Hints on malicious intent, engages alleged accuser
BY UBON EKANEM, CALABAR – What obviously looks set to become a ‘rofo rofo’ fight among some All Progressives Congress (APC) stakeholders in Cross River State may have been averted.
Thanks to an immediate reverse gear strategy deployed by one of the key actors in the recent name-calling imbroglio that gained huge traction and commentaries in the nation’s media space.
The seeming truce in what many political commentators were already warming up to intervene in the expected war of words is coming from the stable of an APC chieftain and former Senate Majority Leader, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba (SAN) with his denial of not granting any press interview relating to the disturbing allegations against his persons and other individuals in the state.
An online publication of July 17, 2020 had trended with allegations impugning on the integrity of some prominent individuals of Cross River Central and North senatorial district extraction in a story captioned; “Trouble in Cross River as Joe Agi calls Ndoma-Egba, late Mathew Mbu, Paul Erokoro thieves”.
The claims were allegedly made by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Joe Agi, at a consultative meeting with APC members in Ishibori, Ogoja Local Government Area while unveiling his plans represent Cross River North at the upper Legislative Chamber.
The seat became vacant following the death of Senator Rose Oko who won election into the ninth Senate in 2019.
But in a statement he personally issued after media reports emerged indicating his purported reply to the accusations, the former Chairman of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Board said: “My attention has been drawn to an online publication in the Daily Post of July 17, 2020 with the caption “Trouble in Cross River as Joe Agi calls Ndoma-Egba, late Mathew Mbu, Paul Erokoro thieves”.
The statement seen by Forefront further said; “I wish to categorically state that I did not grant any press interview with the author of the story and those statements credited to me are malicious and deliberate attempt to ridicule and embarrass my person and my friend Joe Agi.”
Maintaining that all contentious issues bordering on the said allegations have been maturely resolved, Senator Ndoma-Egba said; “It is on record that Joe Agi and I have discussed the said video that led to the report and he (Joe) had retracted it. Hence I could not have gone ahead to grant a press interview on the matter.”
“I regret any embarrassment this publication may have caused him,” the APC stalwart said.