Ex-US ambassador denies working for Buhari, replies Omokri

Reno Omokri in a statement Sunday, October 8, said that a former US ambassador John Campbell was trying to divert attention from corruption allegations currently rocking the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation in order to protect President Buhari’s public image. 

Omokri said: “It is most unfortunate that the former US Ambassador to Nigeria, John Campbell, who is now a consultant to certain Nigerians and a self-confessed admirer of President Muhammadu Buhari, would again insult Nigerians with his procured opinions meant to divert the public from the monumental $26 billion corruption scam recently uncovered in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation of which President Muhammadu Buhari is the supervising minister.”

 He was responding to a blog post by Campbell published on the website of Council on Foreign Relations, a public policy think-tank which has its headquarters in New York. In his article, Campbell criticised the Nigerian House of Representatives for issuing a warrant of arrest for the acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu. 

He also said the arrest warrant was orchestrated by most “Christian” Nigerian lawmakers and they were hounding Magu for daring to go after Mrs Patience Jonathan, from whom they benefitted while her husband was in power. Omokri said Mr Campbell was ignorant of issues in Nigeria, adding that Mrs Jonathan had been a businesswoman. John Campbell, on Tuesday, October 10, replied Reno Omokri, saying that he mistook his appreciation of Buhari’s anti-corruption efforts for consultancy services. 

Accoridng to Premium Times, he said: “I am not a consultant to any Nigerian, to any Nigerian corporation, to the presidency, nor to any part of the Nigerian government." "Contrary to what Mr. Omokri seems to imply, I did not maintain that the PDP dominates the House of Representatives. “Rather, I said that the Committee on Public Petitions’ move to issue a warrant for the arrest of Mr. Magu was led by PDP representatives, as it was. I did not comment one way or another on the justification for the arrest warrant, which is controversial. 

“Nor did I comment on laudable steps taken by the Jonathan government for the empowerment of women. “I share Mr Omokri’s concern about corruption within the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation." The diplomat, however, maintained his assertion that the influence of Christians was most pronounced in Jonathan’s government, with the exception of some powerful Muslims in the cabinet at the time.

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