From Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, has described as untrue reports in some sections of the media that he
passed the buck assed on his responsibility for the constitution of the Niger Delta
Development Commission (NDDC).
This was even as Akpabio said he was irrevocably committed to assisting President Muhammadu Buhari to
leave behind a legacy for the Niger Delta people, particularly, saving the NDDC from dying like past developmental agencies.
Akpabio, in a statement he personally signed, stated that the report was the handiwork of those he described as falsehood writers whom he
alleged, were sponsored to write the said story.
Akpabio added that the report was carried out while on a national assignment abroad, even as he said that he had checked with his media
aide, Jackson Udom, and discovered that he was deliberately misquoted.
In the statement titled “Re: Formation of NDDC Board Not Part Of My Responsibility,” Akpabio said: “My attention has been drawn to
sponsored write ups in the media, claiming that I passed the buck on my responsibility for the constitution of the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
“The write ups, deliberately published while I am outside the country on national duty, reportedly quoted my media aide, Jackson Udom, claiming that I have denied responsibility for the constitution of the board of the Commission. I have checked with Mr Udom, and he has clearly said he was misquoted.
“While I am not shocked by the mischief inherent in the publication, I am alarmed at the extent of falsehood the writers went in
pushing their anti-Niger Delta agenda, to scuttle the due consideration of the report of the Forensic Audit by stampeding the government. More alarming is the attempt to drag the hallowed name of our president into this plot.
“For the avoidance of doubt, Mr President has set out to reposition the NDDC after 19 years of rot, saw to the undermining of the dreams
of the fathers of the region, to fast track its development through the setting up of an interventionist agency.
“Part of the strategy was a forensic audit to understand what went wrong, despite the resources committed to the commission over the years.
“I am irrevocably committed to assisting Mr President to leave behind a legacy for the Niger Delta people, particularly, saving the NDDC
from dying like past developmental agencies put together for the region since
1958,” Akpabio said.