By Chibuike Nwabuko
Abuja (Sundiata Post) – Worried by speculations that President Muhammadu Buhari may rejig his cabinet any time soon, the Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, has raised the alarm that some indigenes from the Niger Delta whom he described as ‘appointment speculators’ are after his job.
Lokpobiri, who hails from Bayelsa State, was apparently referring to calls by a pro-Buhari group, Niger Delta Change Front, for his removal from the federal cabinet.
He particularly pointed accusing fingers at those he called desperate power mongers and job seekers, who have claimed monopoly of knowledge as far as the Niger Delta question is concernedIn.
His reaction was contained in a statement issued on his behalf by his Senior Technical Adviser on Policy, Donald Ojogo, Lokpobiri, where he also alleged that an outlined and orchestrated media campaign has been commissioned to smear his image.
“Ordinarily, Senator Lokpobiri would have merely ignored this ugly development and move on. This is more so that those behind these mindlessly authored scripts have chosen to capitalize on the gullibility of an unregulated section of the media (some outlets in the social media) to engage in this act. Undoubtedly, this line of attacks is propelled by the rummoured cabinet reshuffle at the federal level,” he said.
“However, as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, who hails from the Niger Delta region, especially Bayelsa State, he finds it disturbing that a negative narrative is being propelled on the trajectory that the people of the Niger Delta region do not represent anything but violence, treachery and deception.
“Without necessarily engaging these faceless sponsors of the media spat against him, Senator Lokpobiri expresses regrets that lies and deception have been deployed by desperate job mongers as well as appointment speculators from the Niger-Delta region in this regard. This is a great diservice to our people who deserve a share of government attention.
“To say the least, such individuals some of whom have displayed unbridled desperation for power at all cost and without success, have cultivated a habit of ascribing to themselves monopoly of knowledge as far as the Niger Delta Question is concerned. Regrettably, however, these are individuals who have had opportunities to contribute their quota to develop the Niger Delta region.
“Lokpobiri believes that posterity is there to judge all and that his appointment as minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is by the Grace of God, the benevolence and magnanimity of President Muhammadu Buhari. His responsibility as minister is first to the nation, and in this regard, he will continue to discharge his duties in good conscience and to the best of his abilities.
“What the people of the Niger Delta region require is an uncommon unity of purpose and the collective drive for the development of the region. It becomes uncanny when desperate politicians from the region, in their bid for political appointments, feign ignorance of our deplorable lot and create false and self-idolizing perceptions of violence and militancy managers.
“Senator Lokpobiri, therefore, called on all well meaning people of the Niger Delta region to engage in acts that can only douse tension in the region and enhance acts that can engender peace, harmony and development. For the honourable minister, appointment seekers are free to use whatever group to promote their desires as done by the so called Niger Delta Change Front,” it read.