Fred Itua, Abuja
Minister of Niger Delta Affairs and former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Senator Godswill Akpabio, has rejected allegations by the Senate Committee Chairman on Niger Delta Affairs, Peter Nwaoboshi, on claims that he wrote personal letters to him as Senate Minority Leader, requesting for Niger Delta Development Commission’s (NDDC) intervention projects in his senatorial district.
Nwaoboshi, 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.
Chief Press Secretary to Akpabio, Anietie Ekong, in his reaction dismissing the allegations, explained 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’s lying and no one should take him serious.”
Instead, he urged Nwaoboshi to respond to some of the grievous allegations made against him by the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of NDDC, that he wrecked the Commission’s budget apart for his personal benefits.
“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.
“Rather than seek for straws to cling on, Senator Nwaoboshi should address the grievous allegations of the NDDC that he mindlessly wrecked the NDDC budget for his personal benefits, a practice that has been perpetrated over the years and throwing the Commission into near insolvency which the present management is trying to clean up.
“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.”