WHY NSIMA EKERE AVOIDS MEETING WITH GOVERNOR UDOM EMMANUEL
Many reasons have been adduced on why Obong Nsima Ekere, Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), has refused to pay a courtesy call on his home state governor, Deacon Udom Emmanuel, despite the fact that he has virtually visited other state governors whose states constitute the NDDC.
Since his appointment on November I, 2016, Ekere has been enmeshed in series of controversies, with his refusal to pay a courtesy call on his Governor, Udom Emmanuel, one of his low points since he took over the mantle of leadership at NDDC.
Investigations by our reporters across the state reveal that Ekere is seen as the most vindictive and controversial Managing Director and Chief Executive of NDDC since it was created in 2000 by former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
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According to some politicians interviewed by our reporters, Nsima Ekere is alleged to have not forgiven Governor Emmanuel for picking the governorship ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ahead of him, leading to his decamping from PDP to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Prior to his joining the APC, Ekere is said to have gathered all the failed aspirants in PDP governorship primary into a coalition, code-named G-22 with the sole aim of wrestling the governorship ticket from Emmanuel, an exercise that failed woefully, despite spending 40 long days and nights in Abuja trying to woo national party leaders to nullify the result of the governorship candidate of PDP.
Since that time in January 2015 our findings reveal, Ekere has grown a deep-seated animosity against Emmanuel and has allegedly vowed not have anything to do with the governor who went ahead to win the governorship election.
Ekere who is alleged to have as life ambition his becoming the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, has so far refused to attend state anniversary celebrations and other public events which will bring him face to face with Governor Udom Emmanuel, hence his decision not to lead the Board and management of NDDC to meet with Governor Udom Emmanuel , an exercise he has done to other state Governors in the Niger Delta region.
His refusal to attend the burial service of the late brother of the present Deputy Governor, Mr. Moses Ekpo last week in Abak, is again cited as another reason to attend the funeral service, knowing full well that Governor Udom Emmanuel will be in attendance at the burial service.
Yet this is an event that had past Deputy Governors, like Obong Chris Ekpenyong, Chief Etim Okpoyo, Sir Michael Udofia, among others in attendance, because the event was organized by another brother deputy governor, which Ekere was at a time.
He is also said to have boycotted the funeral obsequies of the late Paramount Ruler of Onna Local Government Area, Akwa Edidem Akpabio Udo Ukpa as well as refused to commiserate with the Governor and the people of the state during the unfortunate collapse of the Reigners Bible Church building in December 2016, where numerous Akwa Ibom worshippers lost their lives in the tragic incident.
To Chief Okon Akpan, a grassroots politician in Ikot Abasi L.G.A, same L.G.A as Ekere, the refusal of his brother and NDDC boss to meet with Udom may not be unconnected with the fact that Udom has dwarfed him (Ekere) with good governance and excellent leadership qualities that may lead him to feel inferior before Udom Emmanuel, hence his decision to boycott all functions that will make him meet with Governor Emmanuel.
Ekere is also accused of always avoiding the Governor because of the recent spat officials of Ministry of Works had with some NDDC contractors and consultants over the poor and shoddy execution of contracts awarded by NDDC in the state.
Such projects, according to our findings, reveal that the commission just award contracts to some Ekere loyalists without technical drawings and adequate supervision with such projects going under, immediately the rains set in.
A clear example of shoddy execution of contracts by NDDC in the state is the recent asphalting of roads in Ewet Housing Estate and other roads in Uyo metropolis which packed up two or three months after they were asphalted, leading to Akwa Ibom people berating the agency for approving and paying for poorly executed jobs.
“When one juxtaposes the quality roads and other projects executed by the Udom Emmanuel government with those projects executed by NDDC, Chief Asuquo Mbiam, an indigene of Ibeno Local Government Area stated, Ekere had every reason to avoid meeting with the governor for the fear that he could be dressed down publicly.
Meanwhile, a majority of those who joined Ekere to oppose Udom Emmanuel as the governorship candidate of the PDP in 2015, have since retraced their steps back to PDP with only a few crossing over to the APC.
Even at that, Obong Umana Okon Umana, the APC governorship candidate of APC in 2015 who lost woefully to Udom in the governorship election of that year, has since led the management team of his organization, the Oil and Gas Free Zone Authority (OGFZA) which he heads, to pay a courtesy call on Governor Udom Emmanuel in the Government House, Uyo
The same thing with Obong Umana’s running mate in that election, Engr. Benedict Ukpong, a Commissioner with the National Population Commissioner (NPC) who has since paid a courtesy call on the Akwa Ibom state Governor, Udom Emmanuel.
Even the loquacious Ita Awak, the Director of Airworthiness in the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and a former Publicity Secretary of APC in Akwa Ibom State, who prior to his appointment into NCAA, never saw anything good in Udom Emmanuel’s government, recently led a team of engineers / officials of NCAA to inspect facilities at the Ibom International Airport and thereafter paid a courtesy call on the state Governor at the Governor’s Office in Uyo.
But not so with Nsima Ekere, whom many Akwa Ibom people have come to describe as a very sly, haughty and arrogant politician who is not interested in the affairs of Akwa Ibom people except himself and his life ambition; to become the Governor of Akwa Ibom State.
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