Akpabio denies accusing NASS of receiving NDDC contracts —
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Akpabio denies accusing NASS of receiving NDDC contracts

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…Blames rift on mischief
Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator GodswillApkabio, yesterday, denied accusing members of the National Assembly of being contractors in the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC.
Speaking after a closed door meeting with the Acting Clerk of the National Assembly, Mr. Amos Olatunde-Ojo, Akpabio blamed the recent misunderstanding between his ministry and the National Assembly on mischief, saying efforts are being made to ensure harmony.
“So far, I believe that whatever disagreement that could have occurred between my own ministry and the National Assembly must have been as a result of mischief and that mischief must be put to rest so that we can work in one accord for the sake of the nation,” he said.
According to him, he was at the National Assembly to seek a harmonious working relationship between his ministry and federal lawmakers.
The minister, who has been in a running battle with the two chambers over investigation into issues of corruption in the NDDC, insisted that the misunderstanding was the handiwork of mischief makers.
On whether he had conformed with the challenge by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, to present proof that 60 percent of lawmakers execute NDDC contracts, the minister said “No, you are wrong. That was not what the speaker demanded. The speaker wanted to know whether there was undue influence from any section of the National Assembly in respect of contracts in the NDDC.
“He did not say whether they were contractors, so I am hearing it from you,” he stated. I am here to congratulate the acting clerkon his elevation and of course solicit the continuous cooperation of the National Assembly towards the development of the Niger Delta region.
“In any case, I am a senator, so seeing me in the National Assembly should not be a surprise; as a former minority leader of the Senate and a distinguished senator, I believe I am a senator for life. Nobody will refer to me as Governor Akpabio, they will always refer to me as Senator Akpabio so this is home coming for me.
“The National Assembly is supposed to resume today but it has been postponed and I had intended that as soon as resumption takes place, I will be here as part of my efforts to support the president’s decision that there must be a cordial relationship between the executive and legislature,” he said.
After leaving the Senate building, the minister entered a closed-door meeting with the House Committee Chairman on NDDC; OlubunmiTunji-Ojo, Clerk to the National Assembly, Amos OlatundeOjo; and spokesman of the House of Representatives, Benjamin Kalu in the chairman’s office for over two hours.

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