By Deji Elumoye
Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, has clarified that at no time did he solicit for intervention projects of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
Akpabio, a former Senate Minority Leader in the Eighth Senate, declared as false claims that he wrote personal letters as Senate Minority Leader, requesting for Niger Delta Development Commission’s (NDDC) intervention projects in his senatorial district.
Chairman of the Senate committee on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, had at a press briefing last week, brandished some letters purportedly written to him by Akpabio, that his projects should be included in the budget of the NDDC.
Reacting to the allegations on Tuesday,
Chief Press Secretary to Akpabio, Anietie Ekong, dismissed the allegations, explaining that the said letters were addressed to the leadership of the Senate, contrary to Nwaoboshi’s claims.
“Senator Peter Nwaboshi’s press briefing in which he alleged that my boss had written to him as a member of the Committee on Niger Delta to request for NDDC contracts to the tune of N500 million is false. Nothing could be further from the truth,” he said.
Explaining further, Akpabio’s media aide said the “truth is that the letters he was brandishing were addressed to the leadership of the National Assembly at the time to make recommendations for zonal intervention projects as requested by the leadership.
“On what basis would Senator Akpabio have written to Senator Nwaboshi to be awarded NDDC contract? Is he the Managing Director of the NDDC? Senator Akpabio never requested for NDDC contracts from Senator Peter Nwaboshi as he is claiming”
He, however, urged Nwaoboshi to respond to some of the grievous allegations made against him by the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of NDDC.
Ekong further said:”We understand that people are getting hysterical because of the ongoing forensic audit because of what had happened in the past. Making spurious allegations against Senator Akpabio cannot stop the probe.
“With the present Interim Management Committee led by Prof Kemebradikumo Pondei and the NDDC under the supervision of Senator Godswill Akpabio as Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, it can no longer be business as usual as the wanton rape of the Niger Delta region must stop.”