By LOD Onyeji
In a recent press release, the Minister of Transportation, Engr Muazu Jaji Sambo, vehemently denied the allegations circulating in online media platforms linking him to the alleged hijack of a maritime contract at the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), an agency under his purview. The minister dismissed the claims as false and baseless, labeling them as part of a smear campaign orchestrated to tarnish his reputation and undermine his work.
Since assuming office in July 2022, Minister Sambo has been steadfast in his commitment to meeting the high expectations of stakeholders in the transportation sector. He has consistently acted with honesty, integrity, and transparency, adhering to the law and working in the best interest of the public.
Expressing his disappointment, Minister Sambo pointed out that the news outlets that propagated the false report relied on anonymous sources, fabricated documents, and distorted facts to create a narrative that aligned with their own agenda or that of their sponsors. In doing so, they not only violated the core ethics of journalism but also demonstrated contempt for the principles of fair hearing, objective journalism, and balanced reporting.
The minister stressed that it is inconceivable for one individual to unilaterally award contracts of such magnitude, given the complex and rigorous processes involved in contract awards as mandated by existing laws and regulations. These processes require the involvement of various agencies and levels of government, including the Bureau for Public Procurement (BPP) and the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
Minister Sambo attributed the allegations to intimidation stemming from the achievements his ministry has made in a relatively short period. He acknowledged that with the transition to a new government, certain individuals or groups may attempt to target him as a means to gain favor or seek relevance. Nevertheless, the minister urged the public not to fall for such cheap propaganda.
Under his leadership, the Ministry of Transportation has implemented initiatives aimed at improving the country’s maritime domain, enhancing mobility and safety for Nigerians, and promoting innovation, sustainability, and social inclusion in the transport sector.
Emphasizing his unwavering commitment to serving the nation, Minister Sambo declared that he would continue to dedicate himself to his duties until the end of his tenure. Even beyond his time in office, he pledged to remain a loyal and law-abiding Nigerian, refusing to be intimidated or distracted by false accusations intended solely to divert attention. The minister assured the public that he has no involvement in any maritime contract controversies and urged them to exercise caution in assessing the validity of such claims.
In light of the misleading publications, Minister Sambo has called upon relevant security and law enforcement agencies to swiftly investigate their content. He hopes that the perpetrators of these fake and malicious news articles will be brought to justice, ensuring accountability for their actions.
As Minister of Transportation, Engr Muazu Jaji Sambo remains resolute in his dedication to serving the nation, focusing on the betterment of the transportation sector and the welfare of Nigerians. His strong rebuttal of the baseless allegations reflects his determination to uphold his integrity and continue making impactful contributions to the nation’s development.