From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) Worldwide has called on the Federal Government and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to immediately publish the report of the commission’s forensic audit.
The IYC in a statement signed by its President, Mr Timothy Igbifa which recalled commencement of the forensic audit in February 2020 noted that stakeholders would no longer allow the ongoing aberration and leadership confusion in NDDC with flagrant abuse of the Act establishing the commission to continue in the name of forensic audit.
According to him IYC and the Niger Delta people were expecting an end to the sole administration of NDDC before April 1st 2021 and called on President Muhammadu Buhari to nominate and inaugurate a board that would take over from Akwa on April 1st, 2021.
Igbifa noted that taking a cue from the pronouncement of the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio that April is the resumption date for the substantive board, IYC and other stakeholders in the region would not allow the current management structure in the commission to stretch beyond March 31st, 2021.
The statement read in part: “But it has been one year that the investigations started. It is time to publish the report of this investigation. Every audit has a lifespan and we think that one year is more than enough to complete the audit of NDDC and publish the report.
“We were all happy when this forensic audit started in February 2020 because we believed that it would sanitise the NDDC and give the commission a new beginning to actualize its mandate in the Niger Delta region.
“At a point, our leadership insisted on the dissolution of the IMC and the inauguration of a substantive board but instead of constituting a new board, a sole administration headed by Effiong Akwa was put in place to run the affairs of the commission with the singular action to conclude the audit and hand over to a substantive Board while expending the 2020 budget tenured to 31st March, 2021.
“March 31st is a few weeks ahead and we believe it is time the President readies a board for the commission knowing full well that the Board members would be subjected to an official inauguration before the handover date which is April 1st, 2021.
“We are calling on the President to nominate the board now and inaugurate its members before April. The IYC and other stakeholders in the region want to see a published forensic audit and a newly nominated board for the commission. We repeat that audit is not in perpetuity. It has a terminal date and we believe that it is about time it ended. We won’t allow any politician or group to ride a roughshod with the resources of the commission and mess with the NDDC Act for their selfish political interest forthwith. The time to end the aberration in NDDC is March 31, 2021”.