By Emmanuel Aziken
Mr. Eseme Eyiboh is the chairman of the Cross River Basin Development Authority and the dean of the committee of chairmen of boards of River Basin Development Authorities.
A former member of the House of Representatives and dean of the Initiatives, he brought an philosophical flair to insinuations hanging around the appointment of Mr. Festus Keyamo as a junior minister to Godswill Akpabio and other issues in this interview.
What does this posit for the Niger Delta?
It is the presidency’s determination to make sure that it minimizes the sufferings of the Niger Delta people and then raise development initiatives in the Niger Delta
If you look at it TImipire Silva is a former governor of Bayelsa State, he is a stakeholder in Niger Delta affairs. Godswill Akpabio is a former governor with a name and likewise, Rotimi Amaechi.
To me it is showing how sensitive President Buhari is to the sufferings, yearnings of the Niger Delta people.
Do you see the party seeking to reap political benefit in 2023 through that?
Political benefits are supposed to flow from good governance. Every political party is expected to benefit from the residual outflow of the goodwill it has from the people. You will recall that it was the same loss of goodwill by the Jonathan administration that led to its loss in the election and that is now a manual for the APC. What happened to PDP in 2015 is a political manual for the APC.
The presence of those people is to show the sensitivity of the Federal Government to the development challenges in the Niger Delta. Those people who were former governors and community mobilisers understand and people and also understand the development template of the Niger Delta.
Bringing them into the Federal Executive Council is an expression of the Federal Government’s sensitivity to the yearnings of the people of Niger Delta when it comes to development
You can take it to the bank that this is going to be the first time that Niger Delta is going to experience a spiral and impacting development.
On account of Akpabio?
Not just that. Akpabio and Keyamo are two gentlemen who are outstanding for development, two gentlemen who have curiosity and appetite to earn the confidence of their people.
Rotimi Amaechi is also there at transportation and you know the challenges of transportation.
So, it is a very strong expression of the Federal Government’s sincerity for the development of the Niger Delta.
Do you envisage a clash between Akpabio and Keyamo as speculated?
They cannot clash because the two gentlemen are not people who sit on high horses. If you study the two of them, they understand the sociology of power.
The two of them are lawyers so they understand the issues of ethical integrity and of course, Festus Keyamo has always been a seasoned advocate in the civil rights movement.
So, clashing out of self-interest is not part of the component in civil rights society.
Akpabio has been a commissioner, governor and senator so he understands the power of the people so, the two of them are going to be very sensitive to it.
What of the insinuation on social media of a former prosecutor and a former suspect?
There is no doubt that Festus Keyamo, SAN has been a prosecutor with the EFCC. Akpabio has never stood trial, has never been charged to any court for any indictment or whatever.
Akpabio has never stood trial, has never been charged to any court for any indictment of whatever form. So, it is not the case of a prosecutor and an ex-suspect.
Akpabio has never appeared in any court or panel or tribunal on account of his stewardship as a commissioner or as a governor.
What of the claims that Keyamo prosecuted Timipire Sylva?
You are personalizing it. We are talking about institutional governance. Keyamo was discharging responsibilities he was empowered to so do.
The courts gave a verdict and was he not discharged and acquitted? So any other thing outside the court is a product of legal voodoo.