By Dapo Akinrefon
ABUJA—Coalition of civil society groups in the Niger Delta region, United Niger Delta Energy Development Security Strategy, UNDEDSS, yesterday, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to prevail on the National Assembly to desist from blackmailing the Interim Management Committee, IMC of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC.
UNDEDSS, in a statement by its Secretary General, Mr Tony Uranta, said that the Buhari administration was yet to show sincerity in remediation of the region, starting with the clean-up of Ogoni land.
He said: “As we welcome the erudite Professor Ibrahim Gambari on board the Presidential team, we anticipate a better working relationship between the Presidency and the region such as the delivered unilateral ceasefire which the Nigerian economy has been benefiting from since 2016, even without agreed reciprocating action on the part of government.
“The region is determined to get the Federal Government to honour its own end of the bargain, before end 2020, including clean-up of Ogoni land; the more robust funding for the Maritime University in Gbaramatu; the full installation and commissioning of the currently abandoned mega-Dry Dock (biggest in Africa) in the region; the completion of the sanitizing and full funding of the NDDC and the demilitarization of the Niger Delta, amongst others.
“We applaud Mr President for not allowing the self-aggrandisement driven campaign against the on-going NDDC audit sway his resolve that the IMC cleans out the years of corruption in that prime federal interventionist agency in the region.’’
“We must end the many years of raping the Niger Delta with impunity. We know that even the Senate putative scheming against the committee is not altruistic, but is rather borne out of the losing of humongous rent collections by certain premier officers of the National Assembly. The National Assembly must stop blackmailing the IMC.