A low intensity war is currently being fought in the Niger Delta area, Nigeria’s main oil and gas region between politically-sponsored ad hoc groups, and public functionaries over the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
NDDC is an interventionist agency that came into existence in 2000 to address the infrastructural deficit of the oil and gas region. Rather than face just that, the Commission degenerated to a festering habitat of corruption for politicians.
The supposed forensic audit into its affairs uncovered cans of worms that should railroad all involved in the plundering of the agency into prison if the Buhari administration demonstrates the political will to act on the audit report.
Rather than demand accountability from the Commission and why it has failed the oil-bearing communities, interest groups are rather fighting their perceived sponsors opponents.
This is what is manifesting as a group that calls itself, Movement for Sustainable Development of the Niger Delta is feebly warning members of the National Assembly not to become tools in the hands of politicians working against the vastly polluted oil region.
For them, the dramatic sequence of harassment, incessant issuance of summons and probes targeted towards arm twisting the interventionist agencies to part away with meager funds meant for the development and empowerment of the people of the region have become worrisome and provocative.
In a statement by its National Coordinator, Ayibatekena Olodin, the group warns that instead of searching for cash cows such as the NDDC and the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), the federal legislators should join hands with others to review the failed security architecture of Nigeria and the economic woes, nationwide black out, rising inflation and killings rather than disturbing the Niger Delta intervention agencies for quick monies.
”While we hail and await the decision of President Muhammadu Bihari in the area of improved funding to the NDDC, we urged the duo of Senator Peter Nwaoboshi (Delta North) and Hon. Tunji Ojo of both the Senate and Federal House of Representatives Committees of the National Assembly to stop the unprovoked use of Legislative power to intimidate and arm twist the NDDC.
“Despite the fact that we are not out to engage in murky Revelations about the activities of the National Assembly Committees, we are aware that the dramatic sequence of harassment, incessants issuance of summons and probes are targeted towards arm twisting the interventionist agencies to part away with meagre funds meant for the development and empowerment of the people of the region.
“We call on Senator Nwaoboshi and Ojo at the National Assembly to desist from their alleged blackmail and childish threats of commencing unending investigations into the activities of NDDC and PAP. The people of the Niger Delta have seen beyond their noses and discover that the members of the National Assembly are grossly incompetent and negligent at failing the people of the Niger Delta region and Nigerians at large.”
The group notes that a check showed that despite refusal of the Federal Government to release trillion of funds owed NDDC, the Akwa Effiog management have managed fairly in paying reccurent expenditures and achievable offset payments of projects owed past and present contractors of the commission.
“Unlike the few months past, Akwa have domes arguably well in quietly working and improving the lives of the people of the region through empowerment and redeemable payment for jobs done. It is now left for the President Buhari led leadership to assist by releasing the needed fund to instigated improved economic activities in the region.
“Unlike his predecessors, Akwa has been paying for some of the executed projects. He has been effectively and efficiently piloting the affairs of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). You don’t need to know him personally for him to pay you. As long as you have done your job, and your file has been processed by the NDDC officials, he approves your payment and everyone in the Niger Delta region knows this, contractors are unanimously pleased with his performance and are united behind him.
“Should the members of the National Assembly continue in their alleged blackmail of the Amnesty Programme, we will not hesitate to use the legal system against them, and mobilize the people across the Niger Delta region to protest against their blackmail and intimidations, and where possible, make public all their associates records of unexecuted contracts allocated to them in the past and not executed.”
“We are aware that these politicians are without shame or the fear of God and would want to engage in unending extortion of monies allocated to the Commission for the development of the region’’, the group said.