Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
Former All Progressives Congress (APC) Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Comrade Timi Frank, has expressed confidence that proposed forensic audit will uncover fake contractors in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
While commending the efforts of the current leadership to audit and document projects and contracts awarded by the commission, Frank in a statement he issued on Tuesday in Abuja, urged all true sons and daughters of the region to fully support such move.
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 former APC deputy spokesperson threatened to “mobilise all lovers of development in the region to support the exercise.
“I will also 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 carried out to the later.
“The ordinary people of this region cannot 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 named and shamed 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 noted in the statement.
The former APC chieftain also called on leaders and elders of the region, the civil society groups and individuals to rise up and buy into the efforts to sanitise “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, warning that all eyes will be on them.
“The Cairo Ojougboh committee must be fair, just and shun partisanship. Niger Delta 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, Godswill 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,” the statement read.