Senator Godswill Akpabio, Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, has warned individuals and organisations now campaigning and asking him to run for any public office in 2023 to desist from doing so, claiming that “their activities are capable of producing excessive diversions in the polity.”
“The Hon Minister’s attention has been called to suggestions by individuals and groups that he contests for any political office in 2023,” according to a statement sent by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Jackson Udom, on Sunday, September 26.
The statement state the Minister recognizes that “no matter how hard one tries, one cannot suppress the opinions of others about one’s leadership or administration in a democracy.”
“The Hon Minister already has a mandate and that is steering the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, which is his main preoccupation 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 starting 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.’’