Edo Integration Group (EIG) on Thursday rallied behind the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Ikanade Agba, saying he should be counted out of the purported sponsorship of last Saturday’s hoodlums’ attack on Edo State Government-owned COVID-19 palliatives warehouse at Medical Store Road in Benin.
The group, in a statement by its Coordinator, Osaretin Ehigiator, rebutted the rumour and reports in the social media linking Prince Agba to the sponsorship of the hoodlums that hijacked the #EndSARS protests and unleashed a reign of terror on the State at the weekend.
“Prince Clem Ikanade Agba is not a politician of the Nigerian kind. He is a solid technocrat who has defined his participation with clarity of purpose and his unique distinctiveness of brilliance and resourcefulness in the discharge of his assignment.
“He is a very decent man and would not descend to the level of promoting hooliganism, destruction and anarchy in the society to which he seeks to give leadership, working together with others who have the privilege to serve the country.
“Those who alleged that Prince Clem Ikanade Agba sponsored hoodlums that vandalized and looted a warehouse were patently unfair to him. They were trying to violate the positive perception that he has been enjoying since his tour of duty as commissioner in Edo State up until now as federal minister in Abuja,” the group said.
The group urged those behind the “offensive allegation” to discontinue their malicious campaign and propagation of falsehood against Agba, who according to it, “has acquitted himself as a worthy ambassador of Edo State in the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“He is leading in the front, reaching out to the three senatorial zones of the State as a minister with assistance to individuals and influencing development projects statewide.
“He would be reversing the gains of his ministerial interventions if he had gone out of his way to sponsor the destruction of the house he was building. Who, in his right senses, would do that? But that was the narrative that his traducers were pushing in their gambit to sully his impeccable credentials,” the group stated.
It added “We will continue to support Prince Agba and urge him to remain sharply focused and single-minded in his commitment to deploy transparent and accountable leadership in the uplift of the people.”
The group commended Agba for applying himself to the task of delivering on the assignment given to him and other ministers by President Buhari to engage with stakeholders in their respective state with a view to achieving national peace and cohesion.