NDDC Palava: Who will help Joi Nunieh?

NDDC Palava: Who will help Joi Nunieh?

NDDC Palava: Who will help Joi Nunieh? – – Since Joi Nunieh was removed from office as the Ag. Managing Director of NDDC early this year, she’s been going about making ridiculous allegations against Senator Godswill Akpabio, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs.


She claims that Akpabio had asked her to fire a senior staff of the agency from the northern part of the country and swear to a secret oath of allegiance to him. The more I watch her video, the more I am convinced that this lady needs medical help and counseling. She is suffering from a near nervous breakdown because she lost her job. She has driven herself into schizophrenia. Those who know her should seek help for her.


The fact is that Ms Nunieh was sacked for sundry acts of misconduct and malfeasance, chief among which are non-participating in the NYSC scheme and lying about it and insubordination. She is not the first public official to be so punished by the Buhari administration in the last five years. Mrs Kemi Adeosun lost her job as the Minister of Finance two years ago for skipping the NYSC scheme and lying about it. Recently the chief executive officer of Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), a major player in the electricity value chain, was relieved of his job for official misconduct. The DG of National Health Insurance Scheme was booted out last year. Currently trending in the news is the suspension and investigation of the Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu. It is therefore important for Ms Nunieh to appreciate that her job loss is not unique. In fact, public office is never permanent.

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People respond to these tragedies differently. While others quickly rise up to pick the pieces and make amends, a few disgruntled ones wallow in self pity or blame others for their fate. They are incapable of moving on. I am aware that Joi Nunieh is working with a cabal that is angered by the forensic audit of the NDDC. This group comprises contractors and politicians who had benefitted from the past dirty deals in the Commission and are now scared of being caught out by the investigations. A former chief executive of the Commission who requested Akpabio to nominate his brother as the Executive Director (Finance & Administration) of the NDDC is also part of the ‘resistance army’ and is the major support for Madam Nunieh’s bizarre drama. Their major goal is to get Akpabio out of office by ceaselessly churning out weird and wacky allegations against him and the interim management committee (IMC) of the agency. They are also hoping that their actions will damage the reputation of the IMC so much so that the forensic audit report would be unbelievable. One of them boasted recently: ‘The audit report will not see the light of the day’. But so far, the President has answered them with scorn and disdain. Instead, he has commended the Minister for a job well done, and has added the East-West Road as a new responsibility. The reward for a good job done, the saying goes, is more work.


Many people who know Joi Nunieh are astounded by her epic crash. A daughter of a Second Republic Senator, she was a long-standing political ally of General Muhammadu Buhari. In the 2011 elections, she was the senatorial candidate of Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), a party founded and funded by the retired general. She was in the good company of women like Sharon Ikeazor, the political amazon of Anambra State. Many of the women who were with President Buhari in the nascent days of his political career are now serving in senior positions in his government. This President does not forget his allies, and so Madam Nunieh was given the NDDC job last year.

NDDC Palava: Who will help Joi Nunieh?
NDDC Palava: Who will help Joi Nunieh?

Since no interviews are conducted and references collected before these political appointments are made, there are many chances of recruitment errors. Our madam is a clear case of one because she didn’t leave up to the expectations of the high office. No private sector organization will hire a chief executive who has no flawless track record. Nunieh could only flaunt her political connections. Her deep hurt is therefore rooted in the realization that her closeness to the First Family could not save her from her misconducts. It is a lesson we should all incorporate into our polity. Public office is a trust.

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Joi Nunieh’s macabre dance in public has opened her up for insults, opprobrium and psychoanalysis from all and sundry. Writers are constantly referring to her three failed marriages as a sign of character flaw. One article recently described her as the ‘Jezebel of the Niger Delta’. Ibibio proverb says that if you carry a basin of shame around the village, onlookers will throw garbage into it. Joi has brought this ridicule upon herself by accepting to be used by some bad guys. Those who know her should drag her back from this path that leads to self destruction.




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