* Urges FG to swear in NDDC’s substantive board members
The 21st Century Youths of Niger Delta and Agitators with Conscience (21stCYNDAC) on Thursday urged the Federal Government to publish the report of the forensic audit into the activities of the Niger Delta
The leader of the group, Izon Ebi, in a statement also urged FG to name the companies that have allegedly been collecting contracts and monies from the commission without executing the contract.
He added that the FG should swear in the the substantive board of the commission so that all ethnic groups in the region will be duly represented.
Ebi said, “The 21st Century Youths of Niger Delta and Agitators with Conscience ( 21st CYNDAC) are miffed by the macabre dance steps of the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, in
putting schism and division among the people of the Niger Delta by his act of selective gratification to some youth groups created by him to further polarise the region on tribal lines.
“This is borne out of his giving audience to youth groups who are paid to pass a fake vote-of-confidence on his administration of the NDDC without doing the needful of swearing in the substantive board for the commission.
“It smacks of utter insensitivity to bring dubious youth groups to pass a vote of confidence on the office of the Minister without publishing the report on the forensic audit nor mentioning the names of those who have stolen our patrimony to the tune of 6 trillion naira. It’s appalling and insulting to the sensitivity of Niger Deltans to see this dubious parade now and then.
“The 21st-Century Youths of the Niger Delta is using this medium to urge the Federal government and the Distinguished Minister of Niger Delta Affairs to (1) Publish the report of the forensic audit(2) Name
the companies that have been collecting contracts and monies from the commission without execution. (3) Swear in the substantive board of the commission so that all ethnic groups in the region will be duly represented.
“The charade of courtesy calls on the Honourable Minister for endorsement is out of tune with the masses in the region who are living in abject poverty.
“If the Hon Minister wants a score of his popularity in the region; he should go to the different Houses of Assembly in the region and seek for a vote of confidence. The by-weekly charade in Abuja will no more be able to hoodwink the people of the region.”
It could be recalled that Akpabio had on September 2, 2021 presented the forensic audit report to President Muhammadu Buhari through the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami in Abuja.
Akpabio had said, “The report of the audit committee showed that there are over 13,000 abandoned projects in the Niger Delta and even before the submission of the report some contractors have returned to site on
their own and completed about 77 road projects.
“Although the exercise had a chequered history, I thank Mr. President and all those who supported and ensured its success.”
He decried that the region had remained backward since 1958 despite successive governments’ efforts through the creation of various interventionist programmes and projects.
Buhari, who was worried by continuous criticisms of the NDDC operations had on October 17, 2019 ordered a forensic audit of the
operations of the commission from 2001 to 2019.
He gave the direction while receiving governors of the states that make up NDDC, led by the then Governor of Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson.
The President had said that what was on the ground in the South-South region did not justify the huge resources that had been provided to the commission.
Buhari said, “I try to follow the Act setting up these institutions especially the NDDC. With the amount of money that the Federal Government has religiously allocated to the NDDC, we will like to see the results on the ground; those that are responsible for that have to
explain certain issues.
“The projects said to have been done must be verifiable. You just cannot say you spent so much billions and when the place is visited, one cannot see the structures that have been done. The consultants must also prove that they are competent. I will wait for the report of the audit before deciding on the next line of action regarding the
Dickson had called for the repositioning of the NDDC in order to achieve the objectives for which it was set up.
He said the governors were disappointed with NDDC’s operations.
He had alleged that they were characterised by a poor choice of projects, shoddy handling, uncompleted jobs, and lack of the required support for the efforts of the states and local government administration in the region covered by NDDC.