OPEN LETTER TO GOVERNOR GODSWILL AKPABIO
That Threat to Persecute Me for 70 Years!
Dr. Ime Umanah, Ufan Ndito Ubuene
I want to start with the Bible passage I have quoted in a previous epistle to you. It says: “When the godly are in authority, the people rejoice. But when the wicked are in power, they groan” Proverbs 29 vs. 2 (New Living Translation). While Akwa Ibom people labour under the weight of the burden of your misrule, you go about collecting bogus titles and awards. You forget the wise counsel that “being a leader doesn’t require a title; having a title doesn’t make you one.”
During a PDP caucus meeting at the outset of your administration you talked of Tropicana, Cinemas, flyovers and big-screen projects. You told the PDP Caucus that the Tropicana/Galleria will cost N52 Billion. I begged you to tow the line of former Governor U. J. Esuene and empower Akwa Ibom people through a Loan Board to review proposed projects and issue appropriate loans to enable the people to open their own businesses to reduce poverty. You said ‘no’. That you would not do such thing. Your
reasoning was that this will empower Akwa Ibom youths to use the money to buy fancy cars, womanise and show off. This you said in the presence of more than 40 PDP Caucus members, and 99 per cent of them are still alive today and can testify to your statement.
Isn’t it true the Tropicana project has not been completed but more than N80 Billion has been paid out by your Uncommon Government? Today, with your white elephant projects which you brandish for your insatiable quest for accolades and titles, aren’t Akwa Ibom people the poorest in Nigeria, even though their state is the richest?
Since 2010, you have unjustly subjected me to persecution over a trumped-up charge of ‘terrorism’.
For almost five years now, you had subjected me to persecution, plotting to sustain the trial forever for your own personal aggrandizement. The charge was first before Hon. Justice Idongesit Ntem Isua, Chief Judge, Akwa Ibom State. On February 21, 2013, when the prosecution was supposed to conclude its case, it suddenly announced that the “prosecution cannot go on with the case because of the directive of the Attorney General to make application under section 41, 42 of the High Court Laws of Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria cap 55 Vol. 3, to transfer this matter to another judge for hearing and determination.”
This was because they saw their case collapsing. The lawyers implored the Court not to allow the prosecution scandalize the Court and get away with it. The concern was that if the Chief Judge, with her track record, could face that sort of insult, which Judge in the State would be spared? My lawyers made a passionate plea for CJ Isua to disappoint the prosecution and stay put. The CJ said that although she could not recall when a party asked for transfer from her court in her 21 years at the Bench, she nonetheless would, as a matter of policy, agree and not ask for reason so that there would be confidence.
The criminal case had to start afresh before Hon. Justice I. E. Ukanna. Presently you are the only witness listed to testify who is yet to testify. You are a key witness for the prosecution as the
complainant in the case. Sadly, it would seem you are not in a haste to have the case closed. The prosecutor, C. J. Udoh, who is apparently under your instruction to secure my conviction at all costs or be sacked is obviously in difficulty on how to achieve your directive when he knows that the SIM card allegedly used to ‘terrorize’ you does not belong to the boy being accused of ‘terrorizing’ you.
On June 13, 2014, I was in your office with my lawyer following your invitation that I should come with my lawyer to explore amicable settlement in the civil case which I won against your government in Abak High Court. In attendance were your lawyer, Kanu Agabi, SAN, former Commissioner for Agriculture, Prof. Etok Ekanem, his successor Godwin Afangide, the former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Ekpeyong Ntekim, and Solicitor-General, Mrs. Umoren. You kept me waiting for two hours. When you finally showed up, you kept going out and coming back, each time requesting that they bring your ‘walking stick’, which turned out to be a short elephant tusk which you shook and brandished while you talked. I still wonder what all these mean. More than five times, you repeatedly said if you did me any wrong let God punish you and your generation and I
repeatedly said amen! In all, I stayed 12 hours in your office without achieving anything while you played god throughout, while the real God was watching you, writing ‘mene, mene, tekel, urphasin’ on your wall. It was sad, you failed to see that writing on the wall!
When the issue of my persecution came up, you said you asked me to allow you enter a nolle prosequi and I turned it down. I had asked if you consulted me before arresting me. I recall your lawyer, Kanu Agabi, SAN, also told you that you didn’t need my permission to enter a nolle. I was shocked to hear you say that the case will go on for another 70 years. You said you would appoint the Judge to pioneer a special court and the case would start afresh before another Judge! That would be the third Judge!
Is this not wickedness? What did I do to you to deserve this? Again, you said you had sacked some 20 lawyers from the Ministry of Justice, and they had gone to Court, but that their case would last for 70 years also! That day everything was 70 years!
Governor, if I may ask, where do you expect to be in the next 70 years? In the seat of Akwa Ibom State governor? At above 50, you would indeed turn to Methuselah to be around to be prosecuting me 70 years from today. I now understand why they say power corrupts! Do you realize that you will be gone as governor and forgotten in just seven months time from now? Then the blood of all the victims of abuse of power in Akwa Ibom State under your administration will speak out. Then you would taste the bitter pill of being out of power.
It is by God’s grace that I am alive today. The evil orchestration to silence me was more sinister than the charge of ‘terrorism’ which you boasted will last for 70 years. Before the April 2011 elections, there was a plot to shoot me and blame it on kidnappers. A concerned person came to my house in Lagos to tip me off on a well-designed plot to kill anybody capable of challenging you. I was top on the list. It was an assassination plot against me using cultists. Days later, Ini Udonwa, who would have been
killed with me, was shot and his 62-year old mother kidnapped and violated for many days.
Lest I forget, I hear you want to go to the Senate. Please tell the whole world what you as Governor did for Ikono, Ini, Abak Division and Obot Akara in terms of access roads and human development.
Are you going to bring the people from outside the State who fly in every week to cart away billions of Naira from Akwa Ibom State treasury for your incurable ego-tripping, to vote for you? Or do you plan to rely only on the votes of the famed “Akpabio 5” to win? You should realize that the people are now wiser having seen the difference between them and the Akpabios. They will speak with their votes.
While you want the people to support you for Senate, after eight years of your misrule, Akwa Ibom
people remain the poorest people in Nigeria even in the midst of derivation crude oil billions. They will reject you because you lack integrity and honour. In 2011, you appealed to the people of old Abak Division to forgo their right to produce a Senator and wait till 2015. This was to appease the Ibibio and get them to support your second term bid. Today, because of your lack of honour and the disdain you have for our people, you have come out to usurp what, on the basis of justice and equity, belongs to the people of Abak Division. This is after your own Ikot Ekpene side produced two deputy governors and a governor in the last 16 years while
the Abak axis produced nothing. Is it also justice and equity that you want to impose yourself on the people as a Senator after your clan and family already produced two senators – Sen. Nsima Akpabio and Sen. Raymond Umoh. And because you do not fear God you can still talk about justice and equity in your self-serving agenda to impose Udom Emmanuel on the State under the guise of zoning. Is it equity and justice when you are putting the two most important positions of Governor and Managing Director of NDDC in Eket Senatorial District (as a matter of fact in Eket Federal Constituency)? Is is not true that Eket Senatorial District produced Governors U. J. Esuene and Clement Isong in the past when other parts of the State did not have the opportunity? Is Udom Emmanuel not from the same Federal Constituency of these past Governors? What justice and equity are you talking about? You
are the same man who told the people of Akwa Ibom State that you were not a product of zoning.
When a few years ago, I suggested to you that Oro should produce the next governor, you angrily and derisively shouted that you will never support an Oro man because they were too clannish and could not be trusted. I was in shock and later briefed Chief Edet Mkpubre about your hatred for Oro.
Ironically, you have humiliated and despised the Ibibio, especially the Ibibio of Uyo Senatorial District on whose back you rode to the Governorsip in 2006/2007. The people of Abak Division as well as
those of Ikono and Ini have also been thoroughly humiliated and marginalized.
As Governor in 2007, you met a State which was united and the Ibibio majority willingly supported you to become governor. Today the State is sharply divided because of your arrogance, nepotism and insincerity. How can a leader who means well for his State promise the governorship position to the Ibibio and Oro at the same time?
How come only members of your family—including University students—have inexplicably become billionaires overnight, flaunting billion naira worth of estates just because Godswill Akpabio became Governor? This act of uncommon nepotism and corruption did not happen during the governorship of
Obong Victor Attah. How many members of the well established Attah family built new estates in the eight years of Governor Attah?
Your position on zoning only changed after your wife led security operatives to seal up the Office of Umana Okon Umana, your former Secretary to State Government, when all you had to do was to name his successor. Your humiliation of Mr. Umana, who is one of those who facilitated your emergence as Governor, is consistent with your character to always pay back those who help you with
evil. Even now, you have continued to play god by hounding and persecuting Mr. Umana, whose only crime is that he has dared to run for the office of governor. Together with your wife, you have sworn that you will die first before the man who helped you can become governor?Akwa Ibom people are not fooled by your double standards sermon on zoning. They know that it is all about ‘zoning’ Mr. Umana out of the race to enable to you impose Mr. Udom Emmanuel on the State.
You gave testimonies in Church that you were a product of the people and the will of God. Today, you are playing god. God, who cannot be mocked, is watching you. He will judge you accordingly. I am sure you realize that six months to the end of your eight-year tenure, you are easily the most hated man in Akwa Ibom State today. Senator John Akpanudoedehe, who was instrumental to your emergence, was your first victim. He is lucky to be alive today. I later became your victim. I thank God that he used me to bless you. I have no regrets and would rather leave everything in his hands.
As Chairman of Champion Breweries in the 80s, you came to me to beg for employment as a clerk. I advised you to go to the University. When you told me you couldn’t afford it, I gave you money to go to the university to study Law. Before then God had also used me to bless another member of the Akpabio family- Late Senator Nsima Akpabio—by sponsoring his university education. Today you have paid me back with evil and there is a conspiracy of ungodly silence by the Akpabio family.
Others who have been rewarded with evil include late Christy Essien Ibokwe, Obong Victor Attah (your former boss and benefactor whom you have thoroughly insulted and humiliated), late Chief Fidelis Etim, Obong Ufot Ekaete, Mr Umana Umana, etc. Is it possible that all these people, who helped you at one time or the other, could become devils while you remained an angel?
Today it is the turn of Chief Don Etiebet, your former employer and benefactor. Chief Etiebet is being routinely insulted and humiliated by your commissioners. You have personally threatened Etiebet for insisting that the governorship race should be open to all and that there should be no imposition.
Having been blinded by power, you fail to realize that 2015 election will be between you and your family on one side, and the people of Akwa Ibom State on the other side. Or you think Akwa Ibom people are not entitled to choose their governor?
I hear the machinery of the PDP has been handed over to you to use to personally handpick candidates for all the positions—Governor, Deputy Governor, three Senators, 10 Members of the House of
Representatives, and the 26 Members of the State House of Assembly. With your wife, brothers and cousins, you have already handpicked the 3 ad hoc delegates in the 329 wards. In spite of the protests by governorship aspirants and Chief Don Etiebet that the ward congresses did not take place in Akwa Ibom, there is a conspiracy of silence by the PDP. God will keep us alive to see whether this is not PDP’s way of trading off Akwa Ibom State to another political party.
You have also tried to play the ethnic card by sending delegations of misguided people to recruit Chief Etiebet and other leaders in Annang to support your agenda to foist Udom Emmanuel on the State under the pretext that you are pursuing an Annang agenda against the rest of the State. We cannot be fooled because you are executing your personal agenda for yourself and your family. We need a united State and you cannot use us to realize your imposition agenda.
I implore you not to send one of your ‘attack-dog’ commissioners to reply me the way they have been insulting elders in the State. You have personal knowledge of all the issues I raised here. Reply me yourself to avoid hearsay. My final advice is that you tread cautiously. Ask anyone who has left public office who remembers
them once they are out of power.
In these your last months, think of how to make peace with God,
Akwa Ibom people and other Nigerians who you have offended. Stop carrying on as if you are a governorship aspirant in the 2015 elections, because you are not.