By Dayo Johnson
Concerned Niger Delta Elders Tuesday called on the Acting President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan to institute a probe into the activitiesÂ of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, in order to unravel the mystery surrounding the award of 44 projects without the board approval and total disregard to laid down procurement regulations.
The group, in a statement made available to Vanguard in Akure, expressed dissatisfaction with the way the activities of the NDDC are being run by a few privileged individuals in top management positions of the commission.
The statement was signed by its Chairman, Chief Abel Udong, Rev.Â Billy Edosanwa, Secretary, Dr. Ebi Uroupabo, Mrs. Edit IgoliÂ PRO, Senior ApostleÂ AP. Sedara Minnary and Umeh Anthony for the Board of Trustee respectively.
According to them, â€œreports of internal wranglings, as well as politically motivated intrigues, which began to trail the new order became a sour taste in our mouth like every other concerned indigene of the region.
â€œWe are nevertheless, astonished to note that certain individuals, particularly the Executive Director of projects, Arch Esoetek Ettehâ€™s unilaterally awarded 44 projects without due process and approval by the Managing Director, Chibuzor Uwuoha , which was the reason why the commission has been embroiled in crisis.
â€œUp till this moment, contracts meant to service the region in order for succour to come our way have remained unattended to at the commission as a result of the action of the said executive director. This we think is most uncalled for and despicable in all ramifications”.
â€œWe therefore call on the Acting President and Commander-in Chief of the Armed Forces, Dr Goodluck Jonathan to institute a high power probe into the activities of the commission in order to unravel the mystery surrounding the award of 44 projects without board approval and total disregard to laid down procurement regulations as they affect the commission.
â€œWe demand that this be carried out within 14 days, failure which we will be compelled to proceed to a competent law court to stop both the commission and relevant agencies from disbursing money to the commission.
â€œWe will no longer fold our arms and allow people to use resources at the commission to continue to prosecute their personal political ambitions like Arch Etteh is presently reported to be doing, following the footsteps of his predecessors who had always seen the NDDC as launching pad for the governorship of their respective states.
â€œOn the part of the acting president, history is watching by the corners to see whether or not he would confirm the rumours that Arch Etteh is one of those he intends to install as governor come 2011. We are sure that Jonathan has a name to protect in this directionâ€.