By Jerry Emmanson, Abuja
Reacting to media publications aimed at discrediting the Minister of state for Petroleum, Mr Ibe Kachikwu, the Coalition of Civil Society for Change (COSOC) has expressed concerns that unscrupulous persons are perfecting plans to undermine the anti-corruption efforts in the oil sector by making allegations that relations of the Minister are involved in the running of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.
In a press conference with journalists in Abuja on Tuesday, the group disclosed that those behind the campaign of calumny also claim that the minster’s brother, Dumebi Kachikwu is funneling cash from the corporation to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
National President of the 14 member COSOC, Ibrahim Abubakar, said the allegations are meant to derail the anti corruption fight by suggesting that President Muhammadu Buhari’s appointee are corrupt and using their family members to steal public funds.
Ibrahim stressed that, “As People who believed in President Muhammadu Buhari to bring about change when others were still sleeping, it will be wrong for us to go to bed and allow criminal elements within the People Democratic Party, PDP or any other political party or group to, through their agents, destroy the recent gains which the administration has made since its inauguration, particularly in the oil industry.
“It is with great concerns that we therefore alert Nigerians to a plot to discredit the good work being done by Minister of State for Petroleum and Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mr Ibe Kachikwu. The plot includes sponsoring stories that would be branded as “exclusives” to allege that the minister’s brother, Dumebi Kachikwu is unnecessarily meddling in the affairs of the NNPC.
“Dumebi Kachikwu would be further accused of accumulating money earned from NNPC to fund the PDP on account of allegedly being a close associate of one of the party’s chieftains.
“The people behind this campaign are agents being sponsored by the oil cabal who have become bitter because they no longer profit from the fraudulent subsidy regime as obtainable in the oil sector under the previous administration.
“From our informal investigation, Kachikwu’s brother has no hand in any oil dealings or at anytime involved in sponsoring any member of the opposition, which by the way is in total disarray as a result of the ongoing war against corruption.” He insisted.
Ibrahim explained that the President knows the pedigree of the NNPC GMD before appointing him to such crucial position and that the desperate attempt to question his integrity by linking his relations to the running of the NNPC shows that the oil cabal has been dislodged.
He noted that “Mr President made the right call by appointing a man who has unsettled the all powerful cabal. Kachikwu has proven to be a man that cannot be assailed with corrupt tendencies.
“Members of the oil gang should be reminded that the era where village chiefs relocated to Abuja and controlled the tower from hotel suites is over. The unnecessary bashing of Kachikwu’s family will not bring back the cabal to lord it over Nigerians again.” He concluded.