A group on the platform of South-south Emerging Leaders Forum (SELF) has expressed support for the presidential directive that a forensic audit be carried out at the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), adding that the recently inaugurated audit and document committee to verify projects and contracts awarded by the commission is a commendable step.
The group, however, threatened to exposed those it described as “enemies of the South-south region, who have siphoned monies meant for projects and development in the zone,” saying “all the former NDDC Managing Directors and fake contractors should be brought to book.”
The group commended Comrade Timi Frank for a recent media report credited to him on the need to rally support for the current leadership of NDDC under its acting Managing Director Dr Joi Nunieh, to achieve President Muhammadu Buhari’s objective of fixing the developmental decay in the region through the NDDC.
In a statement signed by its coordinator Barrister Preye Wilson, and made available to newsmen in Abuja on Thursday, the group, comprises of various professionals in their own right, said it “will move against all the political leaders in the region who are making efforts to frustrate the current leadership of the NDDC led by Dr Joi Nunieh, to achieve it mandate.”
While assuring that it will sensitize the youths, women and children on the need to expose corruption activities and corrupt elements that have held the NDDC hostage over the years, SELF threatened “to stage a protest against the National Assembly if the budget for the commission is not approved and released as soon as possible.”
It also called on the Senate President Ahmed Lawan to sound a note of warning to Senators from the zone not to use their offices in sabotaging the efforts of the current NDDC’s leadership as directed by President Buhari.
The group said: “We must commend President Muhammadu Buhari for the appointment of Dr Joi Nunieh, as the acting Managing Director of NDDC. We believe in her capacity to deliver and we strongly have the feeling that she will do justice to the assignment given to her. We only request that Mr. President should give the current leadership of NDDC all the necessary backing to sanitize the commission.
“We also call on the Niger Delta Minister Godswill Akpabio, to work hand in hand with Dr Joi Nunieh to achieve the mandate of the commission.
“On our party, it is high time we professionals and enlightened souls in the Niger Delta region stop sitting by the fence. We will henceforth speak out against malaise holding our region hostage and support those with good intention for the region.
“We have water in abundance but nothing to drink, we have resources to develop our region but we lack good roads, good hospitals while our qualified youths are without commensurable jobs.
“Agitations by our fore-fathers led to the establishment of the NDDC mainly to develop our region but some enemies of this region have turned the commission to a conduit pipe where money meant for the development of the region are being shared in the name of fake contracts.
“We have compiled the names of these individuals and groups (contractors), including some former MDs of the NDDC and we may make it public in due course if they fail to cooperate with the verification and audit committee led by Dr Cairo Ojougboh as Chairman and henceforth stay away from the commission,” the group stated.
It, however called on the committee to carry out the assignment without fair or favour, adding that the panel too will not be pardoned if it compromised.
The group also called on other civil society groups, human rights activists and vocal individuals to join “the cause of rescuing Niger Delta from the hands of it few enemies by stand up and speak up against the selfish interest of the few.”