A Facebook post by one Olabode Opesetan and another by Magnus Anayo on the series of revelations coming from the ongoing have probe of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC have attracted so much social media debate with many calling on former Akwa Ibom state governor, Sen. Godwill Akpabio to step aside and allow on encumbered investigation into the huge allegations of sexual harassment and criminal financial activities leveled against him by the former acting Managing Director of the Commission, Joi Nuniel.
This paper had reported on Tuesday this week that a funeral service for Seoul mayor Park Won-soon, who took his own life after being accused of sexual harassment, was held Monday despite a petition against the city-run ceremony signed by half a million people.
The former human rights lawyer Park was a heavyweight figure in the ruling Democratic party and ran South Korea’s sprawling capital — home to almost a fifth of the national population — for nearly a decade.
He was found dead on a mountain Friday, a day after his former secretary filed a police complaint against him, widely reported to involve sexual harassment.
It is the same practice in many parts of the world that those appointed in leadership positions take bold steps and step aside when such allegations are leveled against them, at least to assure the public that they would not use their position to undermine inquest.
This is even so, as there was an attempt to abduct Nuniel on Thursday morning by some men who surrounded her Port Harcourt residence, claiming they were Police officers detailed to place her on House arrest.
Following Governor Nyesom Wike’s intervention and rescue, it was discovered that the so-called Policemen were not sent by the state commissioner of Police but acting on ‘order from above,’ as they say in Nigeria.
Olabode Opesetan had posted on Facebook- “Akpabio: Nigeria must recalibrate its leadership recruitment process
He said- “I’m just wondering how Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill #Akpabio’s wife, children, extended family, circle of friends, praise singers and political associates, particularly those in his adopted political family, the All Progressives Congress, would feel reading the dumbfounding allegations leveled against him by the former Managing Director, Interim Management Committee of Niger Delta Development Commission (#NDDC), Ms Joi Nunieh. She claimed as follows in widely circulated reports: •He sexually harassed me. •I gave him a dirty slap. •Immediately I assumed office, Akpabio told me to give him $1 million and I said ‘where will I get that from’? •He stinks of corruption. He got 30 contracts just for himself”.
“For good measure, Nunieh’s allegations are yet to be proved but if we recalled that the same man was indicted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (#EFCC) over alleged N108BN infractions traced to him during his tenure as two-term Governor of Akwa Ibom State, then, there is the need for the society to be discomforted about our flawed leadership recruitment process. Fiddling with the public till has become a ludicrous trend in Nigeria by political gladiators.
“One of the reasons why the worst of us keep representing the best of us is the failure to subject every candidate for public office to detailed and objective scrutiny. In an unfortunate mischaracterization of our essence as a society, only the filthiest thrive.
“In a July 2019 report, the Punch reported that EFCC kept mum over the N108BN fraud allegations against the former governor. When Akpabio was considered for Ministerial appointment, were President Buhari and his team not aware of the weighty allegations against Akpabio? Yet, integrity was sacrificed on the altar of political expediency and the “colourful” man from Akwa Ibom was picked ahead of others, who probably ranked higher in integrity.
“We cannot continually romanticize corruption and expect probity. Just like the President acted and axed Ibrahim Magu, this is the time to ask Akpabio to step aside. Additionally, Buhari should, like the late sage, Chief Obafemi #Awolowo and the leader of talakawas, #AminuKano, distance himself completely from leaders who have soiled their hands and souls with filthy lucre.
“Godswill Akpabio remains innocent until proven guilty in a court of competent jurisdiction. However, there are too many disturbing allegations of financial impropriety around him. Even if all the fragrances in the world’s perfumeries are emptied to deodorise this putridity, it may not smell like a rose,” Olabode Opesetan had written.
Okechukwu Muogbo, a reputable journalist, former Abuja Bureau Chief of one of the foremost newspapers in Nigeria who is presently one of the editors of a widely read paper in Abuja responded by saying “This country is dying fast.”
On his part, Israel Maduabuchi, a lawyer wrote- “We always copy bad things from other countries but when are we going to begin following international best practices? The way to go here is that Akpabio follows the part of honour, steps aside and allows investigation to go on without trying to use his position to undermine the system. But this is Nigeria. He will hang on to power.”
Macaulay Babajide wrote- “Very correct. Probity and fairness demand that Akpabio step aside while being investigated. The allegations against him are too grave.”
Cyndi Luka posted- “Nigerian leaders are shameless. See how they wanted to lock the woman up in the name of house arrest to stop her from attending next sitting in Abuja to give more evidence before the senate committee. This country is a tireless person.”
Kayode Koyejo posted, “Very unfortunate indeed. How they rub it on our faces and we look so helpless! We await Mr. President’s action.’
Soji Adewusi replied- “Ore, you clapped for him when he went to meet Bubu after his defection to APC and you guys told us that he has seen the lightssss like Lootimi Amaechi, bullion van owners etc”
John Awe wrote- “On point! Akpabio shouldn’t have been appointed at all if we were a serious nation.”
Folusho Aminu said- “This is just a fall out from the basket of corruption. When we were growing up, I used to hear about ten percent kick back from contracts but today, you take a minimum of ninety percent or all leaving nothing left. The Messiah we thought will deliver us.” There were many other responses in that direction.