By Perez Brisibe
THE National Assembly has been commended by the Ijaw Youth Council, IYC and Niger Delta Accountability Network, NDAN for stopping the 3-man Interim Management Committee of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC from defending the 2019/2020 budget of the Commission.
The commendation is coming just as the Niger Delta Vanguard for Good Governance, NDVGG joined stakeholders from the region in appealing to President Muhammadu Buhari to enjoy public trust by inaugurating the Pius Odubu led NDDC board and also constitute a competent foreign based forensic firm to audit the records of the NDDC.
NDVGG in a statement Friday by its national coordinator, Ebi Brisibe, said: “We are appealing on Mr. President to immediately terminate the Interim Management Committee led by Dr Joy Yimebe Nunieh which contradicts the law establishing the NDDC.
“We are saddened and frown at the unnecessary interference and distortion of the good plans by Mr. President to constitute a statutory NDDC board for the speedy development of our region by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio.
“It is our strong believe that with the clearance of the nominees by the Senate, the most crucial step to be done by Mr. President is to inaugurate the already screened and confirmed members of the board.”
The IYC in a statement by its president, Eric Omare while commending the Senate on the position it took regarding the NDDC budget, disclosed that the lawmakers have by their decision, demonstrated their capacity to defend the rule of law and democracy in the country and commended them for always standing on the side of the oppressed people of the Niger Delta.
He said: “The NDDC is a baby of the National Assembly and we are glad that the present National Assembly lived to the expectation of the people of the Niger Delta region by coming out to defend the survival of the NDDC.
“Consequently, we call on the House of Representatives to follow the lead that has been provided by the Senate and also bar the illegal IMC from coming to defend the 2019/2020 NDDC.
“We further call on the National Assembly to probe the expenditures of the illegal Interim Management Committee and sanction those culpable for spending money from the funds of federal government without parliamentary authorization.”
On its part, the Niger Delta Accountability Network, NDAN while commending the senate on its decision also demanded the inauguration of the Odubu led board before considering the commission’s 2019/2020 budget.
NDAN in a statement signed by its president and general secretary, Patrick Funkekeme and Richard Irabor respectively, described the decision by the senate as a bold move for the reestablishment of order and due process.”
It added that the decision of the Senate has reinforced its faith in the capacity of the 9th National Assembly to provide credible oversight while cooperating with the executive branch, and asked President Buhari to “reciprocate the Senate’s goodwill by directing the newly-confirmed board to resume immediately.”
The NDAN said by that insisting on the board confirmed by it, the Senate has proven to be a dependable ally of the people, saying, “the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has shown that it is a law-abiding institution and credible ally of the people with its decision to follow the law on the defence of the NDDC budget.
“We are encouraged that Mr. President as a firm believer in the law and due process will not allow the illegal Interim Management Committee continue to distort the operations of the NDDC.”