NDDC: Niger Delta leaders behind negative campaigns against Akpabio, group alleges

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A group, the Ijaw Stakeholders for Good Governance (ISGG), has disclosed that the ongoing media campaigns against the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, was sponsored by some Niger Delta leaders who desperately want to cover-up their dubious contracts at the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

In a statement signed by the president, Ebiye Coleman, and spokesman Mr Lazarus Anthony, the group alleged that some persons from the region close to the corridors of power were the brains behind the inciting media campaigns.

While urging the masterminders of the agenda to rubbish the good name of the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, to desist from such campaign of calumny, the group noted that the appeal had become necessary in the interest of the region and wellbeing of the people.

“They all have their respective ministries and also those in the legislature, yet they want to interfere into the affairs of Akpabio’s ministry by sponsoring media attacks against Akpabio.

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“Meanwhile, Akpabio has never or attempted to influence happenings in their ministries or in their legislative proceedings. Akpabio should be allowed to serve the people of Niger Delta.

“From available information, Godswill Akpabio was never involved in the award of NDDC Headquarters contract to Rodnab Construction firm by NDDC.

“The said contract was approved by the Federal Executive Council on 21st December 2017, and subsequently awarded by the management of NDDC led by its former MD, Nsima Ekere, and the site was handed over to Rodnab on 15th March 2018, which at that time Sen Godswill Akpabio was a Senate Minority Leader.

“So, it is totally wrong to accuse Akpabio of the Rodnap contract.

“All former management of NDDC abandoned the NDDC’s headquarters project in Port Harcourt, but, in 2019 when Senator Godswill Akpabio was appointed Minister of Niger Delta, the president, Muhammadu Buhari drafted NDDC under Akpabio’s ministry.

“It was only then Akpabio found out that NDDC was paying huge rent for a temporary office, which was a complete waste of government funds.

“Being an uncommon transformer, he decided and directed the commission to urgently complete the NDDC’s headquarters project for commissioning by Mr President in April, but the unfortunate outbreak of COVID-19 has changed the plan temporarily.

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“The Ijaw leaders also frown at the deliberate plot to blackmail NDDC’s Interim Management Committee and Godswill Akpabio. The continued media attacks were being sponsored by vested interests to discredit Akpabio and the commission.

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“This must stop, we should also support Akpabio’s Niger Delta Ministry and NDDC to deliver on the mandate to provide human and infrastructural development across the entire Niger Delta region.”

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