APC has 72 hours to retract statement – NIMASA

By Post Nigeria February 23, 2015 07:00 Updated

APC has 72 hours to retract statement – NIMASA

The ‎Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, has vehemently debunked accusations leveled against it by the All Progressives Congress, APC, that it was behind a documentary against its presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari.

The Director General of the NIMASA, Ziakede Akpobolokemi, countered the accusations, saying they were “attempts by the All Progressive Congress Presidential Campaign Organization to impugn the integrity” of the agency and its management.

He said NIMASA is a non-partisan entity, and shouldn’t be smeared with “malicious politicking.”

Akpobolokemi‎ said the allegation being leveled against the maritime agency was unfounded and the agency had already, through its lawyers, given its accusers ‎72 hours to retract their statement and offer an apology to NIMASA. ‎

“Let me reiterate here, that we have instructed our solicitors to give our accusers the opportunity of retracting their unfounded allegations failing which we shall take all necessary steps to seek redress,” Akpobolokemi‎ said.

The Director General, who gave the statement on Sunday at a press briefing in Lagos, also used the opportunity to discredit the reports that went around at some point that the agency had contracted out Nigeria’s maritime‎ security to Niger Delta militant leader,‎ Government Ekpemupolo‎, alias Tompolo.

“I hereby unequivocally state that this accusation is false. NIMASA neither entered into any such security contract with any private company nor Tompolo,” NIMASA’s DG said.

NIMASA DG, who stated that the agency engaged in a public private partnership with Global West Vessels Specialist Limited to help its platforms patrol the coastline, urged journalist to investigate the ownership of the company and see if Tompolo had any links to it.

“Contrary to widespread speculation, Global West did not buy warships for NIMASA, what we have are our routine operational vessels with which the Nigerian Navy and the Agency collectively have successfully carried out the Agency’s mandate as well as track, interdict and arrest vessels engaged in criminal activities in our waters,” the DG said.

‎Akpobolokemi came prepared to clear the air about rumours being circulated about the agency.

He again denied claims that the agency had not been paying the tuition fees of students studying abroad under the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme of NIMASA.