Will Michael Matthew ever grow up?
We have read with amusement, a poorly written piece by one Micheal Matthew, in which he baselessly accused some leaders of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Akwa Ibom State of involvement in anti party activities. Ordinarily, we would have laughed off Matthew’s hogwash without dignifying him with a response, knowing slander is his stock in trade. However, we are particularly concerned about his inanity against the appointment of the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Obong Umana Okon Umana and the threat to “plung [sic] the state into coerce [sic] as never seen before.”
We will address this threat subsequently, but first, let’s make Nigerians understand what this is all about. From our findings, Michael Matthew is acting on cue from the former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, who for the past weeks has been fighting a proxy war against the presidential directive to audit the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). Unfortunately, Akpabio’s frantic efforts at frustrating the reforms of the Commission by the current administration has repeatedly failed. Since he has made brick walls in all his attempts, he has resorted to mudslinging, orchestrating protests to distract Obong Umana Okon Umana and sponsoring media war against the minister. Obviously, Michael Matthew is simply cashing in, thinking he has found an avenue to remain in the former minister’s good graces.
We believe there is need to set the record straight and dispel the web of lies woven by a desperate political thug facing his mid-age crisis. It is on record that Obong Umana Okon Umana, the Minister in charge of Niger Delta Affairs Ministry, left the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to All Progressives Congress (APC) since 2013 and has never looked back. He is among the most dependable and consistent leaders of APC in Akwa Ibom State and has never secretly supported the PDP against the APC government that has given him a wide opportunity to serve the nation these past years.
Except delinquent Michael Matthew is suffering from selective amnesia, he would not forget that as at 2013, when Obong Umana Okon Umana joined APC, the party was struggling with existential threats from the then governor, Senator Godswill Akpabio (Michael’s current puppeteer). Yet, Umana, at great risk to his life, rallied the APC into a formidable force and stood election against the ruling PDP, which had Mr. Udom Emmanuel as its flagbearer. Eventually, when the result of the heavily rigged election came out, Obong Umana Okon Umana still went ahead to challenge it to the highest court in the country. How would he have invested such energy, time and resources if Udom (as claimed by Matthew) was his relative?
Meanwhile, for the avoidance of doubt, Obong Umana Okon Umana is from Ndiya, Nsit Ubium Local Government Area, Etinaan Federal Constituency, Uyo Senatorial district while Mr. Udom Gabriel Emmanuel is from Awa-Iman, Onna Local Government Area, Eket/Esit-eket/Onna federal constituency, Eket senatorial district. So, how are these two related? The 2015 election had since gone into history and Obong Umana had since moved on to higher service, why should he now work for a party that is in its dying throes?
Furthermore, the grossly inept narrative which stands logic on its head, only serves to expose Michael Matthew’s frustration and that of his paymaster at how the tide has changed within the NDDC. Certainly, it won’t be business as usual following the ongoing audit hence these frantic endeavour to drag the minister into unnecessary shenanigans with other leaders of the party. It is a known fact that HE Rotimi Amaechi, former Minister of Transport, is a bosom friend to Obong Nsima Ekere, former MD/CEO of NDDC. It is therefore unimaginably mischievous to alleged that Obong Umana Okon Umana would suddenly become so powerful that he could direct Amaechi to frustrate his bosom friend. What an oddity!
At this juncture, we draw attention of Akwa Ibom State Police Command and all security outfits in the State to Michael Matthew’s threat to make the State ungovernable if Obong Umana Okon Umana is not removed as Minister of Niger Delta Affairs. This threat should not be taken lightly, knowing that Matthew is a notorious cult member with strong criminal tendencies. He benefitted so much from the chaos and political violence that was endemic during the Akpabio era that he has refused to grow up and become responsible, but prefers to live on handouts from political leaders while doing their dirty jobs.
His plan to mobilize his gang members in an orchestrated protest is simply a cover-up for a more sinister plot of robbery and looting. We therefore call on security agencies to swing into action and invite Michael Matthew for explanation. From our intelligence, Matthew is currently living off a lady petty trader along Ifa Ikot Okpon road, Uyo. If he needs help, he should take up a lawful trade and then help may come. He should choose sense over talebearing, slander and hooliganism.
Also, we call on Senator Godswill Akpabio to sheath his sword and call off his dogs. The entire Akwa Ibom people celebrated and supported him throughout his appointment as Minister of Niger Delta Affairs. It is expected of him as a statesman to reciprocate this gesture towards his successor. He stood firm for forensic audit of the NDDC and should allow its recommendations to be carried out. This is not the time for bigotry or advancing ethnopolitical agenda.
Enough is enough!
Amb. Solomon Umoh
Coordinator, Voice of Progressive Movement