The APC Presidential Campaign Organisation (APCPCO) says it has evidence to suggest that a top management staff of the Nigerian Maritime Administration & Safety Agency (NIMASA) was behind campaigns of hate against the presidential candidate of APC, General Muhammadu Buhari and his family aired in the recent documentary by AIT and NTA.
The APCPCO’s Director of Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu said that the Campaign Office has 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.
This, according to Shehu, 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 uses public funds to sponsor a campaign of calumny against its candidate, which it said is 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.
“It is a well-known fact that the Director General of the Agency, Mr. Ziakede Patrick Akpobolokemi was President Goodluck Jonathan’s and a well-known ex-militant’s errand boy.
“He was appointed there for the sole aim of satisfying an ex-militant’s camp, an assignment he has carried out well to the satisfaction of those who put him there through the award of a concessionaire phantom PPP project.
“Under this contract, a certain company, (Global West Vessels Specialists Ltd) was handed the legal responsibility of the Nigerian Navy (NN) of protecting the Nation’s Waterway and NIMASA’s Maritime Security function to the surprise of all industry observers and yet fail woefully in offering the necessary protection for the theft of Nigerian Crude Oil, which has only increased since then among other sea related crimes.”
The statement also condemned the illegal use of public funds by the chief executive of any government agency to finance disparaging media campaign against an opposition candidate.
The APCPCO decried the increasing helplessness of regulatory agencies in the country, charged with the certification of commercial advertising, that are now being ignored by the PDP in placing libellous and defamatory campaign materials against the opposition in TV stations they control.
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.
“It is not enough for President Jonathan to claim he doesn’t know the sponsors of smear adverts if he lacks the courage to punish them once they are exposed,” Shehu said.