Okwe Obi, Abuja
President Mohammadu Buhari has been urged to dissolve the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and to suspend the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, over alleged misappropriation of funds, pending the outcome of a forensic investigation.
The Executive Director of Transparency Advocacy for Development Initiative (TADI), Yomi David, in a statement on Wednesday, exonerated Senator Peter Nwaoboshi from an alleged contract scam in the NDDC, claiming that there was nothing traceable to show that he took part.
David said the reconstitution would entrench transparency and accountability so that the people of the Niger Delta will enjoy the benefits accrued to them.
‘It could be recalled that Senator Akpabio at a public investigation hearing by the National Assembly, Abuja, alleged that both arms of the National Assembly were given or awarded contracts and projects to develop the Niger Delta areas by the NDDC,’ he said.
‘The public hearing was aimed at uncovering alleged massive diversion of funds, malapropism, fraud and endemic corruption in the NDDC.
‘The Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs has been suffering immense neglect, and even the East-West road in the Niger Delta Region has been abandoned by the Ministry.
‘We, therefore, call on the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, to suspend the minister and the entire Interim Management Committee of NDDC for gross misconduct, mismanagement, fraud and corruption and to constitute a proper NDDC Board, as well as removing NDDC from the supervision of the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs.
‘This is in order to reposition the commission to carry out the mandate of meaningful development of the Niger Delta Region and ensure a lasting peace in the region.’