By Emma Amaize & Jimitota Onoyume

YOUTHS under the auspices of 21st Century Youths of Niger-Delta, 21st CYNDAC and Centre for Human Rights and Anti-Corruption Crusade, CHURAC, have counteracted the Niger-Delta Development Commission, NDDC, saying whatever can of worms forensic audit of the agency has reportedly opened was not enough to stop inauguration of the substantive governing board.

Chairman, Board of Trustees, CHURAC, Mr. Cleric Alaowei, who spoke to NDV and CYNDAC in a separate statement by the spokesman, Izon Ebi, urged the Federal Government to install the substantive board of the interventionist agency and discontinue putting up an act.

Akwa calls for more patience
Interim Administrator of NDDC, Effiong Akwa, recently, at a webinar, an online virtual meeting, stated: “The forensic audit carried out on NDDC uncovered a can of worms and stakeholders should be a little more patient for the worms to be treated before inauguration of the substantive board, which process has been affected as a result.”

Special Adviser, Youths and Sports to the Interim Administrator, NDDC, Udengs Eradiri, who represented his boss, had explained: “NDDC will continue to strive hard to live in accordance with its mandate. I am aware of the agitations, but I want to appeal to all those who are aggrieved to allow the Federal Government and President Muhammadu Buhari to do what he intends to do with the NDDC.

“I believe that by the time they finish with this process, the board will be concluded. Following the outcome of the forensic exercise, we can no longer rely on the existing Act. The Act is being reviewed to accommodate some of the recommendations of the report.
“The board will come when all the parameters have been put together so that going forward, the new NDDC can start on good footing. People should reduce the agitation on board and work with the current management of the NDDC.”

NDDC, Eradiri showboating — Cleric, CHURAC
But Cleric retorted: “Udengs Eradiri is only playing to the gallery or are we saying that because one fictitious forensic report has discovered can of worms in the NDDC Establishment Act which requires prompt amendment to the Act to cure the mischief, the agency should remain comatose for the so-called period of eternity?

“For how long will that process go on when the Commission is now a conduit pipe to some few privileged looters at the helm of affairs?

“We have said time without number that inaugurating the substantive board will not affect the forensic investigation which report is even ready a long time ago. For the sake of our suffering communities in the region, Udengs and his boss should remove their grips on our common patrimony.

“President Buhari should heed our cries. Let him constitute a fresh substantive board for the Commission in line with the extant laws. Niger- Delta people have been robbed of their rights to development by some political looters under his watch.”

Youths threaten to mobilise against APC
On his part, 21st CYNDAC spokesman, Ebi, said: “Niger-Delta has waited for more than two and half years since 2019 for inauguration of the screened and cleared governing board of NDDC, it is not only audible to the deaf and visible to the blind that the people have been taken for a ride over the sham they called forensic audit.

“We, therefore, use this opportunity as critical stakeholders to advise President Muhammadu Buhari and All Progressives Congress, APC, Presidential flag -bearer, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to do the needful by immediately inaugurating the substantive board of NDDC for Niger- Deltans to take the APC seriously concerning the forthcoming general election.

“Failure to heed this call will give us no other choice but to galvanize Niger-Deltans against the APC for gambling with the future and development of the Niger-Delta region.

“The 21st CYNDAC condemns in strong terms the call for the continued stay and extension of the tenure of Mr. Effiong Akwa as sole Interim Administrator of NDDC,” it said.


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