I have stepped on many big toes, particularly the feet of cabals —Diezani
Abuja—Minister of Petroleum Resources, Deziani Allison Maduekwe, has denied media reports that she was seeking asylum in some foreign countries.
Addressing state House correspondents after yesterday's Federal Executive Council, the Minister said she was not leaving the country, adding that she had no reason to do so.
She blamed what she described as consistent malicious and libellous attacks on her person on the reforms she brought about in the oil and gas sector in the country.
The minister said: “Let me state it clearly for the records that Nigeria is my country and am not going anywhere. I love my country and I do think that I have done the best for my country and I would also like to point out that these malicious, malevolence, vindictive libels coming out of places like Osun Defender and other faceless online and other entities need to stop.
“For everything that has a beginning there is an end and that is not a surprise. What is the surprise is the sort of malevolence bordering on personal malicious libel to my person during this period of time.
''I do believe that I have done the best for Nigeria in this job and I have attained many firsts in the history of oil and gas, especially in the reforms that we have done. In this period of time, I have stepped on many big toes, particularly the feet of the cabal in the industry when we came in.
''I have said severally that we will open up the industry to all Nigerians and we have, but that is not to the pleasure of certain cabal. And I have been continuously maligned because of this and we have taken millions and in fact, billions of dollars out of the hands of multinationals and their sub-contractors and put them in the hands of Nigerians through Nigerian content.
''Hundreds of thousands of Nigerians have come into the oil and gas industry because of our reforms.
“Quite frankly, I think as unprecedented as it is, it does not please everybody and that cannot be helped, but let us remember the unprecedented reforms that have happened in the oil industry during our time, such as major gas reforms, the Petroleum Industry Bill, which has been completely revised, reformed and put into the hands of members of the National Assembly where it has languished for two years.”
On allegation that she was seeking the intervention of prominent Nigerians, especially former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, to protect her from being held accountable for some of her actions in office, the minister said there was no truth in the allegation.
She said: “I believe that Gen. Abdulsalami) has already called it unnecessary mischief.”