Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, the senator representing Delta North in the upper legislative chamber of the national assembly has reacted to several media reports linking him with contracts controversy at the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
Senator Nwaoboshi stated unequivocally that the minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio who media sources cited as their source for the story, was merely trying to distract the public in a well orchestrated game of blackmail and mudslinging.
He challenged the former governor of Akwa Ibom state to take up the matter with the anti-corruption and security agencies if he has his facts right.
According to the senator in a press release on Monday, “this unsubstantiated allegation is in line with Mr Akpabio’s well known agenda to continuously blackmail me so as to keep diverting public attention away from the serious mismanagement of the NDDC by the Interim Management Committee (IMC) under his supervision.”
The statement continued, “My advise to Mr Akpabio and the IMC is to focus their energy on explaining to Nigerians, how they spent a whopping N81.5 billion within a period of 5 months.”
The statement listed several questionable expenses paid for by the IMC to include:
- Conflict resolution in Delta State in the sum of N148 million when their was no conflict known to the national assembly members from Delta state resolved by the NDDC
- Refreshment/logistics for project verification paid to the IMC and staff in the sum of N58.5 million
- Expense incurred by the IMC during a courtesy visit to the River governor in the sum of N41.9 million.
- Staff medical check up in the sum of N4.9 billion
- Welfare package for Niger Delta youths for N270 million. The youths have however denied receiving such welfare payments
- Payment to Clear Point Consultancy on rebuttal of media attacks against the honourable minister in the sum of N39.4 million.
The senator advised Akpabio and the IMC to apologise to the Niger Delta people whose resources they largely wasted on frivolities emanating from their “crass incompetence.”
Senator Nwaoboshi expressed his “unwavering commitment to improving the lots of the Niger Delta people.”
He also revealed that he will not be distracted by the antics of those he called “political mudslingers and their agents.”
The NDDC has been embroiled in multiple controversies over the last few weeks with allegations and counter allegations from members of the IMC, the minister of Niger Delta affairs and members of the national assembly.
President Muhammadu Buhari has vowed to get to the root of the crises with a view to improving the standard of living in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.