The recently sacked Ag Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Dr. Gbene Joy Nunieh has blown hot over her sack by the Minister of Niger Delta, Senator Godswill Akpabio saying that the minister deceived members of the public on the reason for her sack from the office.It will be recalled that Nunieh was sacked over issues bothering on alleged sharp practices and unverified contracts payment running into billions of naira.Dr Joy Nunieh debunked the allegation leveled against her by Akpabio in an interview.She described the Niger Delta Minister, Senator Godswill Akpabio as a pathological liar.According to her, Senator Godswill Akpabio wanted to compel her to swear to an oath of secrecy and loyalty.The ex-Ag NDDC Managing Director alleged that in one of their peace meeting in Abuja, Senator Akpabio, as part of his conditions for peace, wanted her to accept the oath of secrecy and loyalty in the presence of other members, adding that she turned down the request as it was against her Christian faith.She said that the minister sacked her due to her refusal to go for the oath ritual and again due to her blunt refusal to approve unusual payments of his numerous contracts without verification from Akwa Ibom State and his other loyal contractors.She revealed in the interview that Akpabio could not tell the press that she was sacked due to sharp practices in NDDC as acting Managing Director, adding that she left billions of naira in office as at the time she left.Dr. Joy added that Akpabio wanted her to divert NDDC funds to sponsor his presidential ambition in 2023, which she said she also refused.She said that her sins against Akpabio was her refusal to take oath of secrecy, pay his phoney Akwa Ibom contractors.The former Ag MD of NDDC said further that she turned down Akpabio’s request to sponsor his 2023 presidential ambition with the common wealth of the people of Niger Delta, which she said is meant to carry out developmental projects in the oil-producing, but poor suffering communities.She said that she could not join Akpabio to steal the money of Niger Delta people as she is the highest traditional title holder in Ogoniland In Rivers State, and that she could not please Akpabio and offend the Almighty God.The woman recalled that there was a reason she was the only survivor in a boat mishap, where all the other nine occupants died.She vowed to open up at the right time to tell Nigerians many things about Akpabio and NDDC generally.Dr. Joy Nunieh’s words; ‘thank you my brother, you said you are a journalist and you said Akpabio opened his mouth to tell you that he sacked me from office because I was paying unverified contracts money running into billions of naira. I don’t believe Akpabio can tell you that lie. If he did, then, he is a pathological liar. Did you put him on record?”I will just give you a brief as I will speak at the right time. Let me today tell the world why Akpabio sacked me because he has been pushing me to open up.“Akpabio wanted to compel me to swear to an oath of secrecy and loyalty in the presence of other two top NDDC male officials.“He tried to do that on about three consecutive times and I looked at his face and bluntly told him no, that the God I serve is bigger than his secret oath.“A secret oath to allow him loot the money belonging to the people of Niger Delta and I refused his request.“Akpabio wanted me to sponsor his presidential ambition in 2023 with the money meant for the development of Niger Delta, which I bluntly refused. These are some of my offences against Akpabio. I don’t regret standing on the path of my people.”Akpabio is a common thief, he lied to you that I was sacked because of sharp practices. He stole the common wealth of Niger Delta people. Let Akpabio face his probe and leave me alone. He wanted to drag innocent people to fall with him. I refused to join him on his oath of secrecy to cover him by signing fake contract documents.“That is the sole reason he sacked me. He was also saying that I am not a lawyer. He also boasted that I came to Abuja to beg him. Are you recording? Listen, since he sacked me from my job, I have not travelled out of Port- Harcourt.“This common mouthy criminal said I travelled to Abuja to beg him. Akpabio is a pathological liar. He has been running a campaign of calumny to discredit or tarnish my hard earned reputation.“I serve God and no amount of calumny will do me any harm. Let me use this privilege to tell Nigerians and the Inspector General of Police that from this moment, if any fly perches on my skin and causes any physical damage to my skin and my immediate family members, Senator Godswill should be held responsible.“I know why I am saying this because Akpabio is a dubious character, who is morally unfit to hold any sensitive public office in the country.”I am highest traditional title holder in Ogoniland. I cannot steal from Niger Delta. I am an activist. Akpabio is benefitting from what he didn’t know how it came about.‘He didn’t know how NDDC was established. There is a reason I was the only survivor of a boat mishap with nine occupants. My God is stronger than the gods of Akpabio.“He will certainly perish. He will not have peace in his entire life,” she said.However, Godswill Akpabio, in an interview, stated why he sacked Dr. Joy Nunieh. His words ”I sacked her because she did not perform up to expectation by paying unverified contracts money running to billions of naira.“Majority of the contracts are water hyacinth distilling. Some are without due process. She was bringing embarrassment to the commission, which I am bent on sanitizing through forensic auditing.“Dr. Joy was not sacked because of NYSC certificate forgery as it was peddled in some media. Thank you for calling to confirm your stories before publishing.“I will forward to you her NYSC certified true copy from the NYSC board to tell you that her sack had no bearing or connection with NYSC, but sharp practices in NDDC.”
Inclusive Foundation Mourns Veteran Actress, Rachael Oniga
Inclusive Social Welfare and Empowerment Foundation, a non-governmental organisation has expressed its heartfelt sympathy to family, friends and the entire movie industry over the loss of the veteran actress, Rachael Oniga who died at age 64.
The CEO of the foundation, Chief (Mrs.) Pat Eleto, in a condolence visit to the family, on Saturday, July 31st, said the news came as a rude shock to many, but she believes that the late actress has created a great impact with her career, and her legacy should never be forgotten.
In her statement, Chief (Mrs.)Eleto said:
“It is with a heavy heart that I grief with the family of a sister, friend and adviser of Inclusive Social Welfare and Empowerment Foundation.
“Mrs. Oniga, is one of our great ambassadors, and we were actually working on a project that is meant for the later part of this year when the sad news of her demise came.
“Death is inevitable, we pray for the repose of her soul, and may God comfort all the people she left behind. We also hope and pray that all her good legacies, be sustained because, she was indeed a pillar of support to our foundation, and also one of veterans that contributed immensely to the growth of Nollywood,” the statement reads.
A native of Delta State, Oniga was one of the ambassadors of Inclusive Social Welfare and Empowerment Foundation.
Alaafin Shuns Ooni-Backed Group Over Alleged Anti-Buhari Posture
The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, on Friday, at the last minute, allegedly cancelled an appointment he gave to a Yoruba group, Ooni’s Caucus, on the alleged complaint that members of the group are “notorious critics” of the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
The Ooni’s Caucus, which was inaugurated at the palace of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, on July 20, 2021, is made of many influential Yoruba persons and is being coordinated by a former Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria, Mr Akin Osuntokun.
PUNCH learnt that Osuntokun led about 14 members of the group to Alaafin’s palace for the alleged 11am appointment on Friday, but after waiting for about two and a half hours, the influential monarch sent words to them that he would not be seeing them.
According to a source, who spoke to PUNCH on condition of anonymity, some of the group’s members who went to Alaafin’s palace with Osuntokun were a monarch, the Olugbon of Orile-Igbon, Oba Francis Alao; a former presidential spokesman, Dr Doyin Okupe; a former commissioner in Osun State, Muyiwa Ige; a former Minister of Defence, Mrs Dupe Adelaja; a retired Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Taiwo Lakanu, Oye Oyewumi, Sola Lawal, among others.
A former governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, is also said to be a member of Ooni’s Caucus, but he was not on the delegation to Alaafin’s palace on Friday.
The source, who is a member of the group, claimed that the group had through the Olugbon secured an appointment with Alaafin since Monday, and the same appointment was confirmed on Thursday, only for them to get to the palace and the Alaafin refused to see them on the claim that they were anti-Buhari and were also loyalists of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
The source explained that the main purpose of the meeting was for the newly-inaugurated group to get Alaafin’s blessings and to possibly discuss the issue of the embattled Yoruba Nation agitator, Chief Sunday Adeyemo, alias Sunday Igboho, who is currently being held and tried in Cotonou, Benin Republic.
The source said, “The Olugbon, a member of the caucus, was the one who booked the appointment, but he said the Alaafin said he didn’t want to see us because we’re notorious critics of the Buhari government.
“He (Alaafin) confirmed the appointment yesterday (Thursday). But when we got there today, he kept us waiting; after a while, he asked to see the Olugbon. He (Alaafin) didn’t come to see us; we were told he said he wouldn’t see us because we are notorious critics of Buhari’s government and that some of us are close to Obasanjo, who is also critical of the government.
“We were made to wait for about two and a half hours; he gave us an appointment for 11am; we got there at 11am and at about 1.30pm, that was when it was obvious to us that he wasn’t coming (to see us). But he initially asked to see the Olugbon, who went to see him for about an hour. When the Olugbon eventually came back, he said Alaafin would not see us, saying we are a group that is critical of the Buhari government and some of us are loyalists of Obasanjo.”
On whether the group’s mission to Alaafin’s palace was to discuss Sunday Igboho’s matter, the source said, “Of course, the issue (of Igboho) would come up but that was not the purpose of the visit. The issue of Igboho concerns all the Yoruba people but that was not our reason for going to him.”
On whether the group would try and book another appointment, the source said, “I don’t know; we were all surprised that a Yoruba oba can refuse to see his children on account of not wanting to be on the bad side of Buhari’s government. I would have thought that an oba is supposed to take everybody as his children, whether they are supporters of Buhari the All progressives Congress or the Peoples Democratic Party or whatever party.”
But when contacted by PUNCH, the Media Director to the Alaafin, Bode Durojaye, said the reason his principal did not see the group was because they did not have any prior appointment with him.
Durojaye said the Alaafin would be willing to entertain the group if they booked an appointment.
He said, “Those who came are men of honour and kabiyesi did not say he did not want to see them. He did not say he would not see them because they are critical of President Buhari or they are former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s men. Obasanjo himself is a friend of Kabiyesi, so you can see that what you were told was not what happened.
“Kabiyesi said he could not see them because they did not give him prior notice that they were coming. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t want to see them again. They can notify him and he will give them an appointment. You cannot just come and say you want to see him, there are protocols to follow and due process is always adhered to at Alaafin’s Palace.
“There was no rancour, no ill-feeling even when they were going; I was there and I saw them off to their vehicles. If anybody told you that kabiyesi said he didn’t want to see them because they are critical of government or they are Obasanjo’s men, that is a lie.”
NMA Reacts As Bandits Break Into, Pick Nurse At Zamfara General Hospital
Suspected bandits invaded General Hospital, Dansadau, Maru Local Government Area of Zamfara State on Friday, resulting in the abduction of a nurse and caregiver.
Residents said that immediately the men stormed the medical facility, the armed men headed to the outpatient ward in search of a doctor or nurse.
“When they couldn’t find anybody there, they started going from one ward to another. A nurse and a caregiver were abducted. They then moved to staff quarters looking for doctors and nurses but could not find any.”
“The armed criminals had earlier attempted to attack Maigoge, a community located six kilometres north of Dansadau town.
“But when they laid siege to the community, the vigilantes otherwise known as Yan Sakai firmly defended the village. The vigilante killed some of the bandits and injured several others.
“They then invaded the hospital to kidnap nurse and doctors that will treat their injured brothers in the forest.”
Maigoge is one of the few communities in Dansadau Emirate known to be firmly defending themselves against bandits.
“The staff of the facility are not carrying out night duties now. They only attend to patients at day time. They then move inside the town to spend night usually at undisclosed locations,” he added.
Meanwhile, the chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association in Zamfara state, Dr Mannir Bature, who confirmed the attack said the association is worried by the unfortunate incident.
He said they would hold an emergency state officers council meeting on Saturday.
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