Special Adviser on Public Affairs to the President, Dr. Doyin Okupe, has defended the President’s decision to appoint People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Board of Trustees member, Chief Tony Anenih as the chairman of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).
Okupe said: “There are enough professionals in the NPA to run the authority. You bring in outsiders and politicians as board members, to moderate whatever the professionals do.
“There are enough technical people even on this same board. There are mandatory technical people. We are not going to be intimidated by the negative propaganda against Anenih.
“What has Anenih done wrong? Many people hate Anenih because they call him Mr. Fix It for Obasanjo. He is a politician. He knows how to do what he does. What is wrong with that?
“Is he guilty of murder? Is he guilty of rape? Has he stolen money? What has he done wrong? What some people will say is that he spent N300 billion on roads (without much to show). I don’t want to hold brief for Anenih. But that is an erroneous thing.”
On the N200 billion road scam that is popularly attributed to Mr. Anenih, the Presidential spokesperson said, “What happened that year was that the Federal Government budgeted N300 billion for roads. But the money was never released to the Ministry of Works. There are a lot of misunderstanding and misinformation, and government, before now, has failed to engage the public, to explain the concrete issues. Many things are perceived. Like this one, they are taken as true, and over the years, they take root in the hearts of some people, and so people believe the man is a thief.”