Journalism of Courage

Group Fingers Otu in conspiracy to Halt Senate Confirmation of Agba

A group known as the Niger Delta Renaissance has identified Senator Bassey Edet Otu, erstwhile representative of the Cross River South Senatorial District as the architect of the ongoing campaign of calumny against the Ministerial nominee for Cross River State, Godwin Jeddy Agba.

NDR in a communique signed by its National President, Comrade Anietie Williams stated that facts available indicate that Otu, who failed in his bid for re-election to represent Cross River South District has been circulating poorly scripted lies about the personality of Agba who was duly nominated by President Muhammadu Buhari as a Minister after due diligence of his track record in public service.

Some online media reports have quoted unnamed sources as revealing information on why Agba should be dropped from the ministerial list.

Some reports tried to link Agba with the former petroleum minister Diezani Alison-Madueke by alleging that he was a stooge for the ex-minister during her tenure and had allegedly acquired assets from proceeds of corruption.

A report published by Sahara Reporters quoted the source as saying: “Under that regime (Jonathan’s) Jeddy Agba knows most of the deals that took place in illegal and corrupt oil sales. He has questions to answer in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and should not be a minister.”

But NDR explained that the allegations were politically motivated and deliberately orchestrated in a futile attempt to stop his well-deserved confirmation as a minister.

The group argued that Mr. Agba, a former Group General Manager (GGM), Crude Oil Marketing Division (COMD) of the NNPC left the services of the Corporation with a clean slate and no investigation has linked him to the alleged corruption perpetrated during the Diezani era.

NDR described Mr. Agba as a strong progressive and party loyalist who believes in the vision of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.

NDR also dismissed allegations that he had mental problems as “as a wicked lie” and noted with deep regret that such was coming from a party member in the state.

Checks by this newspaper with sources close to the matter indicated that Sen. Otu was devastated by his loss at the February 23 Senatorial election and had expected he would be the ministerial nominee for the state.

He was defeated by Sen. Gershom Bassey of the Peoples Democratic Party scored 77,478 votes as against Otu’s 63,250 votes.

 “He did not find that narrow defeat funny at all and he had lobbied frantically to be nominated minister,” said a senior member of the All Progressive Congress in the state.

This website also gathered that Sen.  Otu and Mr.Agba were not the best of friends even though they are both party stalwarts.

Further checks revealed that Senator Otu works for the incumbent Governor Ben Ayade.

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