By Chancel Bomadi Sunday
Comrade Moses Amatu is the President, Niger Delta Youths for Good Governance, NDYGG. In this interview, Amatu wants President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure the completion of the ongoing NDDC Forensic Audit by the Prof Kemebradikumo Pondei-led Interim Management Committee, IMC.
What is NDYGGG all about?
Niger Delta Youths for Good Governance is a socio-political youth group in the Niger Delta. Our aims and objectives, as the name implies, are to encourage and support political leaders with good performance and representation of the people. We also encourage and support leaders who we see as having the well-being of Niger Dentans at heart, as well as proffering solution on issues of national interest. Our membership cuts across various states in the Niger Delta.
What is your take on the IMC’s forensic audit of the NDDC? Is it in order or needs something like reorganization?
The Interim Management Committee of the NDDC ably chaired by Prof. Kemebradikumo Pondei is doing their job perfectly. I believe that by the time they are through with this assignment, a lot of hidden truth will be unraveled. They are in order in carrying out the assignment entrusted to them. We, NDYGG, also encourage them to execute the task without fear or favour, as our eyes are focused on the unfolding drama in the commission.
There are allegations of fraud against the IMC from some quarters. Some people say members of the IMC misappropriated funds meant for the development of the region. How do you react?
This is one of the reasons NDYGG has decided to voice out its stand. We are already seeing the progress made so far by IMC in the forensic audit when these distractions came in their way. For us as a youth group seeking good governance, all we have to say is, please allow this committee to complete this all-important assignment that will elapse very soon.
Prof. Pondei is an academician with good reputation. Politicians doing everything possible to smear his name because he is digging deep into skeletons in some people’s cupboards will not stop this audit. Niger Deltans are eager to see to the end of this forensic audit as we are aware that politicians who have taken the NDDC as their gold mine are out to do whatever they can to stall the process. This forensic audit must be completed because it’s in the interest of the people of the Niger Delta.
The Senate is also bent on probing the IMC, citing allegations of fraud…
As I said earlier, if they want to probe the IMC over any allegation, fine, but wait because it won’t be too long to complete the audit. After then, they can probe if they are found wanting. The Senate should not browbeat the IMC to soften their stance in digging out the truth. The fraud of many years in the NDDC is what the people of the region are patiently waiting to know.
A lot of youth groups particularly in Niger Delta have queued behind the call for probe of the IMC. Don’t you think these allegations may be genuine?
I weep for these online bloggers who are mostly my Ijaw kinsmen and who actually may or may not know what is going on as regards the IMC. Most of them are doing what they are doing in the interest of self-same politicians who perceived the NDDC as their private property, and whose hands have been soiled in it. I want to tell them that true Niger Deltans are waiting to know the many years of fraud in this gold mine called NDDC rather than distracting a task that will elapse soon. I want them to think about what I have just said if they really mean well for the region. They did similar thing to the Presidential Amnesty Programme until a non-Niger Deltan took over the office now.
Amidst these allegations, President Muhammadu Buhari extended the tenure of the IMC to December. What is your group’s assessment of this drama?
First and foremost, I want to commend President Muhammadu Buhari for the trust reposed in the IMC by extending their tenure. Niger Deltans are patiently waiting for the outcome of the forensic audit because many us are keen to know the many years of dirty deals in the commission. Mr President, please ignore all antics of detractors who are out to stall the audit process.
Sen. Godswill Akpabio was alleged to have had a dirty deal in the NDDC, with calls from various groups for his head. Do you have anything to say on this?
The Akpabio you know has his records straight as a politician. As former governor of Akwa-Ibom, his records are unbeatable. I’m not defending Akpabio but the glaring fact is that he means well for the Niger Delta. Despite the political interests in the NDDC, this man has not derailed from making sure that everything about the commission comes to limelight. I see Akpabio as a true Niger Deltan with the interest of the people at heart.
What is your final word on the NDDC brouhaha?
Detractors should allow the IMC to complete the task entrusted to them because we want to know what has been going on in our NDDC for these many years. I once again, thank President Muhammadu Buhari for this feat. I commend him and also encourage him to complete this forensic audit he has started for the betterment of the people of the Niger Delta.