Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt
Following the face-off between the Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio and a former acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Dr. Joy Nunieh, the Rivers State Government yesterday warned that it would not tolerate any harm coming the way of the ex-NDDC boss, who is an indigene of the state.
The state government called on forces behind the ongoing probe of the commission to ensure the security of Nunieh.
Nunieh had accused Akpabio of illegalities, including directing her to pad the agency’s budget.
She also alleged that the minister influenced her removal from office because she refused to do his bidding
When she featured on ARISE News Channel on Monday, she also alleged that Akpabio sexually harassed her.
But in a statement signed by the state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mr. Paulinus Nsirim, the state government disclosed that the state is solidly behind her.
Nsirim, however, said the government would never support any action capable of jeopardising the laudable intentions of President Muhammadu Buhari to reposition the commission for optimum performance.
The statement said: “Rivers State Government has viewed with concern, the recent developments at the NDDC in which the name of our daughter, Dr. Joy Nunieh, the immediate past Acting Managing Director of the commission, has been dragged into.
“We hereby call on those involved in the ongoing investigations in the NDDC to ensure that Dr. Joy Nunieh does not suffer any harm in the course of their undertakings.
“We wish to state categorically that the Rivers State Government will never support any action that will prevent or jeopardise the laudable intentions of His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, to positively reposition the NDDC and fulfill the yearnings and aspirations of the people of the Niger Delta.
“However, we wish to state that while we are not interested in identifying with the present unfolding drama in the NDDC, we will not however fail to protect our daughter from actual harm or perceived danger.
“The state owes it as a duty to protect her citizens from danger no matter their political affiliation and we cannot fold our hands and watch anyone harm her or indeed any Rivers citizen. We advise those involved in the present altercations in the NDDC to thread with caution in their actions and utterances.”