…People felt impact of Pondei’s first 6 months — IYC
By Emma Amaize, Regional Editor, South-South, Samuel Oyadongha & Emem Idio
A coalition of Niger Delta ex-militant leaders has commended President Muhammadu Buhari on his refusal to be swayed by the campaign of calumny and blackmail against members of the Interim Management Committee, IMC, of Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, saying that they were in support of the President’s decision to extend the tenure of the Interim Management Committee of the commission.
This came as Ijaw youth leaders and stakeholders in Edo, Delta and Ondo states, said the people of Niger Delta truly experienced the effectiveness of the leadership of the acting Managing Director IMC, of NDDC, Prof Keme Pondei, in the last six months.
The ex-militant leaders from the nine states of the region under the aegis of Leadership, Peace and Cultural Development Initiative, LPCDI, and led by the President, Pastor Clifford Wilson, said the people of the region were happy by the decision to extend the tenure of the IMC led by Pondeil.
He said: “We are happy with the manner in which Pondeil and his team are managing and running the intervention body and want pass a vote of confidence on the men because we have not noted anything inappropriately came out by them since they assumed office rather they are doing everything possible within the limited resources to provide succour to our people.”
On its part, Secretary-General of IYC, Western zone, Dr Doubra Okotete, who spoke on the position of the leaders, in a statement, said the people were happy that the Presidency extended the tenure of the management committee for another six months.
He said, “No doubt the Pondei administrative and managerial qualities are evidenced based and his leadership is truly felt by the Niger Delta region in his first six months in office. He’s hardworking, reliable, upright, knowledgeable, God fearing, a developer and a great leader with so much potentials and enthusiasm to better the Niger Delta region.
“We are very sure that he will continue to employ his wealth of experience to bring about the desired sustainable peace and development to the oil- rich Niger Delta region. This is the type of leaders the Niger Delta region has long been yearning for to help develop the region as enshrined in the objectives behind the formation of the NDDC.”
Also, campaigners under the auspices of 21st Century Youths of Niger Delta and Agitators with Conscience, 21 CYNDAC, have warned that the forensic auditing being carried out at the NDDC, should not be cut short to avoid sparking off fresh crisis in the volatile oil region.
The group in a statement, by its Coordinator, self-acclaimed “General” Ezon Ebi, said, “We warn that the forensic audit of NDDC must not be truncated. Those who have connived to loot our commonwealth must be brought to book. Any attempt to truncate the audit we are afraid would trigger another round of unrest and upheaval since CYNDAC will hold the real enemies of Niger Delta responsible.
“The inauguration of the presently constituted IMC of DDC led by Pondei has been a break from the norm and a positive beacon of hope that corrupt institutional processes will be corrected.
“The forensic audit kick-started recently along with the contract verification and staff re-orientation will usher in a new dawn of performance and promise.”
On its part, Ijaw Youths Must Move Forward IYMMF, berated the Ijaw Intellectual Advocates, over the latter’s allegations that NDDC, approved over N5billion for procurement of equipment, for health workers and provision of community based sensitization campaign against the spread of COVID-19.
In a statement in Yenagoa by its President, Mr Navy Stephen and Publicity Secretary John Ebikeme, said: “This is nothing but falsehood and laughable because facts before us clearly shows the funds expended in respect to the Coronavirus pandemic by the commission so far is the financial support to the nine Niger Delta state governors, youths, women and the physically challenge persons across the 27 senatorial district of the region as a palliative.”