” I stand proud and tall, on behalf of Ikono people to welcome you to the cradle and conscience of Ibibio Nation. For eight years of plenty and opulence, we had nothing to show for it. Your Excellency, without much ado, we stand tall to celebrate you as a man who has come to wipe tears from the faces of Ikono people. I like to thank you for all you’ve done for Ikono people. I stand here to assure you that on the 16th of this month, we’ll prove to the world what will happen. We are proud of you and we’ll prove how much we love you on the 2nd day of March through the content of the ballot box.
My dear boss, Ikono people are urging me to ask you to construct two major roads for them. But when I checked your manifesto, Akpan: 1). Proposed Road No1: 10.5KM NKARA OBIO JUNCTION- EDIENE ATAI-OSUK EDIENE -UDOK ATAI JUNCTION WITH SPUR FROM EDIENE ATAI JUNCTION TO AFAHA EDIENE JUNCTION.
Proposed Road No2:
CONSTRUCTION OF 16.232KM UYO-AFAHA URUA NAIRA-IKOT NSEYEN- UKPOM-NUNG UKIM ROAD WITH 45M SPAN BRIDGE AND 7.5KM SPUR FROM IKOT NSEYEN -IKOT ONWON- IKOT ANTEM – IKOT AKPAN TO OLD ITU ROAD.
The above statement were the words of
Ikono Council Boss, Hon. Itoro Columba, at the PDP Rally in Ikono.
On the 5th of February, I attended Governor Udom Emmanuel’s second term rally in Ikono , speakers after Speakers pleaded with Governor Udom Emmanuel to construct 10 KM Uyo Afaha Nkan -Ikot Nseyen- Nkwot road.
As a result, I decided to read through Senator Akpabio’s achievements as the Governor of Akwa Ibom State and discovered that the road was listed as part of his achievement. I was shocked. But to clear my doubts, I decided to visit the Ministry of Works Civil department to find out what might have happened that made the project not executed and this is what I discovered.
On 28th September, 2011, Senator Godswill Obot Akpabio awarded a contract for the construction of a 10 km Uyo Afaha Nkan- Ikot Nseyen- Nkwot- Nnung Ukim Roads in Ikono Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.
The contract was awarded to STEMCO LIMITED for a total of N4,818,956,342.70 (Four Billion, Eight hundred and Eighteen Million, Nine Hundred and Fifty Six thousand Three Hundred and forty Two Naira Seventy Kobo).
It is so sad and disheartening to say that no due process of law was followed in the award of the contract, all we could see from the award of the contract is a magnanimous brother dashing out state fund and tax payers money to the tune of N4,818,956,342.70 (Four Billion, Eight hundred and Eighteen Million, Nine Hundred and Fifty Six thousand Three Hundred and forty Two Naira Seventy Kobo) to a member of his family in the guise of awarding contract. Little wonder the State Government had to waive the performance of the contract (please find attach the document dated 24th October, 2014 with reference NO. GO/FGPC/S/6/VOL.XIX/982 Address to the Managing Director, Messrs STEMCO LIMITED, 142 Woji Road, Port Harcourt, Rivers State).
The said contract awarded was in clear contravention to Section 23 (1) of Public Procurement Act 2017 which held that “a procuring entity may engage in public procurement by open bidding by means of (a) international competitive bidding or (b) national competitive bidding’’. The contract did not also comply with the provision of section 23 (3) of the same law which further provides that “where a procuring entity uses a method of procurement other open bidding, it shall include in the records required under section 47 a statement of the reasons and the circumstances on which it relied to justify the use of that other method’’.
From the available record, it is clear that there was no time the state government advertised the contract for the general public to submit their bid. It is further gathered that the contractor who was a family member of Akpabio never at anytime submitted a bid for the construction of the road little wonder the contractor did not at anytime attempt to execute the said contract though the contract sum was fully approved and disbursed.
To worsen matters, after over N4,818,956,342.70 (Four Billion, Eight hundred and Eighteen Million, Nine Hundred and Fifty Six thousand Three Hundred and forty Two Naira Seventy Kobo) was disbursed for the construction of the roads, it is sad to say that there were no construction whatsoever on the roads. Notwithstanding the fact that the road was never constructed, the then Governor of Akwa Ibom State now Senator Godswill Obot Akpabio did not see it necessary to invoke the provision of Section 6 (2) of the Contracts Law of Akwa Ibom State which provides thus “all sums paid or payable to any party in pursuance to the contract before the time when the parties were so discharge shall in the case of sum so paid will be recoverable from him as money received by him for the use of the party by whom the sum were paid, and, in the case of sum so payable shall ceases to be payable”.
It is clear from records that Governor Godswill Akpabio now Senator Godswill Akpabio never cared to call the contractor to refund the sum payable to him for the execution of the contract since the contract in the eyes of the law was frustrated. it is in view of this that the people of Akwa Ibom State want to know what happened to the money that was approved and released for the execution of the said contract. Please find attached the document titled Interim/Final payment Certificate NO. One (1) dated 22nd September, 2011 to further proof that money was paid for the execution of the contract.
It is time for the people of Ikono to reject at the ballot a man who used the name of roads in their community to loot funds without conscience .