The National Coalition of Niger Delta Ex-Agitators (NCNDEA) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to, as a matter of urgency, sack the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, to pave the way for the immediate inauguration of the board of the intervention agency screened and confirmed by the Senate.
Speaking through its National Coordinator, Eshanekpe Israel, in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, after far reaching consultations with stakeholders drawn from ex-militant leaders across the region, the Coalition noted that the IMC, supervised by the Niger Delta Minister and former governor of Akwa Ibom State, Chief Godswill Akpabio, was the worst thing to happen to the NDDC since its creation.
It said the Interim Management Committee (IMC) being supervised by Akpabio was “an illegal management unknown to the NDDC Act, which was fixated on looting the Commission to coma.”
While commending the efforts of both chambers of the National Assembly for uncovering what it described as wanton corruption in the NDDC under the IMC, the Coalition called on President Buhari to inaugurate the substantive governing board, which was nominated by the President, screened and approved by the Senate, to restore probity in the Commission, since the IMC experiment had failed woefully without a single achievement to its credit.
It added that the IMC had proven beyond reasonable doubts that it was worse than all previous managements of the Commission, given what it described as shameful abuse of office emanating from the Commission lately.
The group noted that were it not for the painstaking efforts of the National Assembly at unraveling the rot, the IMC under Akpabio’s supervision would have killed the regional agency.
It called on the anti-graft agencies such as the EFCC and ICPC to take over from where the lawmakers stopped and rein in all who may be involved in the looting of the Commission under the IMC.
The group expressed disappointment at the transfer of the supervision of NDDC from the Presidency to the Niger Delta Ministry headed by Akpabio, stressing that his 8-year reign as governor of Akwa Ibom is still under the scrutiny of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
It said that it was unimaginable that Akpabio will be a minister in an administration that prides itself as having zero tolerance for corruption, noting that retaining Akpabio in the current government is injurious to the integrity of the Buhari administration.
The group called for the immediate sack, arrest and prosecution of Akpabio; the Acting Managing Director of the NDDC, Professor Kemebradekumo Pondei; the Executive Director Projects, Dr Cairo Ojougboh; and other members of the IMC for alleged corruption.
It added that the trio ridiculed the anti-graft stance of the FG by their actions and took decency in public service to the dogs.
The Ex-Militants described Akpabio as controversial, and unreliable, adding that “these are features he exuded in his public outburst before the House Committee recently accusing legislators of being major contractors in NDDC only to turn around and deny all he said after his blackmail.”