The Rivers State government has warned that Joy Nunieh, the immediate past acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), must not suffer any harm during to the ongoing probe of the agency.
The state government said this in a statement issued by Paulinus Nsirim, the state Commissioner for Information and Communications, on Tuesday.
Nunieh has in the last few days engaged in a war of words with Godswill Akpabio, Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, over the forensic audit of the NDDC ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The state government said it is disturbed by recent developments concerning the NDDC probe and cautioned all parties involved to exercise caution.
It also vowed to protect Nunieh despite political affiliation, saying she is a citizen of the state.
The statement partly read: “The Rivers State Government has viewed with concern the recent developments at the NDDC in which the name of our daughter, Dr Joi Nunieh, the immediate past acting Managing Director of the commission, has been dragged into.
“We hereby call on those involved in the ongoing investigation of the NDDC to ensure that Dr Joi Nunieh does not suffer any harm in the course of their undertaking.”
“We wish to state categorically that the Rivers State Government will never support any action that will prevent or jeopardise the laudable intentions of President Muhammadu Buhari to positively reposition the NDDC and fulfil the yearnings and aspirations of the people of the Niger Delta.
“However, we wish to state that while we are not interested in identifying with the present unfolding drama in the NDDC; we will not, however, fail to protect our daughter from actual harm or perceived danger.
“The state owes it as a duty to protect her citizens from danger no matter their political affiliation, and we cannot fold our arms and watch anyone harm her or indeed any Rivers citizen. We advise those involved in the present altercations in the NDDC to thread with caution in their actions and utterances.”
Akpabio had in an interview with Arise TV on Saturday said Nunieh was removed from office due to insubordination to authority, adding that she did not possess the required academic qualification to head the NDDC.
The minister also alleged that Nunieh had temper issues with four of her ex-husbands.
But the former NDDC boss responded in a separate interview with the same medium, saying that Akpabio is attacking her because she stopped corrupt practices at the agency.
She also revealed that she slapped tbe minister for allegedly making sexual advances at her.