•••Distances self from campaigners/ group
Tunde Opalana, Abuja
Minister, Niger Delta Affairs Ministry, Senator Godswill Akpabio, has cautioned individuals and groups currently urging him to contest for any public office in 2023, saying “their activities are capable of causing undue distractions in the polity.”
The minister, however, appreciated individual and group campaigners rooting for him to aspire for elective position in the next general election.
In a statement made available in Abuja on Sunday, his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Jackson Udom, stated that “the attention of the Hon Minister, has been drawn to calls by individuals and groups that he contests for any political office in 2023”
“The Minister realizes that in a democracy, as hard as one may try, you cannot suppress whatever opinion others have of you, whether about leadership or governance.
“The Hon Minister already has a mandate and that is steering the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, which is his main pre occupation today and to join hands with President Muhammadu Buhari to achieve his agenda for the people of the Niger Delta Region in particular and Nigeria in general. It is very obvious that he is not yet done with that national assignment, to now start something afresh.”
“This clarification”, the statement noted, “became imperative because, information at our disposal reveals that some entrenched interest and sponsored groups, are wrongly insinuating that the Hon Minister is behind all these calls from some parts of the country.”
“We totally object to the insinuations that he has any link to the group of volunteers- many of whom he has never met in life. It is also unfair to the Hon Minister that, given his experience in politics and governance, he would start a campaign before it becomes legally permissible to do so.”
“The Hon Minister, will definitely not be distracted by these concocted and false insinuations, from delivering on his core mandate, as directed by the President for the people of the Niger Delta Region.
“We unequivocally detest any misplaced and needless attacks founded on a conspiracy theory against the person of the Minister, by his political foes.”