Five days after he recklessly donated brand new Toyota SUVs to newly-wed Nigerian musician, Tuface Idibia and his wife, Akwa Ibom State governor, Godswill Akpabio, has taken his profligacy to a new high, acquiring exotic bullet-proof sprinter luxury vans from US-based Texas Armoring Corporation (TAC).
Mr. Akpabio already has in his official convoy, making the latest purchase superfluous and insensitive , he is one of Nigeria’s most profligate governors, spending his state funds as if they were his personal wealth.
He has even promised to release an unsolicited N50million for a so-called ‘Goodluck Jonathan Prize’ award for best performers in the film industry.
He says he will bankroll an all-expense paid trip for 29 delegates from the state to attend the white wedding of Tuface and Annie Idibia fixed for Dubai, the United Arab Emirate on March 23.Do not forget he hosted a lavish state dinner in honour of the couples and promised to rehabilitate the Eket-Ibeno Road ahead of the child dedication of Tuface and Annie.
The governor, seems to have an obsession for awards and is known to move around with huge cash taken from the state coffers, recklessly distributing them to whoever captures his fancy.He is believed to be spending heavily buying good press and awards across the country.
In March last year, three staff of the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCo) attached to Arik Airlines were arrested for allegedly stealing N2million from the luggage of a Government House, Uyo protocol staff at Ibom International Airport. The money was said to have been removed from the about N8million reportedly taken to Lagos by the protocol team for use during Governor Akpabio’s trip for his investiture as the Sun Newspapers Man of the Year award ceremony a few days earlier. Bundles of the mint-fresh notes reportedly kept in one of the official’s luggage allegedly developed wings in mysterious circumstances when some top government officials on the governor’s entourage were returning to Uyo.
Beyond the facade, the poverty and unemployment rate in the state remained among the highest in the country. Local contractors are routinely ignored for multinationals in the execution of infrastructural projects, and residents complain of huge capital flights from the state. Meanwhile the largest employer of labour in the state remains the civil service which is already overstaffed. Most state-owned industries have closed shop and the state is not known to have attracted any substantial investment in spite of Governor Akpabio’s several overseas trip in search of foreign investors.