Ben Dunno, Warri
A group, Niger Delta People’s Movement Against Corruption And Injustice, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari, to act swiftly and halt the corruption being perpetrated by the members of Interim Management Committee (IMC) of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in the interest of the region.
Raising a series of corrupt allegations against the Interim Management Committee (IMC) in an open letter to the President Buhari, the body noted that the appeal had become imperative in order to prevent further underground looting and unprecedented frauds presently going on in the commission.
In the letter signed by its Executive Director, Dr. Tamuno Torulagha, the body also faulted the setting up of Interim Management Committee and the submerging of NDDC under the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, describing both move as a gross violation of the act establishing the commission as an interventionist agency.
The letter read in part: “We the Niger-Delta people and concerned Nigerians are aghast at your continuous silence and tacit encouragement of the perpetuation of clear constitutional breaches being daily executed by your appointee and Hon. Minister of the Federal Ministry of Niger-Delta Affairs in the administration of NDDC”.
“This is an express contravention of the provisions in the act that establishes the commission as a regional development agency to complement the federal government efforts in the growth of the coastal areas after decades of neglect by successive governments.
“Mr. President, you have been known as an anti-corruption czar and a man with firm state of mind when confronting the monster called corruption. This was the reason we the Niger Delta people and indeed the entire country voted overwhelmingly to elect you please.
“However, there has been very disturbing developments that tend to run contrary to your known beliefs as it pertains to your fight against corruption and corrupt practices as being witnessed in the NDDC under the illegal Interim Management Committee”.
“The sacrifices our people made that gave birth to the establishment of the NDDC is being almost eroded by the illegal interim management committee which is in contravention with the provisions of the Niger-Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Establishment Act 2000”.
“Mr. President, we the Niger Delta people and concerned Nigerians reject vehemently your appointed Interim Management Committee while putting on hold the inauguration of the duly constituted management board you abinitio appointed having been screened and confirmed by the Senate in consultation with the House of Representatives as spelt out in the NDDC Act.
“Mr. President, corruption and mindless looting is now the order of the day in the NDDC since you delegated your responsibilities to those who have high appetite for the funds of the commission and fighting hard to control the commission by frustrating your inauguration of a substantive management board.
“We attach herein, a detailed payment chart containing details of various beneficiaries’ companies’ bank names/accounts and the sums received to buttress our corruption claim which we urge you to investigate.
“We also convey the reservations of the Niger Delta people and concerned Nigerians to you so as to better understand that the consequences of allowing the Interim Management Committee to continue in breach of the extant rules establishing the NDDC is to give them a blank cheque to loot.
“Mr. President, the framers of the Nigeria constitution did not envisage a situation whereby, strange contents will be imposed on the constitution neither do any section of the NDDC establishment act 2000 made a mention of this illegality being christened “Interim Management Committee” as it is being witnessed today in the NDDC.
“Mr. President, we the Niger-Delta people and concerned Nigerians, wish to be educated over some of the decisions you have been influenced to take by the Hon. Minister of Niger-Delta Affairs in the unending NDDC melee and further compelled to ask if you gave Akpabio directives to also merge the NDDC as a unit of the Federal Ministry of Niger-Delta Affairs?
“We have come to this position considering the fact that we wake up each day to see your approvals for Godswill Akpabio who has assumed duties as sole administrator of the NDDC in addition to being a minister in your cabinet”.
“Mr. President sir, leadership is about the people and not just about the thinking of government administrators hence you must listen to the Niger-Delta people and Nigerians in particular as it relates to perceived and real agitations”.
“The Niger-Delta people demand a duly constituted governing board for the NDDC in strict compliance with the act, as they insist, the Interim Management Committee is an illegal contraption unknown to law”.