A political activist and former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Comrade Timi Frank, has commended efforts by the current leadership of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to audit and document projects and contracts awarded by the commission.
Frank said in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja, that there is need for all true sons and daughters of the region to fully support such move because it is about the development of their long suffering region.
Reacting to the inauguration of a 50-member committee by the commission in the Niger Delta states to verify all claims by so called contractors, the outspoken activist said he “will mobilise all lovers of development in the region to support the exercise, name those who are causing Niger Deltans pain and depriving them of the expected development for so long.
“For the development of my region, we will no longer keep quite. People must do the right thing, if you know you don’t have any business with NDDC, please stay away and don’t turn the commission to a conduit pipe where money meant for the development of the region are being shared,” Frank said
While expressing support for the current leadership of the NDDC led by Dr Joi Nunieh, the Bayelsa born activist urged the Minister of the Niger Delta, Godswill Akpabio, to ensure that the directive for the forensic audit is carry out to the later.
“The ordinary people of this region can not continue to suffer, living without portable water to drink, lack of good roads, many qualified youths are without commensurable jobs while the region’s resources are being used to develop other regions. It is high time we name and shame those who are holding us down in the Niger Delta.
“I know the current Managing Director of NDDC means well. She has the capacity to do the right thing but I also urge her to carry out her assignment without fear or favour,” Timi Frank stated.
The former APC chieftain called on leaders and elders of the region, the civil society groups and individuals to rise up and buy into the efforts to sanitize “massive corruption that has held the commission down for so long and liberate the region from the shackles of underdevelopment.”
He also called on the committee led by Dr Cairo Ojougboh as Chairman, Dr Emmanuel Audu-Ohwavborua Deputy Chairman and Mrs Iyingi Numbere as Secretary not to compromise the assignment, adding that all eyes will be on them.
“The Cairo Ojougboh committee must be fair, just and shun partisanship. Niger Deltan leaders and youths will note this particular exercise as part of history, therefore the committee must do the right thing.
“I also call on the Niger Delta Minister, Goodswill Akpabio to use his uncommon skills to work hand in hand with the leadership of NDDC under its current Managing Director, Dr Joi Nunieh, to achieve the purpose for which the commission was established.
“I call on the serving Governors of the region and the National Assembly members, especially the Senators to drop their personal interest and ego, bearing in mind the long suffering of our people. Instead of waging unnecessary war that will further deprive the region more development, I urge them to cooperate with the leadership of the NDDC for the exercise to be a success,” Frank stated.