Minister Accused of Bribing His Way into Buhari’s Cabinet Responds to Allegations

Senator Heineken Lokpobiri has refuted claims that he bought his ministerial appointment as speculated by his alleged detractors.

Senator Heineken Lokpobiri
Minister of State for Agriculture, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, has asserted that no amount of blackmail would distract him from performing his duties in the cabinet of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The minister said all the allegations against him by a faction of the state Executive Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) led by the party’s state Chairman, Chief Tiwe Oruminighe were laughable and baseless and could not move him.

Oruminighe and his group had accused Lokpobiri of purchasing his ministerial slot from the state leader of the party and former Governor of the state, Chief Timipre Sylva.

But Lokpobiri in a statement signed by his Media Assistant, Mr. Donald Ojogo, said his appointment as a minister was based on merrit.

He vowed to take anybody who was bent in damaging his hard-earned reputation to court for libel.

The statement reads: “In the last few days, the Bayelsa state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has contended with some unsavoury moments.

“Undoubtedly, these are orchestrated by an insignificant few within the party and oiled by some external forces who feel threatened about their political future, especially as the APC challenges the outcome of the last governorship election at the Election Petition Tribunal.

“‎From the outset, the attitude of the Honourable Minister of State for Agriculture, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri has been to ignore and avoid responding to all such untoward moves and circumstances around the APC. To him, such do not represent the much required cohesion, sincerity of purpose and political maturity.

“Nonetheless, in the view of the deliberate fabrication of lies and misrepresentation of facts on the part of those who have allowed themselves to be used in this blackmail venture, it has become very compelling to state the following:

“The Hon Minister of State for Agriculture, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri never got his appointment on the platter of financial negotiations as expressly insinuated by the suspended State chairman of the APC in Bayelsa State, Chief Tiwei Oruminigha and his cohorts.

“Like other appointees of Mr President, Senator Lokpobiri was duly considered worthy to be so appointed in his position.

“It is a clear case of misrepresentation of facts to insinuate that former governor of Bayelsa who is the leader of the APC in Bayelsa State, Chief Timipre Sylva collected money from the Hon minister before his appointment as minister. This is an outright fabrication”.

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