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Wednesday, December 5, 2018


Pablo Escobar (1949-1993) was a Colombian drug lord and narcoterrorist that was crowned “The King Of Cocaine” and supplied an estimated 80% of the cocaine that was smuggled into the United States of America at the pinnacle of his career. 

Pablo Escobar was the richest criminal with a known estimated net worth between $25 and $30 billion dollars by the early 1990s(equivalent to $48.5 and $56billion as of 2017) making him one of the richest men at his prime. Senator Godswill Akpabio is one of the richest Akwa Ibom Indigenes and he made his wealth as a Governor. 

Just like Godswill Akpabio, Pablo Escobar was worshipped as a god by many Colombians, especially in his home town, Medellin City. Drawings of his face adorned walls and houses, T-shirts with his picture were worn by many, Children were named Escobar by their Parents, in short, Escobar merchandise meant commercial success. Akpabio and Escobar enjoyed playing god and portrayed themselves as one. 

Like Akpabio, some people worshipped and viewed Escobar like a hero due to his freewill generosity and also taking care of Medellín’s poorest habitants while others saw him like a bad guy due to the excessive evil(killings & kidnappings) his drug business brought to Colombia. Senator Akpabio’s reign as Governor witnessed a high rate of politically motivated assassinations and kidnappings. 

On Sunday 2nd December, 2018, a young boy who hawks sachet water had removed his shirt to place on the floor for Senator Akpabio to walk on during a political rally in Uyo. He was rewarded thereafter by Senator Akpabio with N500,000 for worshipping him. I applaud the magnanimity of our dear senator, the boy has been “uncommonly transformed from a boy to a man” as the popular quote goes for all kinds of gestures of Senator Akpabio. 

In 8 years of Senator Akpabio’s reign as Governor Of Akwa Ibom State, it is estimated that he received 3 trillion naira in allocations accrued to the State's treasury. While we celebrate the flyovers, the good roads, the other uncompleted projects and his freewill generosity, we should ask genuine questions like “How did you truly spend our 3Trillion Naira Sir?” 

Majority of Akwa Ibom people have been easily hoodwinked by Akpabio’s generosity, For every 1 million naira Akpabio shared, 100 million naira disappeared, for every 50 million naira he shared, Classroom blocks were left abandoned to rot. 3.8 trillion naira would have ensured that work started at Ibaka deep seaport, at least 10 working industries out of 31 industries that was promised, genuine business grants and entrepreneurship schemes would have been initiated, Little wonder why Nigerian Bureau Of Statistics(NBS) ranked Akwa Ibom State the 2nd State with the highest level of unemployment few months after Akpabio left in 2016, Yet we got carried away by his sharing of unsustainable peanuts. Like the former minister of Finance, Mrs Ngozi Iweala said “The projects on ground in Akwa Ibom State doesn’t tally the billions received ”.

Unfortunately, when a politician is very generous, we forget to ask questions but I would not sway in the popular path of many Nigerians. I appreciate Akpabio for what he did, but I will also ask him where he stashed the bulk part of our 3 Trillion naira. 

Like the renowned Criminal, Pablo Escobar, Senator Godswill Akpabio remains a Hero and a Villain till unanswered questions of how he spent our 3 Trillion naira and how much he is worth are answered.

© Essien Nduese 

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