All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Organisation has dared the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to go to court as it threatened a litigation against the party over allegations that it has been behind the sponsoring of the hate campaigns against the APC presidential candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari on AIT and the NTA. APC described the threat as empty.
In a statement, the Director of Media and Publicity of the Presidential Campaign Organisation, Garba Shehu in reaction to the 72-hour ultimatum by NIMASA demanding retraction and apology over the said report, said that the APC will present credible witnesses in court to prove not only this, but the fact that the maritime agency has since transformed into a campaign outpost for the PDP.
“There are several acts of the management that are at variance with the objectives and scope of activities of the agency as spelled out under the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency Act, 2007. NIMASA Act does not envisage the involvement of the agency in political campaign. It certainly has no provision for hate campaigns against Buhari, nor does it allow for the funding of the activities of the Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria (TAN).
“NIMASA is trying to reduce this to a campaign issue, but the truth is that the conversion of a statutory government agency into one actively promoting partisan political actions of the president is of national significance. It assumes a more serious dimension when staff are denied their dues and money shipped out to fund illegal activities.”
Meanwhile, at a news briefing today, the Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Ziakede Patrick Akpobolokemi issued a 72-hour ultimatum to APC to retract what it called the malicious allegations it levelled against the agency and its management.
He said that the agency has instructed its solicitors to give APC the opportunity of retracting their unfounded allegations, failing which the agency will take all necessary steps to seek redress.
Akpobolokemi said that the ultimatum became necessary in light of recent attempts made by the All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Organisation (APCPCO) and some misguided elements and individuals to impugn the integrity NIMASA and its management.
According to him the vicious campaign is intended to cast aspersions on the activities and integrity of NIMASA as a responsible corporate entity of government. [myad]