EXCLUSIVE: I did not reject Buhari’s nomination – MIT Professor

Photo credit: MISTI - MIT

Akintunde Akinwande, a U.S.-based Nigerian engineer recently nominated by President Muhammadu Buhari, on Thursday said reports that he had rejected the offer were nothing but “mere fiction.”

Mr. Akinwande’s statement countered media reports (not by PREMIUM TIMES) that he had rejected the nomination to head the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission.

Mr. Buhari announced Mr. Akinwande for the position in July.

The university don was due to appear before the Senate Committee on Power for screening earlier this week, but his absence stalled the proceeding.

Subsequently, Enyinnaya Abaribe, chairman of the senate committee, postponed the exercise indefinitely.

Reporters then concluded that Mr. Akinwande’s non-appearance had meant he had forfeited the nomination.

But Mr. Akinwande, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, told PREMIUM TIMES from his office that he only had scheduling difficulties.

“I did not reject the nomination of the president,” Mr. Akinwande said. “I had scheduling difficulties which I had informed the concerned parties about.”

“It is shocking to see all the reports flying around the Nigerian media and I will tell you they’re all fiction,” Mr. Akinwande said. “Only fiction.”

Mr. Akinwande said PREMIUM TIMES should give him until Friday to say when he would be in the country for the screening.

Mr. Abaribe told PREMIUM TIMES on Thursday that his committee would schedule a new date after getting instructions from the Buhari administration’s National Assembly liaison.

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