It may appear that someone somewhere has pulled the rug off the feet of Mr Integrity’s utopian stand against corruption. His solid house built up with Domino pieces seem to fall apart and everyone taking a large bite off the pizza. Ibrahim Magu with whom he has shown great confidence in, against everything both the DSS and Senate have thrown at him since 2015, finally broke his heart and had to be suspended and replaced.

Now with leaks and counter-leaks of documents from his continued incarceration and interrogation according to DSS, that continues to finger top allies of Buhari; Abubakar Malami and Oshiomole. This mess can only get messier as Magu seemed determined to ensure if he must drown, he wouldn’t drown alone. Yet, the murky waters called NDDC seem to fester even more demons.

The former managing director, Joy Nunieh, in a recent press conference that was disrupted midway, was not afraid to name and shame a big masquerade. Senator Akpabio that did a switch of ministries with Festus Keyamo, is the recent unveiled face of the many atrocities ongoing in the camp of the incorrigible General.

The criminal organizational system called the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has been a magnificently undressed building settled atop financial recklessness and impropriety in the two decades of existence. Such that has left the Niger Delta in a perpetual state of impoverishment by their own people who’s managed the 13% derivation funds since 2000.

The Akpabio-Nunieh scandal is the latest thread running the course of that cannibalistic fabric of corruption in the NDDC: eating off the flesh of her own people; pathetic, inhumane and disgusting for lack of printable words.

It is alleged that within a six months duration, the NDDC under the Akpabio has spent over N81 billion in fictitious and outlandish projects. According to Dr Joy Nunieh, only N8 billion out of the entire N81 billion spent by the Commission between October 29, 2019 to May 31, 2020, was spent by IMC under her leadership between October 29, 2019 to February 28, 2020. So what happened to the balance of N73 billion, was that much spent in three months between March to May?

Whether Dr Nunieh is a woman scorned from whose fury Lucifer is currently taking lessons, isn’t the subject of discourse and we shouldn’t allow Akpabio distract us. The honourable minister is avoiding salient questions and instead peddling his accuser’s private business of allegedly marrying four times as a defense. Even that is a weak defense to her sexual harassment claims and how she slapped him. Dear Ex- governor, at least answer the simple question, did she or did she not slap you and if she did for what alleged crime?

Before you pitch your tent and pick a side, ask yourself some questions, at least try to probe a few things about this whole scandal: if Dr Joy Nunieh didn’t submit NYSC certificate and Akpabio knew, why did he still allow her occupy the seat of Managing Director of the Commission where he has oversight function on? Why is it convenient for our politicians to only raise issues of certificate discrepancies when fraternity nosedive? Why don’t we ask questions and seek that the person who employed someone with certificate issues is equally culpable of the mischief? And why is the former MD crying the loudest, can she claim cleans hands before equity?

In all of the drama on going, nobody is asking the tough questions loud enough to demand for answers amid the distractions. Both Akpabio and Nunieh are giving us a low budget Nollywood show and Niger Deltans aren’t the wiser. Money, a lot of it, is missing, unaccounted for and in private pockets but nobody has been arrested yet.

Students on scholarship outside the country, sponsored by the commission are stranded and begging for help on Twitter while their kinsman is feeding fat and speaking bad English about someone’s failed marriages. The states that make up the Niger Delta remain impoverished. Their waters and farmlands polluted as a result of oil drilling. The little succour from the federal government through the commission ends up in the pockets of a few greedy potbellied individuals, and you think thunderstorms shouldn’t visit some people in the ministry?

It may seem unfair on the General to tie this to him. But then, he who dresses as priest must carry the sins of his congregants to his God and stand trial for it. Whereas, peddlers of the laundered personality of the General will like us to believe that Mr President isn’t corrupt in himself, they cannot justify his ignorance on the widespread and open corruption going on in his camp. These are his ministers, his appointees, he holds a weekly executive meeting with them. He can fire, hire and refire any of them. Yet nobody is asking anyone serious questions at those meetings. Any attempt to dissociate the man from the corruption of his government is tantamount to burying our heads in the clouds thinking we could avoid the rain that way. He is the president and unfortunately the buck stops at his desk.

Whereas, this is a General that wants us to believe he lives in a private bubble of being incorruptible. He would rather have us believe he is so hard and focused on fighting corruption that everything else should and has been on standstill, ever since he got in. Yet, the amount of open pilfering of public funds and abuse of office in his government may be unprecedented. The figures are mind boggling, even in the midst of multiple recessions; the one caused by his crude understanding of the economy in 2016 and now the one caused by plunging oil price due to the global pandemic. Loots recovered are being re-looted, what a shame!

You say the man is not corrupt himself but the people around him are saboteurs of his anti-corruption crusade, are we a joke to you? Who gathered them around him? Someone that used this second term to reward politicians with known corrupt antecedents, who worked and sponsored his re-election? Who are we kidding?

In saner climes, allegations of corruption or abuse of office and not even convictions, are enough reasons for the president to demand the resignation of any public official within his direct employment. But in this clime, our General would rather drag his feet and stick with a Magu for almost five years, despite damning reports from a security agency that reports directly to him and the Senate’s refusal to confirm him. He would turn the blind eye and play the deaf man over the allegations hovering around the Attorney General.

Furthermore, Dr Joy Nunieh who was scheduled to testify before a House panel in Abuja was blocked by security personnel as early as four in the morning of Thursday, July 16. Effectively trying to stop her from leaving her Port-Harcourt residence. Yet such flagrant abuse of office isn’t being questioned by the president? In the eyes of what is right, the president must jump into this murky water to arrest the crocodile fight after this abuse of security details. If Akpabio sponsored that unfortunate siege then he ought to be reprimanded publicly, the way the General attempted to reprimand the failing service chiefs; excuse the satire. Fortunately, the daredevil governor of Rivers State played the Batman and rescued Nunieh.

If precedence bear any credence, then I don’t see the president getting involved in the NDDC crisis much. Maybe, he will offer lip service or some closed door reconcilliatory meetings that will fail at addressing the real issues. I don’t see Akpabio losing his job over this dance of shame. Unfortunately, I don’t see NDDC freed from the cannibals feeding off it. While there are still many who believe that the corruption fight of this government is real and serious, call me an uncle Thomas, but until I see clear changes I won’t believe so. On the contrary, what I see is that corrupt has become so bold that it sits on the throne and dictates for the lion king.

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