By Bassey Eshiet
Corruption has become a way of life; and indeed, an acceptable tradition among a group of the very privileged saddled with directing the architecture of political power in the Nigerian society.
To this insensitive few, they have been concerned over time, with the continued perpetuation of this culture of impunity and plunder of public resources, thus leaving the country in a sorry and parlous state.
They have created in their desperate quest, a most worrisome way for themselves to further their desperate measures unabated thus enhancing this disprovable and despicable attitude as an acceptable social and moral code endorsable among the nation’s institutions; and which has led especially in part to the gross underdevelopment and permanent state of stagnation witnessed in the Niger Delta region since the inception of NDDC as an intervention agency created to salvage the plight of the region from a continuous state of permanent underdevelopment at the return of civil rule in the nation some 21 years ago.
Sadly, when Senator Godswill Akpabio as minister of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs moved in to redress the inconsistencies witnessed in the deliberate policy approach of deploying massive levels of corruption by the otherwise appointed guards of the agency to deprive the region of the needed speedy development as the cash cow of the nation, some persons and sections including his very own are up in arms to destroy him as well as halt his noble intentions to the region. This is adopted and deployed thorough and thorough in bad and vengeful faith.
Akpabio had moved to curb a certain class of Nigerian leeches from sucking and bleeding the Niger Delta region of life. But this does not sit well with many in our midst. He wanted to save the region from imminent death, clean the Augean stables, set the records straight, turn a new page of development incentive and initiative for the region as well upturn the tables of virulent corruption against the vampires bent on draining the lifeblood development and progress that should benefit the Niger Delta region for all times.
These, even our very own have come to find as outrageous. The hounds are daily and increasingly turning their fangs to the bay and bite at him. They’ve hounded and sought and called for his blood and neck to be spilt and chopped off as sacrifice on the altar of their selfish greed.
Today, the evidence is there for all to see. It is littered everywhere for all to see, feel and sieve of the so-called brotherhood or unity as can be conceived of the region; especially of Akwa Ibom state where he spent a colourful eight years bent on the uncommon transformation of the state in terms of impacting evident and concrete infrastructure meant to hasten and enhance her development.
It is for purpose of replicating his Akwa Ibom example in the Niger Delta region that his passion has bumped him off the agents of underdevelopment and culture of insipid corruption, even those who systematic rally is to drown the region’s blueprint for progress as championed by Akpabio. Yet, our people can not see but join with a pack of other unholy alliances to vilify him.
While the villains and slayers of character are out attacking and hounding down Akpabio, the whole of Akwa Ibom elite leadership is catching fun and picking their teeth with silver toothpicks offered them after unholy dinners with their tormentors.
They delight in seeing him mocked, pillaged, taunted, crucified and damned by forces seeking to run the region aground amidst internal collaborators, even some of the worst villains who are often rallied around and protected across partisan lines.
This indeed is a lesson. But the probing question remains: *when will Akwa Ibom learn to love and protect its own; must Akwa Ibom almost sacrifice and slay its own?* It is only but evidently clear, that as we speak, Akpabio as the most visible Akwa Ibomite in the nation’s political sphere should be protected and supported to discharge his vision for the Niger Delta. He should not for any reason be handed over for the enemies without the region to pillage and destroy. Akpabio’s actions stand for our collective good.