According to new information, the sacking of the Minster of Niger Delta affairs’ chief press secretary may be related to the mismanagement of the minister’s recent visit to Chief Government Ekpemupolo alias Tompolo.
Anietie Ekong is said to have irritated his principal, Senator Godswill Akpabio, when pictures of a large ‘Ghana Must Go’ bag, suspected to contain millions of dollars, were seen on social media being escorted to the creek by the Minister.
It is believed that Akpabio’s philosophy of “what money cannot do, more money can do” has resulted in the alleged waste of billions of dollars in public funds on frivolous spending.
The visit to Tompolo came after the ex-militant issued a seven-day ultimatum, threatening to disrupt operations at the NDDC and other federal government parastatals if the Minister did not appoint a substantial board.
During the visit, however, reports confirm that Akpabio and his entourage were seen emerging from the creeks, but without the large bag they were dragging with them.
Whatever was in the bag, it was enough for the ex-warlord to grant an extension to the ultimatum he issued, with the Minister given until the end of June to form the substantive board for the regional money-laundering intervention agency.
Mr Government Ekpemupolo, on the other hand, disagreed with the notion that Akpabio’s money influenced him to change his mind.
In a statement, he stated that he is reconsidering the early ultimatum he issued last Monday as a result of the consultative meeting held at Oporoza in Gbaramatu Kingdom in Warri South West Local Government Area (LGA), Delta State by leaders, youths, and stakeholders from the region, and not because of any form of inducement.
Ekpemupolo stated that he got involved because he cared about the region and Nigeria, and that he could not be swayed by money or other material things.
Senator Godswill Akpabio, on the other hand, is said to have been deeply embarrassed when images of one of his aides carrying the massive bag drew widespread condemnation and ridicule from the media.
He blamed Anietie Ekong for being careless and negligent in the photos he released to the public.
His rage was heightened when it was discovered that no outside cameraman had access to the minister’s visit, which was made by boat and was extremely restricted.
Sir Etekamba Umoren, the Minister’s Chief of Staff, announced yesterday that Anietie Ekong has been replaced by Jackson Udom, the publisher of an online media platform called Pees Reporters.
Jackson Udom, a former Tribune
Newspaper reporter, worked in the Minister’s media team under Anietie Ekong
Photo Credit: Nairaland