A coalition of leaders from nine states of the Niger Delta, on Wednesday, criticised alleged smear campaign targeted at Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources.

The leaders, who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria in Yenagoa, said that unwarranted attacks to tarnish the image of Kachikwu were unacceptable.

A Niger Delta activist, Prince Tonye Jemenimiema, said that frivolous allegations of operating a foreign account while holding a public office was laughable and mischievous.

He said that Kachikwu had a fruitful career in the international oil sector spanning several decades and worked in many countries before he rose to become a Vice President at ExxonMobil before his appointment.

Jemenimiema, who is also President Niger Delta Youth for Practical Development noted that the attempt by certain interest groups to discredit Kachikwu, who is performing creditably in the oil and gas sector was regrettable.

The youth leader said it was ironic that Kachikwu, who birthed reforms in the downstream sector of the oil industry and brokered peace in Niger Delta that stabilised oil production, could be targeted by critics.

He said that the region would not condone further attacks on the Minister, whose laudable polices has translated to transparency in the oil sector, adding that those affected by Kachikwu’s reforms were behind the attacks.

“This is a man, who brought transparency and orderliness to the system.”


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