Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt
The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has denied allegations that it spent over N120 billion in funding elections in the South-south region of the country.
Reacting to reports that the commission spent N80 billion in funding the election of a governor in the region and another N40 billion in the last rerun legislative elections in Rivers State, the Head, Corporate Affairs of NDDC, Chijioke Amu-Nnadi, said the allegations were unsubstantiated and unverifiable.
In a statement issued in Port Harcourt yesterday, Amu-Nnadi said, “We wish to state categorically, and without reservations, that there is no iota of truth in the allegation by the group, The Niger Delta Revolutionary Crusaders (NDRC), ‘that N80 billion which was supposed to be used in developing the Niger Delta was used to prosecute the election of a former South-south governor, while N40 billion was also withdrawn from the NDDC coffers to prosecute the last re-run election in Rivers State.”
“The commission’s new management and governing board have only just assumed duties and have neither awarded projects yet nor undertaken any transactions of such magnitude. These facts are verifiable. It is, indeed, very important for stories, where such claims are made, to pass the litmus test of verity and fact. Otherwise, we avail ourselves to the malicious mischief and manipulation of propagandists and peddlers of rumours and lies.”
He stated that peace was a necessary condition for development and advised those seeking the development of the region not to make allegations that could throw the region into chaos.
“While the commission recognises the right of individuals and groups to advance for regional development, we wish to, once more, restate that development occurs best in an atmosphere of peace and security. We call on NDRC and other groups in the region to eschew violence as a means of engagement with government and government agencies and, instead, pursue peace for the overall development of the Niger Delta region,” he said.