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‘I wanted to surprise them’ – Umahi explains why he ‘snubbed’ journalists

Minister of Works, David Umahi, has refuted claims that he walked out on journalists who honoured his ministry’s invitation for a news conference in Abuja.

Addressing journalists Abakaliki after participating in activities marking Governor Francis Nwifuru’s one year in office on Wednesday, Umahi described the allegation as untrue.

The minister said he only wanted to appreciate selected media houses for their commendable coverage of his ministry’s activities.

“They all worked hard for us during President Bola Tinubu ‘s inauguration of projects in Lagos and I wanted to thank them profusely.

“I wanted the appreciation to be surprising to the selected media houses but my media aide didn’t handle it properly.

He said the event was fixed for 2pm on May 28 but his aide told him that those set of journalists were covering an inauguration.

“We then shifted the event to 3.pm though my flight to Ebonyi for the governor’s inauguration of projects was also slated for the same time.

“My aide informed me that the event was set by 3.30pm but when I got to the ministry’s hall, there was no single camera.

“The only camera on sight was from my ministry and I became very angry with the aide,” he said.

Umahi said he demanded that the event be shifted to Monday, June 3 because if it had been held, the surprise element would be defeated.

“I will also be faced with a number of journalists that I couldn’t handle so my media aide did not handle it properly.

“Reports of shunning journalists, therefore, do not exist because I cannot invite and shun them at the same time,” the minister said.

He said that he would still offer appreciation to the group of media houses he considered special to the ministry.

The article was originally published on Politics Nigeria.

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