Former National Deputy Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Time Frank, on Friday urged the Federal Government to be wary of the ongoing antics of the Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, aimed at down playing imminent threats to the nation’s oil facilities in the Niger Delta Region.
Frank in a statement in Abuja, accused Akpabio of plot to sell a red herring to Nigerians by pretending that the seven-day ultimatum handed down by High Chief Government Ekpemupolo, aka, Tompolo, on the immediate reconstitution of a substantive board for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) or face dire consequences was a child’s play.
Tompolo had in a statement last Sunday warned that failure to inaugurate a board for the commission would lead to the total shutdown of oil facilities in the region, which will in turn cripple the economy of the country.
Frank urged the Federal Government to be aware that Akpabio’s meeting with Tompolo and other leaders of the region in Oporoza, headquarters of Gbaramatu kingdom failed pacify the people to back down on their demands.
He noted that it was in the interest of the country for the Federal Government yo immediately constitute the board of the commission rather than risk a renewed anger of the people of the region.
Frank said: “Good enough, Tompolo and other leaders at the meeting made it clear to Akpabio that only the immediate reconstitution of the board of the intervention agency would make them to rescind their threats.
“However, notorious for his cosmetics approach, Akpabio would tell the Presidency that things are firmly under country.
“Let the Federal Government know that things are not under control and they will never be under control until the NDDC gets a substantive board and the ongoing scam forensic audit being championed by Akpabio is either concluded and findings made public or done away with.
“Tompolo and the entire people of Niger Delta whose overall destiny Akpabio has decided to toy with will not back down until their demands are met.
“Why is it taking the Minister so long to understand that he can no longer deceive the people of the region with his antics of inducements and hoodwink will not work this time? The people are wiser.
“Why is Akpabio scared of inaugurating a substantive board for the NDDC? Tompolo has proven and shown that he is a true son of the Niger Delta by insisting that his ultimatum must be complied with.
“Tompolo is a man of his words who will not trade off his people for a plate of porridge and this is what distinguishes him from others.
“His people believe in his capacity as a leader and a true son of the Ijaw nation and the Niger Delta at large”.
He called on the President, General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) to listen to the people of the Niger Delta and immediately, direct Akpabio to constitute a substantive board for the Commission with tangible input from the leaders and people of the Niger Delta region, especially notable elders and leaders including the governors.
The Bayelsa-born political activist added: “Akpabio has failed in his scheme and as such, he must allow for the proper and right thing for the NDDC to be done. He must not be allowed to produce any list purported to been drawn in consultation with the people.
“Finally, it is important to state that until the Federal Government accedes to the demands of the suffering people of the Niger Delta, the demands of leaders of the region stand.”
He urged the Federal Government to prevent untold consequences that may follow should they ignore the demands of Tompolo and the governors of the region.
He applauded the Deputy Governor of Delta state, Kingsley Otuaro, for his uncommon bravery and courage in speaking truth to power as represented by the Minister during the Oporoza meeting.
Comrade Timi Frank
Ex-APC deputy spokesman