By Dapo Akinrefon
The National Association of Niger Delta Women, NANDW, weekend, expressed worry over what it described as the strangulation of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, and acts of impunity by some politicians, saying it is capable of destabilising the region.
In a petition to the President by Mrs. Lovette Onos, Chief Preye Kokumor, Madam Nkwor Ubong and Mrs. Julie Achibong, the female group urged President Buhari to remove the NDDC from the ministry of Niger Delta Affairs and placed under the direct supervision of the presidency.
The statement reads: “We rejoiced to high heavens when it was announced that you have ordered forensic audit into the activities of the Niger Delta Development Commission considering the rot and corruption in the system.
“Immediately the announcement was made, many contractors who had made away with the Commission’s money without carrying out the contracts awarded to them ran to either commence their jobs or complete them.
“This excitement was cut short soon after many contractors discovered that it was not a big deal. Everything went back to square one unfortunately.
“As it is today, contractors, who were hitherto afraid of going to jail, have again abandoned their jobs unfortunately.
“As wives, mothers and market women, who live in the various states of the Niger Delta, we are pained by the recent development in the NDDC.
“We are the ones that are most affected by the recklessness and the near absence of development in the Niger Delta hence this outcry.
“Mr. President, we plead with you most passionately to hearken to our cries and supplications.
“It is unbelievable that the so-called forensic audit is still ongoing and we wonder why it is unending. The forensic audit is a carefully orchestrated plan to take total control of the NDDC to the detriment of the entire Niger Delta people.
“Mr. President, nothing good will come out of the NDDC unless a board comprising the representatives of the various states is properly constituted.
“Having collated the various complaints of the women from the oil-producing communities and riverine areas, we can authoritatively tell you that many villages in the creeks and along the shores are almost cut off from the rest of the states because of water hyacinth and sea weeds among others.
“The elders, stakeholders and recently, the youths of the Niger Delta have raised their voices and appealed to both the minister and Mr. President to constitute the NDDC Board.
“All these seems not to be persuasive enough, hence we have decided to lend our voices in support of the resolve of the majority of the Niger Delta people.
“Whenever there is hostilities in the creeks, we the market women, wives and mothers feel the brunt most.
“We don’t want violence, we want peace. May pride, arrogance and greed not create security problem in the Niger Delta.
“Having said this, we humbly implore you to as a matter of urgency sack the Sole Administrator and constitute a board comprising men and women of high moral standing with proven track records, and that power rests squarely on Mr. President.”