By Udora Orizu
Former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Timi Frank, has condemned the appointment of a Sole Administrator for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) by President Muhammadu Buhari, describing it as illegal.
Frank in a statement on Monday, insists that there is no such provision in the Act establishing the Commission, that a sole administrator should be appointed to manage its affairs.
He warned that appointing Sole Administeator which was against the Act establishing the Commission was “detrimental, unproductive and will end up in further destroying the already worsened situation in the NDDC.”
The political activist urged the governors of States in the region and elected representatives of the people in both Chambers of the National Assembly, as well as the people of the area to outrightly reject the abnormality.
He vowed to challenge the appointment of the Sole Administrator in a court of competent jurisdiction should the Federal Government refuse to rescind its decision.
Frank said following the assumption of Senator Godswill Akpabio as the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, there had been an alarming rise in acts of illegalities in the Commission some of which were exposed by Committees of the National Assembly that recently probed embarrassing corrupt practices in the agency.
He added that the already discovered cases of looting in the NDDC will get worse with the appointment of a Sole Administrator who will ultimately be used as tool for personal gain by the cabal that facilitated his appointment and thus create ample room for more fraud, impunity and illegalities in the intervention agency.
His words: “I want to use this medium to call upon the elders, governors and youths of the Niger Delta to reject this appointment of a stooge by Godswill Akpabio and his cohorts in the Presidency to further do their bidding in the continued impoverishment of our dear region and people. The reign of impunity, fraud and illegalities in the commission must not be allowed to continue.
“Why is Akpabio and his cohorts in the Presidency refusing to appoint a substantive Board for the NDDC, but instead, they have moved from an Interim Management Committee to a Sole Administrator that is not known by the Act establishing the NDDC?
“If Akpabio is honest, transparent and has no skeleton or ulterior notions, why appoint a Sole Administrator from Akwa Ibom state that is against the extant Act which clearly states that the Managing Director of the NDDC must come from either Delta or Bayelsa states?”
“No government since the return of democracy in Nigeria has ever stood against the development and prosperity of the people of the Niger Delta region like the regime of Muhammadu Buhari and this, we must resist.
“The refusal to ensure that the right thing is done, will lead to protests by the good people of the Niger Delta because despite the claims of conducting a forensic audit of the NDDC, no report has been issued till date.
“This is condemnable, despicable and an outright deviation from the purpose of establishing the NDDC which is to ensure an even development of the Niger Delta region and her people. What we have today is the Niger Delta Sharing and Impoverishment Commission.”
“The NDDC is not a platform for the settlement of cronies but a commission that will help accelerate the development and growth of the Niger Delta region.
“Akpabio is only taking advantage of the people of the Niger Delta region through the Commission knowing too well that there is no President in charge of this country. Therefore, the needful must be done if we, genuinely, want the development and growth of the Niger Delta.”