APC gets ultimatum to withdraw allegation against NIMASA
THE Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Sunday, gave the All Progressives Congress (APC) 72-hour ultimatum to withdraw its allegation that the agency is sponsoring hate campaign against it presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, or be prepared to face legal action.
Speaking at a press briefing Sunday in Lagos, Director General of NIMASA, Patrick Akpobolokemi, said the agency has instructed its solicitors to give APC the opportunity of retracting their “unfounded allegations, failing which we shall take all necessary steps to seek redress.”
Akpobolokemi said: “In recent times, attempts have been made by the All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Organisation (APCPCO) and some misguided elements and individuals to impugn the integrity of NIMASA and its management. The vicious campaign is intended to cast aspersions on the activities and integrity of NIMASA as a responsible corporate entity of government”.
He said the alleged attempts consist of what he described as a trail of mischievous representations and blatant lies, allegedly orchestrated by the APC to discredit the “giant and monumental strides President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has achieved through NIMASA and other agencies in the maritime sector”.
Akpobolokemi explained that in the process of the alleged campaign against NIMASA, important issues of state have been trivialised on the “altar of political grandstanding at the expense of the unity of our dear country, Nigeria”.
He reiterated that NIMASA is not a political party but a responsible government agency trying its best to fulfil its mandate as an organisation.
Akpobolokemi who spoke on sundry issues regarding it statutory mandate said: “We will not therefore be dragged into malicious politicking of our accusers, neither would we be intimidated into not parading our achievements nor shy away from our core responsibilities”.
Accusing the APC of alleged falsehood, Akpobolokemi said: “In what has become a deliberate orchestrated attempt to undermine and rubbish all performing and strategic institutions of the Federal Government, the APC has mounted relentless attack and vicious propaganda, all in the name of politics, to attack the Nigerian Army, Police, Directorate of State Security, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and its latest victim – NIMASA.
“Prominent amongst the falsehood perpetrated by APC against NIMASA is the allegation that NIMASA contracted the country’s maritime security to a private firm they claim is owned by Tompolo. I hereby unequivocally state that this accusation is false. NIMASA neither entered into any such security contract with any private company nor with Tompolo.
“These unfortunate allegations have mutated over time culminating in their rather callous and condescending attempts to variously describe NIMASA as the President’s ATM, and now labelling us as the sponsors of hate campaigns against the APC Presidential candidate.
“For the avoidance of doubts, the NIMASA success story which is globally celebrated today is borne out of hard work, visionary leadership and team spirit which cannot be dampened, regardless of the orchestrated attempts to trivialise the giant strides of this administration.
“No amount of smear campaign by the APC or any other body for that matter will divert us from our committed course and vision of bequeathing a robust maritime safety asdministration to generations unborn”.
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