The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has denied having a hand in the sponsorship of a hate campaign targeted at the person of the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd).
“Our attention has been drawn to the deliberately misleading press release from the APC Presidential Campaign Organisation. While we do not want to be drawn into politics in any manner, it is pertinent for us to make a few clarifications.
“The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) as an agency, and its Director General, Dr. Ziakede Patrick Akpobolokemi, have never been involved in any form of campaign against any politician, nor sponsor same.
“It is unfortunate that the authors of that statement and their agents are only attempting yet again without success to discredit the agency, having failed in doing so through the malicious lies on the purchase of the operational vessels, and attempt to discredit NIMASA success story which is currently training over 2,500 young Nigerians as seafarers.
“We are only a government agency doing our normal statutory duties as a Maritime regulatory agency and proud of our achievements which have been globally acclaimed,” NIMASA Head of Public Affairs, Isichei Osamgbi said in a statement sent by email on Thursday to SHIPS & PORTS DAILY.
The APC Presidential Campaign Organisation (APCPCO) had earlier claimed that it has evidence that a top management staff of NIMASA was behind the dirty campaigns of hate against its presidential candidate and his family, aired in a recent documentary on AIT and NTA.
The APCPCO’s Director of Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, said that the campaign office had confirmed that the agency was indeed the sponsor of all the dirty campaigns against the APC presidential candidate on AIT, NTA and several other media platforms, an action he said contravenes the NIMASA Act, the Public Service Regulations, and the INEC Act 2010 as amended, among others.
The APCPCO decried the situation where a government agency allegedly used public funds to sponsor a campaign of calumny against its candidate, which it said was not only illegal, but should also be condemned and investigated by the Joint Committees of the National Assembly on Marine Transportation.
If these claims were to be found to be true by the Joint Committee, the statement said, disciplinary action should be taken against the agency and its leadership.
According to the statement, President Jonathan should prove to Nigerians that he is sincerely committed to the rule of law by taking immediate action against the NIMASA boss.
Copyright Ships & Ports Ltd. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit given to www.shipsandports.com.ng as the source.