Chief Audu Ogbeh, the immediate past minister of agriculture and rural development, has denied reports that he rejected a re-appointment offer.Ogbeh stated this on Saturday, July 27 during a courtesy visit by a delegation of the Idoma Development Forum, led by Dr Jacob Okwori, to seek clarifications on insinuations surrounding his non-reappointment as minister.
We gathered as the ex minister stated: “There was no such thing that occurred. I never rejected Mr President’s offer for re-appointment. “No one approached me on behalf of Mr President since we left office on 29th May and I never went to lobby anyone because I had a very good and smooth working relationship with Mr President. “It is complete falsehood and mischief for anyone to insinuate that I declined the offer of re-appointment. “The former minister, however, expressed gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari, for having been given the opportunity to serve in the first place.The leader of the Idoma delegation had earlier expressed dismay over reports that Ogbeh declined interest to be re-appointed into Buhari’s second term cabinet.He said: “We, your kinsmen, were living witnesses to your outstanding performance as minister for agriculture and rural development between 2015 and 2019 when you worked assiduously to transform Nigeria into the world’s agriculture center and flood the global market with food of Nigerian origin. “Within the period, one of Nigeria’s biggest businesses of Forex, namely rice alongside others were removed from the list of food import items to save about N21bn, according to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in 2018. “Agriculture export grew by 77.3%, from N170bn in 2017 to N270bn in 2018 among others.”
Recall that we previously reported that President Muhammadu Buhari sent a list of ministerial nominees to the Senate with the names of some of his former ministers missing.One of those who did not make the list was Ibe Kachikwu, who was minister of state for petroleum in the last dispensation.The former minister of sports, Solomon Dalung, and the one in charge of agriculture, Audu Ogbeh, were also not part of the list.