Niger Delta Youth Forum has described as untrue and blackmail reports linking former Chairman of Niger Delta Development Commission, Mr Nsima Ekere, with the $16m allegedly found in the account of Brig. Gen. Charles Nengite and his wife by authorities in the United States.
According to NDYF, the report is a ploy by Minister of Niger Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, to unjustly indict Ekere. In a statement signed by Dr Eket Udo, the group said there were deliberate attempts to bring down the former NDDC chairman.
The statement reads, “We see this report as another ploy to tarnish the image of Nsima Ekere by Akpabio who has embarked on vendetta against his perceived enemies using this Interim Committee of the NDDC.
“This is even more embarrassing and shameful giving the fact that the same Akpabio is facing several charges of corruption during his tenure as governor of Akwa Ibom and in order to evade prosecution he joined the ruling All Progressives Congress.
“However, our take is that the Federal Government must call Akpabio to order because his activities so far in using the NDDC interim committee to witch-hunt perceived political enemies will plunge the Niger Delta region into fresh crisis.
“We have discovered that the report was deliberately sponsored to paint Nsima Ekere in bad light.
“We advise Akpabio that rather than allowing himself being used by enemies of the Niger Delta to destabilise the region by hanging fake allegations against our leaders, he should meet with elders of the region and resolve his matter with any of these leaders he is fighting.
“The progress of the Niger Delta region must be paramount to him and not his personal interest.”
When contacted, a media aide to Akpabio told our correspondent that the minister had nothing to do with the allegations and was focused on attracting development to the Niger Delta region.