have been alleged to up the game by taking more from these contractors who borrow money from banks to finance these projects. How do we expect them to deliver quality jobs when they know that Akpabio and Godswill are by the corners like hungry vultures waiting to descend on the monies that will be paid them?
Mr President, this is not the time for you to turn blind eyes to these wanton stealing of the NDDC funds especially to the tune of over N50 billion that Akpabio and Cairo have squandered on irrelevant projects that make no meaning to any Niger Deltan? How do we begin to explain in future to our children that a certain Cairo Ojugboh and his gang of 40 thieves paid themselves N1.5 billion under the time of COVID-19 while they shared only noodles to the people and it was under your reign? How do we tell the next generation that you were the President and Akpabio alongside his Man Friday Cairo paid almost N1 billion for image management and reputation that were never done but money channelled into their private purses and you did nothing? Pray Mr President, how do we write the history of Niger Delta and say that you appointed a Minister who imposed IMC on you and awarded media jobs to a shabby engineering company, awarded procurement of Lassa fever kits to a roadside company that sells electric bulbs in Port Harcourt as well as another company that sells hair creams in same Port Harcourt? Just imagine the curse those unborn kids will place on you and Yusuf for watching while their future was toyed with by two failed professionals; one who read law but never practiced. As a matter of fact, his call to bar certificate do not bear correct names and he’s not aware till date, except now that he will be reading this article. The other one read Medicine and didn’t also practice but jumped into politics where he has turned to political Hushpuppi. Maybe you can begin to ask him about some properties that his godfather Tony Anenih showed to him but are nowhere to be found today.
That a former Acting MD of the Commission, Joi Nunieh, who should know better and truly know has accused the Minister of bombing pipelines just to sabotage the economy and he has not been picked up by the security agencies makes one begin to wonder if he has not placed the Presidency under a spell from the mystical city of Punjab, India. In his days in Akwa Ibom as a governor, he was serially accused of practicing mbiam which is diabolical. He is yet to deny it till date. Could he have blown the mbiam breeze on Mr President during one of their meetings or via handshake? If he has, may Allah in his infinite mercy open upon your eyes to do the needful and save NDDC from total collapse.
Joi Nunieh did not just make allegations but backed it up with witnesses from the Presidency and staff of the commission. They are too grave to be ignored.
For Cairo Ojugboh, you should truly believe when Joi alleged that he said he can kill for Akpabio before asking the reason why he sent him on such a dangerous mission. Mr President, it is said in Delta North that Cairo is a dreaded killer who masterminded the murder of security details attached to Nduka Irabor during their tussle for the House of Representatives. That incident left a lifetime emotional trauma on Irabor that he never contemplated running for any election again as long as Cairo Ojugboh remains alive. If that was a one-off gist, stories abound on how he slapped a former Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Martins Okonta with magical hands during a shouting bout that almost made him run mad. I don’t believe in fairy tales but the bible admonishes that in the mouth of two witnesses, truth is established. Perhaps, we can begin to source for these witnesses who will tell us how dangerous it is to have Cairo Ojugboh as a member of NDDC even on part-time basis.
For anyone to begin to insinuate that the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege who has been your biggest supporter from the South-South is behind the scandals surrounding the IMC NDDC is enough for Mr President to not only dissolve the entire board but even shut down the entire NDDC for one year. For heaven sake, has Cairo Ojugboh no honor left in him that he will accuse the most performing Senator from the Southern part of the country of instigating crisis when he has never benefitted one contract from NDDC, has no payment there that the forensic audit will expose and does not even know the MD’s office to send people to collect jobs.
Just like every well-meaning Niger Deltans, the DSP is concerned that 20 years after establishing the NDDC, it has no meaningful projects to claim and just when he though the IMC is the Daniel come to judgment, he began to weep when he began reading of allegations of billions missing. It is natural that as the major representative of the South and political leader of the South-South which includes both PDP and APC, he backed his colleagues in the hallowed chambers to support the probe of the IMC. I do not believe that as a President, you sent Godswill there as the supervising minister to steal ahead of his Vice Presidential aspiration for 2023 or Cairo Ojugboh to loot ahead of his 2023 Senatorial ambition. It is important that even the watchman is watched.
Ibrahim Magu as Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) who watched over the anti-corruption agencies was also watched by the SSS and NFIU. Today, their reports which the Presidential panel is acting on has led to his suspension and possible dismissal. If you could order Magu’s arrest, detention and investigation, Godswill Akpabio and Cairo Ojugboh should be immediately arrested. They cannot continue to seat in the same office where they have every opportunity to doctor documents, steal files and destroy evidence against them.
Mr President, without sounding undemocratic, I will urge you to just switch your brain back to 1985 and tell SARS to pick up Akpabio and Cairo, tie them to two drums and have ten SARS officers stay in front of them and behind them to be shot to death. Their looting has caused many deaths to Niger Deltans and we will not shout as sons and daughters of the soil for ordering the shooting of these two useless sons that God mistakenly sent to our soil instead of Iraq. They need no fair hearing again Sir, for Joi Nunieh statement and many reports in the public is all that is needed to do this. If this is done Mr President, I can assure you that in years to come, we will reap the benefit of this benevolence and probably name the NDDC building after you, and God willing even name the commission to Muhammadu Buhari Development Commission (MBDC).
Yours in Anti-Corruption struggle
These little things matter.
Fejiro Oliver, an investigative journalist can be reached on +2348022050733 (SMS ONLY). He tweets with @fejirooliver86 and IG Handle @kingofqueendom