14 October 2017, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, said Nigerians misunderstood the import of his petition to President Muhammadu Buhari on the governance issues within the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
He thus appealed to Nigerians to stop accusing President Muhammadu Buhari of fraud in the management of the oil contracts within the Corporation.
Kachikwu recently opened a can of worms in the NNPC when he accused the Group Managing Director of the corporation, Dr. Maikanti Baru, of insubordination and approving contracts running into billions of Naira without following due process.
But, Kachikwu, who spoke in Owerri, Imo state at the end of a three-day Nigerian Content Workshop organised by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, said the content of his letter has been largely misunderstood.
The minister said the content of his letter did not border on fraud but on governance. He absolved President Buhari of any blame in the whole saga, describing him as a decent man who is keen on leaving a legacy for posterity.
According to Kachikwu, “The conversation has been largely misunderstood to bother on fraud. It was not on fraud, but on governance and suggestions on ways to go about it. I think a lot of people got it wrong.
“People dwell much on issues of sensationalism and leave the main substance. The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Dr. Maikanti Baru, and I are working together as Mr. President had directed to move forward.
He also revealed details of his discussion with Buhari when he met him at the Presidential Villa over his leaked memo.
“Mr. President has urged the two of us to find ways of working together to remove doubt and rift.
“Mr. President is a decent man and what he wants to achieve in this country is to leave a legacy for posterity. He is a sincere leader, so nobody should accuse him of engaging in fraud,” Kachikwu said.
It would be recalled that Kachikwu’s memo raised issues over the conduct of the NNPC GMD on contracts and appointments.