Former governor of Akwa Ibom state and Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, has been urged to ignore a section of the Niger Delta group casting aspersions on him.
This advice was given Tuesday by a group under the aegis of Standard Initiative for Peace Building Development (SIPBD).
The group commended Akpabio for his timely intervention on the issue of payment of the water hyacinth involving the youth in the region and the NDDC.
The group said those castigating Akpabio were paid to do so as they are not aware of what the minister of Niger Delta has done to resolve the crisis.
The group, in a statement by its spokesperson, Bishop Afred Etuk, said “it is unfortunate that things have degenerated to this level where people will because of filthy lucre, crucify their fellow brother. Some people can sell themselves for peanuts all in the name of blackmailing an innocent man.
“We commend and thank the former governor of Akwa Ibom for the fatherly role he played in resolving the issues of payment of the water hyacinth with the NDDC. By this act, the Minister of Niger Delta has demonstrated that he represents everybody. His actions have shown that as a member of the APC, he is willing to carry everyone along.
“We commend him for exercising his God given wisdom and fatherly disposition on this matter.”
The group also urged the public to ignore and disregard whatever information or rumour that is being spread about the person of the former governor.
Lambasting the youth, whom it said must have been sponsored by enemies of Niger Delta, SIPBD urged the public to disregard the blatant lies that the honourable minister collected 400 water hyacinth and the acting MD collected 300 and the balance shared amongst the directors.
The group said: “The honourable minister was not the one that gave water hyacinth, he only came to the rescue by ensuring the payment. Moreover, the total number of the water hyacinth that was shared among the youth was not even up to 700 slots as alleged by the youth.
“About 1000 Niger Delta youth met with him demanding payment of the water hyacinth, and in the presence of all, he asked how much is the water hyacinth, and the Acting MD told him it is N1.9 billion. There and then, the Minister ordered that it should be paid with immediate effect. This instruction has been carried out.
“But some of the greedy youths who do not want others to benefit because they wanted more for themselves, chose to join the enemies of Niger Delta to tarnish the image of this innocent and God sent man. They should know that whatever a man sows, same shall he reap.”
“We also use this medium to thank President Muhammadu Buhari for appointing the former governor of Akwa Ibom state, Senator Godswill Apabio as the minister of Niger Delta.