Former Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has responded to a Sahara Reporters story which said that her husband and son are currently building a multimillion dollar hospital in Abuja.
Okonjo-Iweala described the story titled “Former finance minister Okonjo-Iweala’s family to open multimillion dollar hospital in Abuja” as false and an attack on her family. She also described Sahara Reporters as a corrupt website.
“The story is totally baseless for a very simple reason: The alleged hospital is non-existent,” said Okonjo-Iweala in a statement signed by her media aide, Paul Nwabuikwu.
She said that anyone in doubt about the true state of the hospital can go to Gwarinpa, Abuja where the hospital is allegedly located or enquire from General Electric and Perkins + Will Global, the two organisations that were mentioned as Consultants to the project in the report as to whether the hospital has been built.
Read excerpts of the statement below:
“The real facts are as follows:
“· Dr Ikemba Iweala, the husband of Dr Okonjo-Iweala is a recently retired neuro-surgeon and emergency physician with over 40 years’ of practice in Nigeria, the United Kingdom and the United States.
“· Three of their four children are US trained medical doctors, including Uchechi Iweala who was mentioned in the story. Uchechi has an MD and MBA from Harvard.
“· To actualize his desire to give back to the country, Dr Ikemba Iweala for the past few years has been working on establishing a hospital in the Federal Capital Territory. He has used his savings to develop the concept and design of the hospital. So far efforts to source financing for the project are ongoing.
“· It is the prototype design and website of the yet to be realized project that Sahara Reporters, doing the bidding of its corrupt pay masters, seeks to turn into a multi-billion dollar evidence of corruption.
“Why is Dr Okonjo-Iweala the object of this ceaseless campaign of falsehoods and distortions? The answer is simple: because she refused to steal and share and because she blocked many powerful people, some of whom are now in power, from stealing. That is why they would go to any lengths to tarnish her name.
“Dr Okonjo-Iweala has a clean record of two terms in office. As we have consistently maintained, she is not afraid of a transparent investigation of her two terms in office. She supports the anti-corruption drive in Nigeria. No one who has had the privilege of serving his or her country should feel too big to be investigated. It is this very issue of fighting corruption that brought her back in the first place and she has a track record of blocking corruption. It is ironic that it is those same corrupt people who are trying to tarnish her image using corrupt media like Saharareporters.
“People should recall that it was her fight against subsidy scammers that led to her mother being kidnapped in 2012 with the demand by the scammers that she should resign and leave the country.
“Nigerians should prepare for more attacks because these people are desperate and drunk with power. But they will keep failing because the truth will ultimately prevail.
“Incidentally, the hospital idea is still very much alive and anyone who is interested should please come forward to discuss possible investment. But there is a condition: the money must be clean. Corrupt people, especially lying governors, need not apply.”