Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the former Nigerian Minister of Finance who is emerging as a formidable candidate to lead the World Trade Organisation, has said that powerful and well-connected forces within Nigeria are opposed to her candidature.
Okonjo-Iweala’s nomination by the Nigerian government, has led to a division within African countries and even though she has been endorsed by the regional West African body ECOWAS, several countries are vehemently opposed to her nomination.
Now, Mrs Okonjo-Iweala seems to suggest that powerful dynasts within her home country are intent on sabotaging her bid to lead the global trade organisation.
In a statement issued by Paul Nwabuikwu, her longtime spokesperson, Mrs Okonjo-Iweala’s team said: “It has come to our attention that there is an ongoing effort by some well-connected Nigerians to sabotage the campaign of Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the country’s candidate for Director-General of the World Trade Organisation.
“As part of this campaign, these persons and their cohorts are peddling outright lies and distortions designed to invent a non-existent scandal in order to paint the candidate and her campaign in negative light.
“The attempt by these elements to manufacture a controversy in the local and international media by distorting the facts and creating falsehoods to link the campaign with some of Mercury’s current or past clients to push a false impression is contemptible.
“It is sad that the elements behind this campaign are placing their squalid concerns above the interests of the country.