Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State has responded to criticisms that have trailed his donations to individuals across the country, saying all money donated has been captured in the budget.
At a traditional wedding of Nigeria’s hip-hop musician, Tuface Idibia, in Eket, Akwa Ibom State two weeks ago, Akpabio announced a donation of two Prado jeeps and a cash donation of N3 million to the couple but faced with public outcry, he reduced the donation to one jeep which was presented the musician and his wife in Lagos by the commissioner for information and communication with a cash of N3 million.
The governor also incurred the wrath of the media and the public when he announced a donation of N6 million to the chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the South South zone of the meeting during a meeting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Speaking in Uyo, the state capital, while announcing a donation of N36.5 million to the Super Eagles and technical staff for winning the last Nation’s Cup held in South Africa in January, the governor fumed over media criticisms of his actions, saying the press was suffering from “colonial mentality”.
“Nigeria is a place where bad news is good news. Nigerian press has not yet learnt. From the West African Pilot, the press was set up in Nigeria to fight the colonial masters and to fight for independence”, adding, “many years after the colonial masters left, the Nigerian press is still fighting government and up till now they still don’t know that the colonial masters have gone”.
He maintained that any money he spent on donations or grants have been captured in the budget as passed by the state House of Assembly.
Each of the twenty-three players got one million naira, three assistant coaches got one million naira each, the chief coach, Stephen Keshi got two million naira while the seventeen back room staff received N500,000 each.
The goal keeper, Vincent Enyeama, who hails from Akwa Ibom State also got a three bedroom apartment from the state government.
ANIEFIOK UDONQUAK, Uyo