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A Deep Glance At Buhari’s Ministers-1



Godswill Akpabio

President Muhammadu Buhari appointed and inaugurated 43 Ministers to serve in his cabinet. This is no news sure. What is of interest is what they are bringing to the table. A cursory glance at the lot do not necessarily give one much to look up to. But that is perception and perception is everything. Perception can make or mar a person, distort or glorify a situation. One thing I have always argued is that we Nigerians as a people tend too much towards “hearsay” or rumors and a lot of times it is about who got in the word first. Sad as it is, those at the centre of it all and their aides most times do not even begin to comprehend how best to handle the fall out from it and sadly allow everything to degenerate into a battle they cannot win in either which way they go.

Today I have neither come to bury a Caesar nor praise one. Instead I have made a conscious decision to hopefully force us to look beyond media hype, paid for stories, and unsubstantiated reports. Hmmm, it is a tough one, right? I admit, yes, and I do not promise to do justice to the matter but only to contribute my little quota to the debate.  I crave your indulgence to start with some of the most controversial out of which some are even supposedly under EFCC investigation. I beg your pardon, but I sometimes tend towards thinking that the EFCC creates unnecessary noise in its search for publicity and need to make the public believe it is so super efficient and effective. I think in my own little knowledge of law but good knowledge of public affairs that the EFCC strategy beclouds the seriousness of the issues they are meant to deal with. When you throw a man or woman to the public domain or court you more or less throw them to the dogs and God help them for they will live with the scar forever. In my country we love sensation and that “yes get him or her!” usually fired up by emotions simply bury facts and we lose out on the substance.

My choice of start is Senator Godwin Akpabio who used to tell anyone who cared to listen that “ he is happy because Akwa Ibom people are happy”.  According to the Senator now Minister for Niger Delta he sought to be governor of Akwa Ibom because he was angry at the state of affairs in the State and wanted to transform it for the better. Arguably he did to a large extent given the construction of that stadium, hmmm! ! But was that all? Not by a long shot…. the man made a lot of difference to infrastructure in his state. Apparently Akpabio does not like the sight of abandoned projects so he cleansed Akwa Ibom of them and went ahead to construct hundreds of kilometers of roads and a number bridges, and drainages to curb the incessant flooding in the city. In his eight years as governor he actually touched every sector of the state economy; agriculture, education and health.

In every of the sectors he left a landmark structure. The passion was to transform the state from rural to urban. He is on the flamboyant side and he showed this off through the gigantic structures he constructed. He wanted whatever he builds to be large and definitive; the e-library had to be first of its kind in Nigeria housed in a five floor edifice, the airport had to come complete with a Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility to service the West Africa Sub region. He is an USOSAN, a product of Federal Government College Port Harcourt and he had to prove it. USOSANs are doers no matter what anyone says.

He has been accused of corruption and even stealing in some quarters and to this the EFCC insists he is under watch. Amidst all these accusations no one has out rightly denied the impact of the man on the state. EFCC has had four years to prove or evidence these allegations and the Commission seemingly forgets that a justice delayed is one denied. In this case, failure to acquit or convict is detrimental and unfair to Akpabio, the people of Akwa Ibom and Nigeria as a whole.

What we expect from the Senator now Minister is total transfer of that passion that propelled him as governor of uncommon transformation to the Federal Ministry of Niger Delta. We expect to see projects abandoned, reawakened and completed and sir, they are numerous. The landscape of Niger Delta has to be transformed even amidst lower resource availability. Being the Minister of Niger Delta is a bigger challenge and a chance to not only redeem his image but to shame his distractors.



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