I used to eat from dustbins – Governor Akpabio

Akwa Ibom Governor, Godswill Akpabio
By Nse Peter

Godswill Akpabio has said that before he became the governor of Akwa Ibom State there were moments in his life he used to eat from dustbins.

Mr. Akpabio’s shocking revelation is contained in an audio clip exclusively published by a blog, Think Akwa Ibom!

PREMIUM TIMES obtained permission from the owners of the blog to republish.

The governor spoke in Eket during the inauguration of a hotel, Sonak, owned by his older brother, Isong Akpabio, a former public affairs manager of Mobil Producing Nigeria.

The exact date of the event is unknown, but it is obvious from Mr. Akpabio’s remarks that it happened early in the governor’s first term in office.

“I was on the street, struggling with other people to eat, sometimes from the dustbins,” Mr. Akpabio said.

The crowd could be heard in the background, laughing and cheering on the governor. “I knew that (my brother, Isong Akpabio) having worked in Mobil for a long time and Mobil provided the food, the car and everything for him.”

The governor’s brother, Isong, was among the numerous aspirants within the ruling Peoples Democratic Party in Akwa Ibom State who contested alongside Godswill Akpabio for the party’s governorship ticket in 2006.

“I felt I knew the people’s problem more than him (Isong Akpabio) that was why I told him wait for me, let me go first as governor,” Mr. Akpabio said, eliciting more laughter from the crowd.

“Yes, I knew the problems of the people. One of the major problems was that even your state capital did not look like a state capital. Another problem was that people were using your children as house-boys and house-helps. The third problem was that when you mentioned your name ‘Ekaette’, people looked down on you.

“So, we worked on those three things; your state capital is now the cynosure of all eyes, your children are now enjoying free and compulsory education, and now when you say you are from Akwa Ibom, people say, ‘oh, welcome and have a seat.”

Governor Akpabio said he doubted if his brother, Isong would have ‘noticed’ the problems of the people if he were to be elected governor since he was so comfortable working in Mobil then.

He told the brother, “Now, after 2015, you can contest (as governor). They will vote for you, after seeing what you’ve done here”, apparently referring to the hotel that was being commissioned at the event.

Mr. Akpabio said that by the time he finishes his tenure as governor, the governance era in Akwa Ibom would be partitioned into two – ‘before Akpabio and after Akpabio’.

He told the people in Eket that before he leaves office, he was going to build ‘a beautiful Sheraton’ hotel at the location where Qua River Hotel used to be and that his administration was soon going to remodel the city of Eket to look like Uyo.

Mr. Akpabio has just about three months to complete his tenure in office.

He is yet to fulfil any of the promises he made at that event. Eket is yet to be remodelled and there is no ‘beautiful Sheraton’ in sight.

It is unclear how Akwa Ibom people will react to the revelation from their governor who used to eat from the dustbin while struggling on the streets, but who many Nigerians now consider one of Nigeria’s most profligate public officials.

He is reputed for spending his state funds as if they were his personal wealth.

In March 2013, the governor acquired expensive exotic bullet-proof sprinter luxury vans from US-based Texas Armoring Corporation. The vans were customized to his specifications.

That happened five days after he donated two brand new Toyota SUVs to then newly-wed Nigerian musician, Tuface Idibia and his wife.

He also bankrolled an all-expense paid trip for 29 delegates from the state to attend the white wedding of the couple in Dubai, the United Arab Emirate on March 23, 2013.

That same month, he unilaterally donated N230 million on behalf of the then newly-formed PDP Governors Forum to President Goodluck Jonathan’s hometown church. It later turned out that many of the governors did not give him their nods to make any donation on their behalf.

He took his profligacy to a new high later that month, openly donating N1million lunch money to party chairmen from states in the South-South geopolitical zone who had converged on Port Harcourt for a party reconciliation session.

Mr. Akpabio is believed to move around with huge cash.

In March 2012, three staff of the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCo) attached to Arik Airlines were arrested for allegedly stealing N2million from the luggage of a Government House, Uyo, protocol staff at Ibom International Airport.

At a forum held in honour of the movie industry in Nigeria on March 3, 2013, Mr. Akpabio promised to release an unsolicited N50million for a so-called ‘Goodluck Jonathan Prize’ award for best performers in the film industry.

Although Akwa Ibom receives the highest monthly allocation from the Federation Account, sometimes as much as N27 billion a month, before the crash in oil price, the state remains one of the poorest in the country.

Governor Akpabio is widely celebrated in the local media and the Peoples Democratic Party for “governing Akwa Ibom State well”.

But residents say beyond the facade, the poverty and unemployment rate in the state remained among the highest in the country.

Local contractors are routinely ignored for multinationals in the execution of infrastructural projects, and residents complain of huge capital flights from the state.

The largest employer of labour in the state remains the civil service which is already overstaffed.

Most state-owned industries have closed shop and the state is not known to have attracted any substantial investment in spite of Governor Akpabio’s several overseas trip in search of foreign investors.

Worried by the massive poverty in the state, the Anglican Bishop of Uyo Diocese, the Rt. Rev. Isaac Orama, on September 12, 2012, advised Mr. Akpabio to face reality and fight the widespread unemployment and poverty in the state.


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  • Khadijah D.

    Sorry bro, someone has already exhausted that sympathy election gimmicks. The “I have no shoes” slogan has opened the eyes many Nigerians. Think of another strategy, pls! All this na wash!

    • Aliyu Yunus

      very useless and avaricious politician.

  • bib

    You knew the people’s problem more than your brother. What did you with people’s money? Ensured you became preacher than your brother while the people are forced to go and eat in the dustbins!

  • Destiny

    this is purely a propaganda from the APC, because in uyo we have seen what Akpabio have done.

    • Dan Arewa

      …and you have not heard what he have said ko?

  • taewo

    Someone once said that he had no shoes. Once he became the president, he and his aides started stealing in an unprecedented scale.

  • Nwa Aba {Biafran}

    The best gov ever

    • Dan Arewa

      When are you going to israel to re-claim your inherited land?

  • katalyst

    You can be eating from dust bin when u attended federal government college port harcourt back in the days without scholarship. Or was it a 7 star hotel dust bin?

  • T-Rex

    Hahahahahaha! Premium Times,Akpabio have not done anything in office,right? It is now that i know you are raving mad! Go to Akwa Ibom and see wonders for yourself,and show me any APC,abi na Phensic,gov who has achieved that much in office!

    • Naira

      No wonder Akpabio is so stubborn. So he is Pako, no good home training.

      • T-Rex

        That pako is hundred times better than all the ajebutter govs produced by the expired drug party.

    • bib

      Consider it gets the biggest grant.

      • T-Rex

        Which comes from the oil taken from its soil,which ordinarily is not supposed to have been shared with parasites in the first instance.

        • bib

          The real parasites are those who only lazy about waiting for hand outs from oil that they are not prospecting. Indeed they would not have known they have oil if money from the ground nut pyramids was not used to prospect it.
          Th real parasites are those whose markets are flooded with grains, meat, soup ingredients farmed or reared with the sweat of others.

          • T-Rex

            No,you lie! You are a classic example of the parasite i’m referring to! Which ground nut pyramids money was used to prospect for oil in the south? Has there ever been a time that the barren arid north was better than the south in both human and material resources? The problem you have is that you have been repeatedly fed with lies and concocted stories from your lazy leaders that u have started to think they are facts. Check your history books my chap,before crude oil the Niger Delta had palm oil,rubber,cocoa,timber, palm nuts,etc, which was enough to run the economy of southern Nigeria,especially when added to the cocoa in the West! How could they have used proceeds from the much touted ground nut pyramids to prospect for oil in the Niger Delta when Regions enjoyed 50% derivation in those days? Ignorance is a disease,say no to lies. Educate yourself with facts and stop being deceived. Lugard amalgated the poor North with the rich south so as to use the revenue from the south to balance the perennial deficits in the yearly budgets of the north!

          • bib

            Just go back to school and read Nigeria economic history and Geography.

          • T-Rex

            You need that more than me.

          • bib

            I m not surprised. You are very lazy learners. That’s why six years later somebody cannot still grab the difference between accruable revenue and budgeted expenditures!

          • T-Rex

            Talk is cheap. I gave you facts,not the propaganda lies you are dishing out. I’m done with you,dude!

          • bib

            Let me just give you an assignment. Compare the economy of the Sudan savannah of Nigeria and that of its rain forest.

          • bib

            President Goodluck Jonathan has said the north has more resources than his native Niger Delta.Jonathan spoke in Abuja yesterday during an open-door meeting with leaders and members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from the North-West zone.He said the Niger Delta has only oil, but that the land is not good for farming.However, he said the North has the best agricultural land, from the “green savannah to the Sudan Savannah to the Sahel Savannah to the Mambila Plateau area, we’ve the best ecological zone and this is where the resources are. “The solid mineral is there. Let’s just work together and you will see how much we can transform the economy of this country that will benefit all of us.

          • T-Rex

            Niger Delta land is not good for farming? I don’t think the President said,he might have meant that parts of the Niger Delta fertile land and aquatic resources have been destroyed by oil spillage,its a pity you are misrepresenting facts again. And talking of the north, hope you are not making reference to the middle Belt as north? The core north is basically an arid desert land.

          • bib

            That is why you must undertake the assignment I gave you. Middle belt is in guinea savannah while the upper north is mostly in sudan savannah. And Sudan savannah is economically more viable than the guinea savannah. Because farming is less tedious there. And large animals survive more there. Please read and compare the savannahs and your Niger delta. You will see that GEJ didn’t lie this time.

          • bib

            Know that the middle belt is in guinea savannah while the core north is in Sudan savannah. Sudan savannah is more economically viable than the guinea savannah because farming is less tedious there, just as large animals survive better there. And the two savannahs are more viable to farming than the rain forest, worse still the Niger delta and even the south east land. Another advantage is ample land. The whole lot of Niger delta land is not up to one of the smallest state in the north. The whole lot of south east states is not up to Borno state. So GEJ for the first time did not lie. Check all facts out.

  • GideonOrkarII

    Premium Terrorists are a joke. Point to any state in Nigeria that has been developed more than Akwa Ibom. Yeye brown envelope people

    • Dan Arewa

      I wonder what kind of people are Jonathan’s e-rats. Did PT said that Akpabio did not do anything to his state? What they did was just tell the world about the part two of the SHOELESS stories.

  • Bidemi Lukman

    Now, he has thrown the dustin to Akwa Ibom people to eat from

  • kcee

    Gov Akpabio has done Creditably well for the State in terms of infrastructural development and whole lot more but unfortunately the State owe workers Months of salaries. In Some cases workers are presently been owed for up to 3 months. Local Governments in the states are not paying Salaries and the excuses has been ask Akpabio.

    • bib

      Inspite of being the receiver of highest grant. It is the dusbins mentality. You don’t save food from the dustbin. You eat whatever you scavenge. So no saving for rainy days in Akwa Ibon not to talk of investment.

  • Awarawa

    This journalist is a crook. No state in Nigeria witnessed development as much as Akwa Ibom under Godswill Akpabio. The biggest achievement of this great guy is changing the profile of an average Akwa Ibom people. Before, househelps are synonymous with this state but that changed completely. Now, to get househelps now is from Benin and Togo. Kudos to the best governors.

  • Fredodo1

    No wonder…this explains a lot

  • Wähala

    @Premium Times..
    The news today is Gen. Buhari is back from the UK since you guys don’t know. Nobody is interested in this watery, barber shop gossip news that is most likely lies anyway. Telling us about TuFace wedding of 2013 and Akpabio’s street life is a low in journalism on a day full of juicy news. Make una go to Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, Abuja, and get us real updates instead of a non-existent Sheraton Hotel in A’Ibom. For all his faults, Akpabio also achieved wonders for his State…

    • B. Messi

      Lol!

      • Wähala

        Baba Messi,
        You’re scarce these days, abi dem follow dump you with OmoReno Omokri? How dey go die go? I guess now you know that ‘Food is Ready’ no be for free. Odeku… I’m buying?

        • Oweja

          Your Wahala too much a-beg. Gbege dey sleep, yanga begin kick im yansh! If Baba Messi returns fire now, life go tire you. Baba Messi nor fex biko!

          • Wähala

            Are you his microphone?
            Dare him to return fire and see how it plays out between us.
            The fact that he’s been AWOL is enough pointer to me that all is not well with the tout. He keeps changing names means he’s hiding for cover. If you’re him, come out and play! Problem with you Aborigines is inferiority complex. Have you ever read me writing with any other name, you lazy drunks need to grow some hairs on your balls like real men. Cowards! Tell Messi to enter the arena and just relax and read me tear out his anus and hand it to him in cold blood… Chumps!

          • Oweja

            Ha ha ha ha haaaa! I did not notice your response on time! It thrills me to no end to see your reaction after I severely pulled your leg while acting the devil’s advocate. Seriously, I do not belong to Messi’s camp but I am desirous of keeping the guy who is bold enough to call himself ‘Wahala’ on his toes just for the fun of it. Respect!

          • Wähala

            RESPECT!!!

    • Jeoseph

      Real wahala!!!

  • Ogom

    .. and the president had no shoes. Who gives a duck?!

    • Dan Arewa

      Thank you.

  • kykkyk

    From the dust were you made and from dust thou shall return!

  • Mr. Abdin

    Don’t worry Akpabio dustbin may likely be your last destination.

  • Festuso

    From street urchin to Governor’s House…..no wonder he doesn’t know how to handle the money belonging to his State. When Oil money ceases to come, we hope the A/Ibom people will not end up on the street and eating from garbage bags like their profligate Governor!

  • segun

    LOL

  • Layo

    You are still going back to your dustbin. What is the population of state? Keep licking GEJ’s ass.

  • Jeremy

    All these stories for the gods: I used to have No shoes…. I used to eat from dustbins. What BS! His brother worked with Mobil, and he’s eating from dustbins. Isn’t something wrong there? Fabrication

  • Timi

    You are a liar. Now you no longer eat for dustbin but are sending millions of people to go and eat in dustbin because of your reckless spending and embezzlement. Dia riz God ooo!

  • Chris1408

    You still eat from dust bin, wicked politician

  • Murtala Aliyu

    We are tired of this 419, GEJ decieved us with his shoeless in 2011 no polititian will come to us with this bull s**** again.

  • Sangbafo

    Now you eat “gold” and drink dollar and pound sterling from corrupt OILY plate!

  • Tahir

    He will soon go back there in a few months. Stolen money never last.

  • JAMES DANJUMA

    YOU ARE VERY LUCKY NOW EATING FROM HUMAN BEINGS INSTEAD OF DUSTBINS. WHILE THOSE NIGERIANS YOU MADE POORER ARE NOW EATING FROM THE DUSTBINS. I PITY THIS PARTY CALLED PDP ( POVERTY DEVELOPMENT PARTY.)

  • Baba Jada

    it is sad that after all that you have attained, you haven’t progressed at all, you still eat from presidential dustbin and lick boots.

    • akyn

      correction – he licks butts not boots

  • shola

    And the sitting president had no shoes to wear to school. These are the people now accumulating the wealth of
    the nation for there own purposes. The fear is there. Loosing this High society club would mean eatig from the dustbin
    again. Mr. Governor, are you now blaming your poeple for that? So, you don’t care if as a sitting governor your people eat from the durstbin!. Well, every state gets the leader it deserves.

  • Fula

    You are not feeding fat directly from the treasury of Akwa Ibom State…Congrats.

    • Scalywag

      Is it “not” or “now” or all join?

  • EBI DE BLESSED

    how poor were you then ?

  • dd

    PT is just APC mouth and really working. This will not stop PDP

  • boliatepa

    You are still eating from the dustbin of your state and Aso Rock. Happy eating.

    • Slolo7

      You got it right boliatepa. Good stuff

  • akyn

    ANOTHER 419- I HAVE NO SHOES- NOW IT IS I USE TO EAT COCKROACHES- THIS THIEVES- WONDER SHALL NEVER END

  • damilare

    Bur his Unle was a Minister in the Governmen of Eastern Nigeria, under Zik and Okpara. If is itru that this governor used to eat from dusbins, it doesn’t speak well of his unle or older relations

  • Mosaku 147

    He will surely go back to his dustbin to eat again. He and lady hippo caused Joeboy all his wahala of today. Anyway,I thank God for using him to expose their corruption by his lifestyle.

  • Scalywag

    A man who ate from the dustbin had no means of livelyhood. This explains the personae of most of the critical actors of our present dispensation. It also provides a critical insight into the proclivities of these individuals

  • Chiotu Nnamdi

    Dust bin in this context is a synonym for lack.

  • Chuku-Chuku A Oparadike

    Haa… this one is not good oo.. As much as i believe in Jonathan i would not vote for somebody that has eaten from dustbin before…. Na mad man be that na

  • Babso

    No wonder, you are stealing the state fund to the bottom.

  • KennBest

    What’s news about your previous dustbin life? How much is your income as an elected governor, compared to your current lifestyle? You’re all thieves in politics, called polithieves.

  • jonathan

    No suprise there. That is what dogs do!

  • Nedling

    Nigerian politicians are all thieves and clowns.

  • Remi

    Now you eat with golden plates and spoons. It’s time to give other scavengers space abi you never chop reach?

  • Malik Isah

    I cant stop laughing!

  • micoh

    Of course! So now that you eat from a golden plate with a golden spoon, the people of your state eat from dust bins. You are basically telling them it is their turn to eat from dust bin. Thanks for the honesty. Just like Jona, used to travel the world without shoes, and now has a thousand shoes, and many Nigerians can no longer afford shoe.

  • Titilayo Sarki Esq

    Cheap political gimmick!!! Why didn’t he tell us all this while? Just few months to the end of his tenure, he’s coming out to tell us?? Useless thing!!

  • Burbank

    Buhari will make you eat from the dustbin again….in Kirikiri.

  • Burbank

    A PDP president with no shoes and a PDP governor that ate from the dustbin.
    PDP must be THE poorest party in the world!!!