The Senate Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio, yesterday reacted to a press statement issued by the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) in which the organization quoted him as saying that Magu wanted Senate to confirm him so that he could use some of them for pepper soup. Senator Akpabio denied making such a statement and challenged MURIC to provide evidence.
We aver that Akpabio missed the crux of our statement. This would not have occurred if he had taken a good look at the semantics. Our statement was crafted to indicate that we were quoting a third party. That was why we used the adverb ‘allegedly said’ and the adjective ‘alleged utterance’. It means we did not pretend to affirm the statement but left a window for the Senator to either confirm or deny.
We reproduce the half paragraph here for the avoidance of doubt, “A statement credited to Senator Akpabio in which he allegedly said, “Magu wants us to confirm him so he can use some of us for pepper soup” lends credence to our hypothesis. Akpabio’s alleged utterance confirms our worst fears.”
To bring what people feel or say about public officials to their attention is our duty and a priviledge, to deny or confirm such statements or sentiments is the right of the public official. We have used our priviledge. Senator Akpabio has exercised his right.
The onus is on Senator Akpabio to confirm or deny the statement. He has chosen to deny it and we are satisfied because there is nothing personal for us to pursue. Therefore, we will not press the issue of the statement allegedly made by him any further.
What the Senator cannot deny is that he has a case of graft before the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) or that he did not oppose the confirmation of Magu during the screening in the red chamber on Thursday. We leave Nigerians to make their own deductions regarding the rationale for the senator’s opposition of Magu’s confirmation.
Professor Ishaq Akintola, Director, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
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