By Patrick Ekpoh
Akwa Ibom women from the 31 local government areas of the State on Wednesday asked the former acting Managing Director in the Interim Management Committee of the Niger Delta Development Commission Ms Joi Nunieh to stop blackmailing the minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio..
Rivers State government on Tuesday rose in support of it daughter, Joi Nunieh, saying it would not allow harm befall her in the ongoing probe of the commission.
In a communique signed by the organization’s president, Obongawan Geraldine Etuk and secretary, Elder(Mrs.) Glory Effiong, the women however asked Nunieh to accept her sack rather than make unsubstantiated allegations against their brother, Akpabio.
They declared their support for President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision to sanitize the NDDC and urged Akpabio to go one with the forensic audit of the commission in the interest of the Niger Delta region.
“Uko Iban Akwa Ibom, an Umbrella socio-cultural women group in Akwa Ibom State, committed to promoting women’s rights and sustainable development for women, youths and children, has observed with palpable sense of dismay the naked dance of the former MD of Niger Delta Development Commission Miss Joi Nunieh, in an attempt, albeit unsuccessful, to cover the track of her insubordination and character deficit.
“A thousand preposterous allegations of oath taking or sexual harassment will not stop the demands of Uko Iban Akwa Ibom State and indeed the well meaning people of the Niger Delta, for a forensic audit at the NDDC as ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari, President and Commander-in-Chief.
“As we all know, the main reason behind the recent hue and cry by Ms Nunieh, is that she has reunited and join forces with unpatriotic elements – who have kept the region where is it today – to stop the forensic audit and continue the pilfering of the NDDC”the women said in a statement
According to them it was strange to witness Nunieh raising issues and allegations over since months after she was removed from office by the President.
“For someone who was removed from office by Mr. President since early in the year, it remains a mystery why she has just woken up from her slumber to raise the issue sexual harassment when the nation is griped with the news of almost 2,000 contractors fleeing with NDDC funds.
“How else will they be brought to book without an audit? We implore the good people of the Niger Delta to look beyond the facade of diversionary gimmicks and focus on the real issue.
“It is unfortunate that fraudulent contractors in the past robbed the region and its people of benefit of development. It is important to note that these people and their collaborators ho were involved in raping the Commission in past are only trying to make sure their loot is not exposed by the audit.
“That is what this noise is all about. Equally important is the fact that the audit covers a 19-year period; meanwhile, Senator Akpabio has not spent up to a year in that Ministry.
“Niger Delta deserves more than this cesspool of unsubstantiated accusations and shenanigans. This is the people’s voice and Uko Iban Akwa Ibom vehemently frowns at all the negative media campaign by the perennial racketeers at the NDDC.”
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They appealed to Nigerians, particularly the people of the Niger Delta to allow Akpabio replicate his uncommon transformation in the region.
“The uncommon transformation brand of Senator Akpabio must be extended to the Niger Delta. Senator Godswill Akpabio is a patriotic Nigerian and his track record of accomplishments as a Governor and Senator sets him apart as the right person to bring about the much development in the Niger Delta region.
“The progress with the East-West Road and the completion of the NDDC Corporate headquarters are eloquent testimonies of the capacity of the Minister”, they maintained.