By Michael Oche
Minister of States for Labour and Employment, Barr. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, has said she is currently focused on her national assignments, assigned to her by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu at the Ministry of Labour and Employment and would not be distracted by activities of those she described as “mischief-makers”.
A statement signed on Monday by Emameh Gabriel, her Chief Press Secretary, noted that the minister is not perturbed by the activities of “faceless groups ” that are afraid of her rising influence.
Gabriel was reacting to a statement credited to one Abidemi Johnson, who claims to be the convener of Coalition of Asiwaju Progressive Woman (CAPW) in which she tagged the Minister of States as ungrateful and plotting to cause a leadership crisis in the House of Representatives.
Abidemi had also alleged that the Minister dolled out dollars to a yet to be identified group to launch a media campaign for her to unseat the current Speaker of House of Representatives, Hon. Abbas Tajudeen.
“We want to state clearly that these are pointblank lies sponsored by her political enemies who have no line between darkness and light; morality or absurdity. This is indeed not only laughable but also calls for a thorough investigation,” Gabriel said in reaction to the allegations.
He said further that, “these baseless allegations did not by anyway come to us as a surprise; we have had wind of several plots beforehand to launch a media campaign against her, should the judgment at the Tribunal turn out in her favour. That is the scenario being enacted in their desperation to pull her down.”
The media aide to the Minister described the allegation as “a dirty campaign taken too far” noting that such claims only exists in “the wild imagination of convoluted, distorted, warped minds of mischief-makers and conflict entrepreneurs who are out to pitch her against the leadership of her party, the All Progressive Congress.”
According to him, the campaign against the minister came after a pro-APC group sent a congratulatory message to the Minister on her victory at the Tribunal, urging her to return to the National Assembly.
“Her only sin is that she was appointed a minister and thereafter won her petition at the tribunal,” Gabriel said.
He, however, noted that the Minister has since after her victory at the Tribunal consistently maintained that she is focused on her national assignment.
“Her victory at the Tribunal is not only the case, that she has not said a word about her future, has left them restless. So, the need to embark on mischievous propaganda to distract her or possibly force words out of her lips became necessary. Hon. Nkeiruka will not be distracted,” he said.
The statement reads further, “It should be noted that while it is her right, like every other Nigerian, to challenge the outcome of an election she was not satisfied with, as provided by the constitution of the Federal of Nigeria, they should also be reminded that Onyejeocha was already at the Election Petition Tribunal before she was appointed a Minister.
“Would she have abandoned her pursuit to regain what was stolen from the APC as a family for politicians with parochial interests, greed and an unbridled sense of entitlement, or for the opposition party?
“For the record, Honourable Nkeiruka Onyejeocha is currently focused on her national assignments assigned to her by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu at the Ministry of Labour and Employment and also by the leadership of the All Progressive Congress as a co-chairman of the party’s national council for governorship election slated for November. Her loyalty to the party is unquestionable.
“Who would have thought that a mere statement of appeal issued by women who share the same vision with the Honourable Minister asking her to go consider going back to the House to pursue critical national Bills, would stir the honest’s net, if not for mischief?”