challenged to explain his role in the alleged diversion of N1.9billion
from the water hyacinth contracts.
Former militants who fingered Akpabio in the brewing controversy over
the contract, wondered how the former governor could condescend so low
to appropriated 400 slots of the water hyacinth to himself after
accusing the former NDDC board of misdeeds.
But Akpabio has denied any wrongdoing, saying the contracts were awarded
before his appointment as Minister and that he only authorized payments
for jobs that have been completed by the militants to avoid crisis.
Spokesman of the aggrieved former Militants, General Ebi, in a
statement, made available to Pointblanknews.om called on President
Muhammadu Buhari to direct the anti-graft agencies to immediately swing
into action over the matter.
The statement reads in part, “The 21st century youths of the Niger Delta
and agitators with conscience condemn the unprecedented and widespread
fraud concerning the payment of the water hyacinth to the youths and
beneficiaries of the Niger Delta.
“We therefore call on the honourable minister of Niger Delta Affairs
Senator Godswill Akpabio and the Acting Managing Director of the NDDC to
come out clean and exonerate themselves from this primitive and shameful
looting and diverting of the funds meant for the youths to themselves.
“It is so pathetic, disgusting and shameful that our so called leaders
are the real problem in the Niger Delta, if a distinguished leader that
was once the governor of Akwa Ibom state for 8years and is currently the
minister of Niger Delta affairs will condescend so low to have
appropriated 400 slots of the water hyacinth to himself after accusing
the former NDDC board of misdeeds.
“1.9billion naira was approved by the honourable minister of Niger Delta
affairs Senator Godswill Akpabio for the payment of the water hyacinth
as an empowerment scheme to the various beneficiaries and youths of the
“But so far, what we have heard from the Director of Environment Mr
Boniface Sese, who is in charge of compiling the list, is that the
master list of beneficiaries has been cancelled since the former board
was dissolved and was directed by the present acting MD to compile a new
list of just 100 slots for the youths, 400 slots for senator Godswill
Akpabio, 300 slots for the current acting MD, but him Boniface Sese the
Director of Environment refused to disclose how many slots were allotted
to him. However, our findings reveal that all his staff and aides are
allotted 5 slots each and some directors, 10 slots.
“We therefore use this medium to call on the attention of the president
and commander in chief of the federal republic of Nigeria Muhammadu
Buhari to direct the EFCC and the ICPC to immediately swing into action
and we also call on the honourable minister of Niger Delta affairs
Senator Godswill Akpabio to come out clean and exonerate himself as his
reputation is being dragged to the mud to defraud the youths of the
Niger Delta,” the statement noted.
Akpabio was only recently linked to employment scandal at the NDDC where
over 300 persons were allegedly employed without the board approvals.
The Minister had swiftly backpedaled when the illegal recruitment
exercise was exposed.
However, when contacted, Akpabio through his spokesman, Anietie Ekong,
said the Minister only intervened in ensuring the payment of an already
completed contract when the Militants staged a protest recently.
According to him, “the story is not correct. It is mudslinging from
people who have lost out. It is a payment made to companies.
“No individual gets such N3million payment. Payments for all those types
of contracts go straight to companies and not individuals. These are
jobs that have been done before Akpabio got to that office,” Ekong told