From Tony Osauzo, Benin
Paramount ruler of Great Idjerhe Kingdom of Delta State, Obukowho Monday Whiskey, Udurhie I has again called for urgent inauguration of the already screened and confirmed Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) board.
The monarch, while bemoaning the pitiable activities at the commission, contended that the step would resuscitate and rekindle hope of the people whose regional resources, he alleged, were criminally plundered by the leadership of Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.
In a statement in Benin, yesterday, the Idjerhe called on the Federal Government and the immediate past minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, to account for over N700 billion allocation to NDDC in the last three years.
“Having voluntarily resigned as minister, our beloved son, Akpabio should come out clean to explain to fellow Niger Deltans the whereabouts of the three years running budgetary allocations of the NDDC which inside sources claimed were more than N700 billion.
“The Federal Government and Akpabio that held the region perpetually captive and denied it of its developmental agenda because of an inglorious forensic audit that never brought out anything should now explain to our people of our collective regional wealth.
“The father of the nation, Mr. President, must have seen now that those he entrusted with the developmental agenda of the oil and gas-bearing communities of Nigeria had their own nefarious intentions to swindle and cause more havoc and deny the people their collective dreams of development.
“It is instructive to note, Mr. President, that three options are still available to the Federal Government. The first being the immediate inauguration of the screened and confirmed NDDC board under the chairmanship of Pius Odubu and Bernard Okumagba as the managing director. Secondly, immediate dissolution of the illegally constituted sole administrator that is alien to the NDDC Act 2000, and thirdly, every of the allocation to the NDDC from 2019 to 2022 except for those used for staff salaries and sundry expenses, every other monies of the over N700 billion be recovered from whoever were part of the Macabre dance of shame in the past four years.
“I have the privilege of sitting with you, Mr. President, one-on-one on December 14, 2018 and for over three hours, I recalled with nostalgia how deeply concerned you spoke about the underdevelopment in the Niger Delta. And I know you, as a man of due diligence, will not condone what had just happened to the regional interventionist agency, the NDDC, whose resources were plundered, looted and out rightly misappropriated by those you saddled with such responsibility,” the monarch said.
The traditional ruler said the inauguration of the already screened and confirmed board would rekindle hope and restore the Federal Government integrity before Nigerians and the international community.