NDDC, SENATE PROBE AND MATTERS ARISING:
The attention of the office of Evang. Caroline Nagbo, Member of the Interim Management Committee of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has been drawn to publications in the social media attacking her for allegedly disparaging the person of the immediate past Acting Managing Director of the Commission, Dr. Joi Nunieh, at the conclusion of the public hearing by the Senate AdHoc Committee on the Alleged Financial Recklessness in the Niger Delta Development Commission in Abuja yesterday.
We have reviewed the aforesaid publications which fly in the face of logic and hold that the allegations of Mrs. Nagbo casting aspersions on the person of Nunieh is a figment of the imagination of those induced by certain political interests.
The point to note is that Evang. Nagbo was approached by Journalists who covered proceedings at the two-day public hearing whilst exiting the Committee sitting room and asked if as an Evangelist she also swore to a fetish Oath to be appointed to the NDDC Interim Management Committee by her boss and Honourable Minister for Niger Delta Affairs, His Excellency Senator Godswill Obot Akpabio. As a public officer she owed the public a duty to be accountable, set the records straight and was therefore in no position to ignore them. Those who chose what to believe in her unambiguous statement on the videos which have gone viral know that Caroline Nagbo only defended her Christian faith, insofar as the allegation against her principal at the Ministry for Niger Delta Affairs over NDDC appointments and retention of same are the issues. We reiterate, even now, that none save the Oaths of Office and Allegiance to the Federal Republic of Nigeria were administered on Nagbo and other members of the reconstituted Interim Management Committee in accordance with the Constitution by the Honourable Minister when she took office on February 19, 2020.
She was also being honest with the facts when she emphasized that her qualifying Certificates were in order in response to another question on why she has been retained on the NDDC IMC. It is most uncharitable for anyone to imagine that Nagbo launched an attack at someone in that regard. We hereby advise those who seek to settle political scores with Mrs. Nagbo on account of her past and present political convictions to look elsewhere. She has no axe to grind with anyone, her politics having always been defined by the fear of God, fidelity to her conscience and unalloyed loyalty to the common cause wherever she pitches her tent.
For the avoidance of doubt and as concerning the Ogoni angle to the running political narratives of the event of last Friday, Nagbo rose to be appointed Women’s Desk Officer of the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP) in her early 20s on the merits. Inspired by her Bane kinsman Ken Saro-Wiwa and other unforgettable Ogoni heroes, she stood strong behind the leaders of MOSOP at the height of the persecution of everything Ogoni to silence and brutally crush their struggle for environmental justice by the military junta of that inglorious era. Nagbo served Ogoni via the MOSOP platform with an indelible credibility and her courageous performance at the Justice Oputa Panel Hearing on Ogoniland at the Old Dr Obi Wali Cultural Centre in Port Harcourt in 2001 cannot be easily forgotten. It is on record that the very unique and patriotic role she played in that testy time brought about reconciliation between the aggrieved families with Justice Oputa personally visiting all the families of the “OGONI 13”.
We will emphasise that this same Caroline Nagbo who misdirected politicians are subjecting to unwarranted attacks was that committed young girl at that Justice Oputa Panel who relentlessly and bravely coordinated all the female Testifiers and served from the Dock on Oath as Interpreter of the submissions of a huge number of traumatised Ogoni women. Her extraordinary SELFLESS SERVICE to Fatherland when it mattered most is well documented and has assured her place in History as a veteran of the Ogoni struggle for socio-economic justice, environmental and political emancipation. As a veteran of the Ogoni struggle therefore, it is unheard of and inconceivable that Nagbo would associate herself or be associated with undermining of Ogoni interests at the ethnic nationality or personal levels.
We need to state out of abundance furthermore that Mrs. Nagbo rose through the ranks in politics with her doggedness, consistency, strong character, values as well as tenacity and has proven to be a proud daughter of Ogoni who has never been found wanting in all her engagements and responsibilities from her days as Rivers South-East Senatorial candidate of the Congress of Progressive Change (CPC) in 2011 through holding forte as Interim State Women Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State in 2013 to her election to that office in a substantive capacity in 2014. It is confidence in her loyalty, commitment to duty, visionary and selfless leadership that earned her both her appointment as Secretary of the APC State Women Leaders Forum at the national level and subsequent re-election to that position in 2018.
Evang. Nagbo’s current appointment by the President and Commander-in-Chief on the NDDC Interim Management Committee is well defined and she will not be distracted, no matter the innuendo or concocted tales woven by politicians and their wards. Those whose core interests in politics remain character assassination, pulling down of others in pursuit of self aggrandisement instead of the general welfare of the Niger Delta region and her people are enjoined to leave her out of their political scheming, calculations or permutations.
BARR. SOGBEYE C. ELI
Special Assistant, Technical & Youth Matters to Mrs. Caroline Nagbo,
July 10, 2020.