NDDC board, SONPEDFollowing the delay in the inauguration of the NDDC substantive board, the Ijaw Interest Advocates (IIA) has again asked President Buhari to take charge, absolve himself from the Minister’s delay tactics and inaugurate the NDDC Governing Board.
 
Ambassador Salaco Yerinmene, President of IIA, also known as Izanzan Intellectual Camp, in a statement, told President Buhari to immediately inaugurate the NDDC substantive board to avert the looming crisis in the region. According to him, “for long we have observed that Akpabio’s tactics to perpetrate illegality in NDDC is for personal financial gains.”
 
The president of the group, Amb Salaco who said Akpabio has done more harm to NDDC than ever, accused Akpabio of toying with the commission, adding that President Buhari should distance himself from his activities if he is not selective in the fight against corruption in the country.
 
The Ijaw advocates added: “Akpabio is only a supervisory minister and that does not mean he alone owns the commission. Major stakeholders, well-meaning leaders and people of the Niger Delta are supposed to be part of the NDDC but today Akpabio has sidelined them.”
 
The group queried what the Minister is doing with the money that comes to NDDC because contractors are not paid as contractors have pulled out of site.
 
Recall that the Association of Contractors of the Niger Delta Development Commission (ACNDDC) on Thursday embarked on a protest march at the premises of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Abuja and decried the ongoing mismanagement of monthly funds accruing to the Commission and appealed to the federal government to pay outstanding debts it owes NDDC contractors.
 
Salaco regretted that “the commission has been largely engaged with internal matters and has been redundant since Akpabio took over two years ago and one will expect that so much savings would have been made but empty treasury is the reality.”
 
The group however warned that “some key stakeholders who have been involved selflessly and silently in making efforts for peace in the region are almost giving up gradually on their peaceful roles mainly because of lack of sincerity from the Presidency. Well-meaning Niger Delta persons, groups, traditional and government authorities have made inputs by advising the President to ignore Akpabio and do the right thing.”
 
Salaco regretted that “the multi-national companies are now suffering silently, they have been exposed to confront host communities on their own. Nigeria as a major oil producing nation cannot meet up their OPEC production quota just because of some selfish individuals who want to line up their pockets with funds meant to sustain peace and development of a sensitive region like the Niger Delta.”
 
Izanzan Intellectual Camp therefore advised that “President Buhari should not take the role of stakeholders, mostly the various ethnic nationality representatives who are silently maintaining peace in the Niger Delta region for granted. It is in the best interest of the government led by President Buhari to Ignore Akpabio and do the bidding of the people for peace, development and progress of the region especially now that the unrest deliberately fuelled by Akpabio is yet to explode.”
 
Recall that President Buhari promised the nation on the 24th day of June 2021, while receiving the Ijaw National Congress (INC) at the State House in Abuja that the NDDC Board would be inaugurated as soon as the forensic audit report is submitted and accepted.
 
The President said: ‘‘Based on the mismanagement that had previously bedeviled the NDDC, a forensic audit was set up and the result is expected by the end of July, 2021. I want to assure you that as soon as the forensic audit report is submitted and accepted, the NDDC Board will be inaugurated.”
  
However, the Forensic audit report has been submitted to President Muhammadu Buhari since September 2, 2021 prompting the Ijaw National Congress to caution that “any further delay in the inauguration of the NDDC Board is a clear betrayal of trust and display of state insensitivity on Ijaw nation and Niger Delta region.”
 

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