A renowned socio-political group, Akwa Ibom Democratic Forum (ADF) says the strong desire to ensure lasting peace and development in Niger Delta region was the reason behind Senator Godswill Akpabio’s recent visit to Oporoza Town in Gbaramutu Kingdom to meet the ex-agitator, Chief Government Ekpemopolo (Tompolo) over the 7-day ultimatum given for the constitution of board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
The group thanked the Minister and his entourage for the courage, patriotic zeal and humility which united to inform that all important peace trip.
The press statement endorsed by the Director General of ADF, Obongemem Ekperike Ekpo and made available to the journalists in Uyo Akwa Ibom State further highlighted that the outcome of the meeting has led to the review of the ultimatum and a better working understanding that would advance the progress of the region.
According to Ekpo, a former member of House of Representatives, “When ADF earlier in the year adopted the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio as our Grand Leader and espoused the philosophical concept of Dependable Leadership as the driving motto of our organization, some may have seen these decisions as mere emotive and sentimental overflow of feelings that appeared perhaps not well distilled”.
The group in the statement noted that Thursday, June 3, 2021 acquitted them in that choice they made when Senator Godswill Akpabio in the face of growing tension arising from 7- day ultimatum issued by High Chief Government Ekpemupolo, aka, Tompolo, on the constitution of NDDC Board, demonstrated dependable leadership by initiating a timely dialogue that has brought truce and ended what seemed as an impending imbroglio in the Niger Delta region and indeed Nigeria.
Parts of the statement read, “Akwa Ibom Democratic Forum (ADF) wishes to place on record the historic effort of the Minister who had to risk his life in an open flying boat for three hours to and fro Gbaramatu Kingdom on water in search of peaceful resolution to an imminent conflict that had the potential to impact negatively on Niger Delta and stall its developmental strides.
“ADF is proud to be associated with this determined personality who demonstrated such uncommon courage, leadership and sacrificial commitment to peace which saw him departing Oporoza Town at about 9pm and plodding through the risky waters for three hours to arrive Warri at almost midnight. Which Nigerian public official can stand up and be counted by taking such grave risk and making such sacrifice in the interest of the Nation? We dare to say, very few.
“It is important to note that because the action/mission was right, grace abided and God’s faithfulness was sufficient as the rains stood still for them on both legs of the journey and only lost its patience after Akpabio and his entourage had checked into a hotel in Warri about midnight. Immediately after then, the rains began to pour ferociously in a manner that would have compounded their risk if they were still on the waters in the open boats that night. If the rains had met them on either of the journeys, they would have been drenched and made incapacitated for that noble mission. But because their mission was righteous and in tandem with God’s will, the elements stood still and subscribed their cooperation”.
The group hailed the Minister for his self-restraint and humility in the face of unremitting railings by misguided youths who hid under the aegis of the agitation to insult the Minister despite the many selfless roles he is playing to accelerate development in the Niger Delta.
ADF in the statement called on its members to be persistent in prayers for Senator Godswill Akpabio describing him as “an illustrious and dependable leader that God has graciously given to us” while urging continuous support and remaining a bulwark for all his political endeavours.