By Chinelo Obogo
A former Director-General of Nigeria Maritime Administration Agency (NIMASA) Dr. Patrick Akpoblokemi has dismissed reports alleging that he is one of the sponsors of the Niger Delta Avengers.
He also described the allegation as an false and malicious, saying it was an attempt by his traducers to bring him down.
The former NIMASA boss, who said this in a statement he signed yesterday, denied having any link or ties with any political, advocacy or militant group anywhere in the world, adding that he is committed to Nigeria’s interest.
His statement reads in part:
“My attention has been drawn to a recent statement by a group named the Reformed Niger Delta Avengers (RNDA), linking me as an ‘alleged’ sponsor of the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA); a group that has claimed responsibility for several attacks on Oil and Gas Infrastructure in the Niger Delta.
“I want to say that this calm is false, malicious, defamatory and lacking any iota of credibility. May I remind the generality of Nigerians and the international community that I am currently facing six cases in various courts in bordering on my stewardship in NIMASA. Perhaps my adversaries may have realized that these charges in various courts lack merit and substance and have decided to go this length to label me as a sponsor militant activities.
“I am not a politician nor a member of any political or advocacy group. I also do not have any link or ties with any political, advocacy or militant group anywhere in the world.
“I cannot be involved in the destruction of Oil and Gas Infrastructure because this will adversely affect the eco-system in addition to other negative socio-economic consequences in the Niger Delta region and Nigeria. I was at the forefront of the anti-pollution campaign in our waters when I was the Director-General of NIMASA, so I will not be involved in actions that are causing pollution in devastating the already fragile eco-system in the region.
I, therefore, reject the baseless notion and association ascribed to me or implied in any shape or form by the Reformed Niger Delta Avengers as a sponsor of the Niger Delta Avengers and its activities.
“I voluntary honored the invitation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and subjected myself to the judicial process as a law abiding citizen. Therefore, a faceless organization – RNDA – trying to link me with the activities of the Niger Delta Avengers or any other organization is well intended provocation to embarrass and humiliate me. It is also intended to assassinate my character and bring me down.”