Sunday, 20 October 2019

The Niger Delta Indignants vs. Godswill Akpabio: A Paradise Lost by Orok Duke

Chief Godswill Obot Akpabio
Minister of Niger Delta Affairs 

Orok Duke, 19th October 2019 


I feel compelled to pen this article as a result of recent developments in the Niger Delta Ministry, nay, Niger Delta Development Commission and the puerile attempts at smearing the person of Senator Godswill Obot Akpabio, the Honourable Minister, Niger-Delta Ministry and blackmailing our President by personages who have, over the years, turned the NDDC into their ATMs, while negating and undermining the interventionist thrust of the Commission and the Ministry.


The adjective, '' indignant'', generally describes a feeling or showing of anger or annoyance at what is perceived as unfair treatment. Other synonyms of being indignant, include; '' incensed, outraged and umbrageous.''
An ''Indignant'', would therefore fall within the category of someone who is affected with indignation or is wrathful, passionate or irate.
A wider conception of an Indignant covers a person who is angered at something unjust or wrong: "incensed at the judges' unfairness" or "umbrageous at the loss of their territory"
For the sake of this article, '' umbrageous at the loss of their territory'', will be the operative phrase.

This my friend, apart from being a fellow Malabite (A Graduate of UNICAL), had gone ahead to deliver an ''Uncommon Development'' to Akwa Ibom State as a Governor, thereby cementing his place in our friendship and the recent Political History of not only his State, but Nigeria. In one of my visits to Akwa Ibom State during his tenure as the Governor, I was so moved by the developmental efforts and improvements in the State,that I stayed in Uyo and wrote a poem to honour him thus:

(For Godswill Obot Akpabio)

Events have now drawn the veil,
To see the rivers running to the sea,
At the time he walks the path
His kindred cleared in the past.

This Godswill Obot Akpabio,
Did not arrive to do a cameo,
But to take all his chances,
In an ensemble of dances.

The whistling of the night wind,
Heralded the onset of an uncommon glow,
Like the fire flies of moons ago,
The shooting star never returns home.

(Dances on the Plains – 2014@ Google/Amazon Books)

Hate him or love him, Godwill Akpabio is a ''performer'' and an achiever. In whatever role that he finds himself, he seems to echo the words of the Greek Astronomer and Mathematician, Archimedes of Syracuse (b.287 BC), who once begged for a chance to apply his progressive skills for the benefit of humanity.

Archimedes had said: '' Give me a fulcrum, and I shall move the world. Give me a firm spot on which to stand, and I shall move the earth.''

Like Archimedes, we need to give Godswill Akpabio the leverage to clean the Augean Stable and give all of us the results that we yearn for. At the end, I believe that not only Archimedes, but all of us will also echo Archimedes, by celebrating ''Eureka''.


Paradise Lost is an epic poem in blank verse by the 17th-century English poet John Milton. The first version, published in 1667, consists of ten books with over ten thousand lines of verse. Paradise Lost is about Adam and Eve--how they came to be created and how they came to lose their place in the Garden of Eden, also called Paradise. It's the same story you find in the first pages of Genesis, expanded by Milton into a very long, detailed, narrative poem.

I read Paradise Lost Books 1 and 2 as part of A Level study in English Literature in Hope Waddell Training Institute, Calabar. Therefore, I can conveniently relate with a human being's physiological, economical and psychological sense of loss. Most especially, when one is possessed by an ''entitlement mentality'' that is effectively jettisoned.

Satan, who was once an Angel, became licentious and broke several laws, refused to retrace his steps and became Indignant. Pride or hubris was the flaw and he began to see himself as God's equal, or at least worthy enough to replace Him, and thus mounted a war on Heaven. And he lost – forever.


My anecdotes have been able to paint clearly the present situation in both the Niger Delta Ministry and NDDC. From the year 2000 when NDDC was created as an Interventionist body, some citizens had/have constituted themselves into Landlords and have over the years, become authorities unto themselves, deciding who gets Contracts in the Niger Delta(even if a Contactor or Consultant is incompetent); who gets mobilised or who gets paid on completion of the contracts and so on. This decay has continued and permeated the administrative infrastructure of the NDDC, thereby leading to Trillions of Naira being disbursed for non- existent contracts or shoddily executed contracts – leading to outstanding ''debts and claims'' that run into more Trillions of Naira.

This assumption of propriety and entitlement by certain leaders and youths in the Niger Delta has led to heightened profligacy and economic/psychological terrorism amongst us. And they have made war against established authorities and held the government hostage. Intermittent and internecine protests are usually carried out to cover up obvious discrepancies.

A new Honourable Minister, Niger Delta Ministry has come and is willing and ready to work and all those without skeletons should willy-nilly, cooperate with him, but those who are afraid of the light are now fighting back. 

The last wooded stick that was thrown at the mango tree, has brought down other sticks that were lost and forgotten – and this new development has gotten everyone scampering for safely. The Mafia's grip on our commonwealth has been weakened by President Muhammadu Buhari. He has ordered the draining of this Niger Delta swamp of accumulated filth and vulgar lucre.

With the ordered Forensic Audit of NDDC finances from 2001-2019, the Mafia has lost a place in Paradise. The Indignants are umbrageous at the loss of their territory, influence and power, so they want to wage war on progress in the Niger Delta and stay the hands of Providence. Foolishly so. 

The way our altruistic Godswill Akpabio is focused on this new assignment deserves the support of all Nigerians.  '' Give me a fulcrum, and I shall move the world. Give me a firm spot on which to stand, and I shall move the earth'', will remain his battle cry as he sets about this latest assignment. And by the time he shines his uncommon glow on NDDC and the Niger Delta Ministry; and we sing ''Eureka'' as a refrain, we may be begging him to move on to a higher assignment. The future is bright.

'' The whistling of the night wind,
Heralded the onset of an uncommon glow,
Like the fire flies of moons ago,
The shooting star never returns home.''

Rt. Hon (Chief) Orok Otu Duke (JP)
(Niger Delta Delegate to the 2014 CONFAB, Abuja)
(2 Term Deputy Speaker/4th Term Member, CRHA)