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Wednesday, November 21, 2018


Former Governor Godswill Akpabio got a chilling verdict of his tenure of office from his predecessor, Obong Victor Attah who described his reign as a period Akwa Ibom state witnessed uncommon waste and pillage disguised as uncommon transformation.

Attah in a book he presented in Abuja as part of activities to mark his 80th birthday celebration on Tuesday, berated his successor over the many failed and white elephant projects as well as his flamboyant lifestyle while in office which were all to the detriment of the state whose citizens he described as poor.

"The first shock one receives when one looks at the record of accomplishments is how little has been added to what Attah left in 2007. The observation is made more astonishing, given the fact that Attah collected a little less than #600billion from the Federation Account in eight years, while Akpabio received almost #1.3 trillion during his first term, 2007-2011 alone, and close to #1.6trillion during his second term, 2011-2015. Yet, all the projects that can be identified as the Akpabio legacy point not to "uncommon transformation" but uncommon waste and pillage", he said.

According to Attah, "The pillage started early. Soon after being sworn in, the governor announced the construction of an 18- storey Tropicana Hotel in Uyo, which already had a Le Meridien Hotel struggling to achieve profitable occupancy rate. The hotel whose completion was promised for two years after the foundation was laid had not been finished till today. What happened to the funds allocated to it? The main contractor reportedly received #6 billion mobilisation fee. The wreck standing where the Tropicana should be cannot possibly account for #6 billion". 

The Ibesikpo Asutan born architect accused Akpabio for lying about projects he never did.

Hear him, "On another occasion, the government announced that it had donated a nineteen-bed Dialysis Unit to University of Uyo Teaching Hospital, UUTH. There were two things wring with that statement; the Dialysis Unit at the hospital was built by Attah and copies of the receipts for the equipment are still with him till today. Furthermore, the Dialysis Unit can accommodate only three beds conveniently. So, Akpabio's Dialysis Unit was not built and equipment was not  bought. What happened to the money"?

The birthday celebrant however gave his successor one credit. "There was however one addition for which Akpabio can claim absolute credit! Despite the fact that most people in Akwa Ibom are poor, their governor bought a jet aeroplane to move around with and spent millions of dollars every year to maintain it. His successor, Udom Emmanuel, has inherited the plane. That is progress of sort!!! The people might be poor but they had a governor who lived like a Saudi Prince".

Attah noted that other than the outright false reports, the self-abandoned Tropicana Hotel and the Airport completed- minus MRO the Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul facility-Akpabio can claim credit for other projects, chief among which were; "an uncompleted twelve-storey monstrosity called a hotel sitting in the middle of town at Ikot Ekpene and which might never be finished or used for anything; an uncompleted and very expensive Specialist Hospital along Ikot Ekpene Road which is just being partially used and whose charges are beyond the reach of virtually all the people of Akwa Ibom; and a stadium which experts claim was built at two to three times the cost of similar stadiums elsewhere in the world.

Meanwhile, criticisms have trailed the unserious birthday message of felicitation by Senator Godswill Akpabio to his political mentor and predecessor in office Obong Victor Attah. 

Senator Godswill Akpabio, Tuesday succumbed to pressure by issuing a goodwill message to his predecessor. 

But analysts on the social media dismissed the message as lacking in emotional connectivity with a leader who virtually brought him into reckoning and mentored him into office as governor in 2007. 

The three short paragraphed message reads,  "we recall your contributions to the development of our dear state and pray that the Almighty God continue to protect you whilst granting you good health in the years ahead. "

The 68 worded message lacked any acknowledgement of the personal contributions of Obong Attah to the emergence of Senator Akpabio from a relatively unknown Lagos company secretary, to a commissioner in 2002, and subsequently governor in 2007.

Akpabio,  it could be recalled rejected Attah's request to use the 5 star Hotel in Uyo for the celebration of his 70th birthday,  thereby causing his predecessor to use the open field of a church premises. 

Akpabio is currently allegedly fighting to stop the anticipated renaming of the state airport and university after the elder statesman.

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