The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu has described as the handiwork of idle minds, his now familiar alleged ambition to be governor of Delta State, adding that he would not be distracted by such “non-edifying cheap gossip”.
Kachikwu, who spoke exclusively to THISDAY last night said he was not oblivious of the antics of those peddling the rumour for some time now and was too smart to be drawn into any mudslinging debate, especially coming at a time that his beat of assignment required undivided attention.
“I have refuted this story time and time again, and for the umpteenth time, I want to place it on the record that stories about my governorship bid are sponsored to achieve whatever result. But the truth is that such stories have nothing to do with me as a person and even curious is that the peddlers are very consistent, meaning it is a calculated falsehood being sold to the public.
“I might not have a grasp of why they are doing this, it is not totally true, however that I do not have a clue why they are traveling this route. Unfortunately, it is cheap and undeserving of my precious time. That I am denying it again does not mean in another one month or two, they would still not dust the story up again, modulate and spin it from yet another angle.
“What this means is that those behind the stories are not just idle, they are clearly people of small minds, who have nothing productive and engaging to do but have elected to be canon fodders in the hands of equally feeble minds to fester whatever sinister plans they have.
But trust me, I am not bothered and this is not in any way a concern,” he said.
The minister, who maintained that these detractors would not relent till they also run into crisis, cited another story recently linking him with the alleged hospital bill of Yusuf Buhari, the only son of President Muhammadu Buhari, who survived a power bike accident, saying, “When you add these developments together, then you can see my stand that it is pointless debating with people, who delight in lowly fantasy.
“They cannot transcend the unfortunate stations of pulling others down. Theirs is not to add value but connive with the dissidents of the society to destroy ideas that are development-focused and minds that are progressively sculpted. I do not belong to that class and will therefore not be seen as joining issues with them,” he said.
Last August, when the story was also recycled, a socio-political movement in the country, The Conscience of the Niger (TCN) came out to warn those it said were trying hard to discredit the Kachikwu by insinuating that he was interested in an elective office in 2019, to desist before they incur the wrath of God and man.
In a statement by its leader, Mr. Mitai Okeroghene, the group said it was not the first time the issue was being deliberately pushed out to test the waters and which had been dismissed a few times even by Kachikwu himself, noting that the timing at the period reeked of mischief and should be addressed at once.
“Dr. Kachikwu is not stupid. He is a technocrat and not a politician and has not in any form or shape shown indications of wanting to contest election, and so, it stands to reason that those behind his posters flooding Abuja have a sinister plot to achieve and their message is also clearly directed at their target audience, hence, the choice of Abuja as their location for the posters.
“For the sake of argument, let us admit that Dr. Kachikwu has an interest in the governorship of Delta State, is Abuja the place to start pasting posters? What is the correlation between Abuja and Delta governorship? But, of course, they want to insinuate that he was seeking the Abuja blessing, which of course invalidates the whole idea.
“This is why we have come out to state for emphasis and for the umpteenth time that Dr. Kachikwu is not interested in the governorship of Delta or any other elective political office as he currently has a more challenging and critical national assignment, which he has been able to discharge creditably well in the last over a year in spite of the attendant challenges in that office,” the statement stated.