By Akpokona Omafuaire
THE recent forensic audit carried out by the Federal Government on the operations of the interventionist agency, Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has been described as a mere academic exercise and a scam.
This was stated weekend by HRM, King Obukohwo Monday Arthur Whiskey, Ovie of Idjerhe kingdom during his one year Coronation Anniversary celebration at Idjerhe, Delta State.
The Journalist turned King who spoke to journalists shortly after conferring chieftaincy titles on deserving sons and daughters of the Kingdom, insisted that the NDDC forensic audit was never carried out but was only used to buy time.
The monarch butressing his argument noted that the forensic auditors never came to Idjhere Kingdom where there were a lot of ongoing NDDC projects, to carry out any audit.
In his words, “I told the Presidency from this throne that the forensic audit they just did was a scam. There was nothing called forensic audit at all. They only did that to buy time.
“Idjhere is rich in oil and gas and there are many NDDC projects going on in this Kingdom, but they (NDDC auditors) never came here.
“There is no audit that does not have a life span. But this NDDC forensic audit did not have a life span and this is one of the reasons why I am faulting it,” the Idjhere monarch said.
The monarch, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately inaugurate the senate screened and approved governing board of the NDDC.
The tough talking King said, “You nominated people, you screened them and they were confirmed by the National Assembly, yet you refused to inaugurate them.
“This is the first time in the history of Nigeria that you screen and confirm people and they were never inaugurated. This is an insult to the Constitution of this country,” The Idjhere monarch added.
Udurhie I also wondered why the NDDC was removed from the presidency and handed to the Ministry of the Niger Delta Affairs while it’s sister agency, the North East Development Commission, was still under the presidency.
“The Niger Delta people should wake up because as we speak a sister agency, the North East Development Commission, that has the same capacity as the NDDC, is still under the presidency. Why did you remove the NDDC from the Presidency and gave it to an interested party from the Niger Delta.
“Are you aware that Akpabio was a Governor. He was once nominated Executive Director, Project, NDDC board, and he also nominated the last Managing Director of the NDDC,” he said.
The king said that with the refusal of the Federal Government to inaugurate the NDDC board, the ruling party under President Muhammadu Buhari has lost the opportunity to galvanize support from the south South come 2023.
READ ALSO: NDDC Forensic audit a sham – Delta monarch
“I told the Federal Government that the NDDC is one of the strongest government agencies in the South South region of Nigeria that the APC can use to galvanize support. But I think they have lost that opportunity.
“I think the Federal Government should go back to the drawing board, withdraw NDDC from the Ministry of the Niger Delta and urgently inaugurate the NDDC board that was already screened,” he added.
The Idjhere monarch also advocated for constitutional roles to the royal institution, stressing that this would resolved the high level of insecurity in the country.
“If there is going to be any constitutional amendment there must be a specific responsibility for the royal fathers that is recognized by the constitution. The Royal fathers are closer to the people. It’s not when it has happened that you call the king.
“I have been a very strong advocate of constitutional rule to Royal fathers. Before now it was the royal fathers that were in charged of communities and kingdoms. At that time insecurity was not anywhere.
“If there is any constitutional amendment that will be meaningful, there must be a constitutional duty for the Royal Institution in this country.