By Perez Brisibe
LEADERS of the Niger Delta region, yesterday, said they are in support of the call for a forensic audit of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC by President Muhammadu Buhari stating that it is the best decision taken by the federal government in the development of the region.
The leaders at a stakeholders meeting held at Warri, also drummed support for the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Chief Godswill Akpabio and applauded him for the reforms he is embarking on in repositioning the ministry since his assumption of office.
In a communique signed by convener of the defunct Niger Delta Peoples Congress, NDPC, Chief Mike Loyibo on behalf of the leaders, they stated that it is imperative that the “mess in the NDDC should be cleared for effective mandate delivery for the incoming NDDC board.”
The communique reads in part, “On behalf of the people of the Niger Delta region, we will like to commend President Buhari for his position in ordering for a forensic probe of the NDDC as we believe this will ensure that the Commission delivers on its primary mandate of developing the Niger Delta region.
“We also applaud the efforts of the Minister of Niger Delta Ministry, Chief Godswill Akpabio for the reforms he has been embarking on in the ministry and the NDDC since his assumption in office.
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“You will agree with us that the NDDC has been a cash-cow over the years and we the people of the region have been crying for such opportunity to reposition the commission and enable it achieve its primary goals.
“Our prayers have been answered through Akpabio who in this short period, called for serious reforms in the agency.
“We believe that the vision and passion he has for the region is commendable and he should be supported so as to bring this to fruition, hence we are passing a vote of confidence on him.”
Speaking on the underdevelopment of the region, the leaders said: “It is we, the people of the Niger Delta region that are under developing our own area and not the government because if we had used what had been provided for us judiciously, we would have achieved a lot, but since we are embezzling what is being given to us for development, how can we make demands or defend funds accrued to the region for the development.
“We want to also appeal to Mr. President to extend same probe to the Presidential Amnesty Programme and other federal government agencies in the Niger Delta region to strengthen and return them to their core mandate.”