From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
A Niger Delta peace advocacy group, the Movement for Sustainable Development of the Niger Delta (MSDND) has cautioned the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions over the claims of unpaid contractual debts for executed jobs before the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
The group faulted the Senator Ayo Akinyelure led Senate Committee over its probe and the threat of bench warrant of arrest against the Sole Administrator of the NDDC, Mr. Effiong Akwa for snubbing the Senate Committee’s invitation.
MSDND, in a statement issued and signed by its national coordinator, Chief Ayibatekena Olodin stated that the claims and threat of arrest of Akwa is ridiculous and a fault finding expedition targeted at stampeding the commission into paying their unqualified people for unexecuted projects in the region.
According to the group, NDDC has not received the multibillion naira funds from oil sales and ecological funds owed to the commission but have only been receiving funds to cover its recurrent expenditures.
MSDND stated that instead of NASS members to use their influence in prevailing on the Federal Government and multinational oil and gas companies to release trillions of naira owed to the NDDC so as to settle the numerous unpaid contractual debts, they are working to distract the Akwa led management team from paying recurrent expenditures and to offset smaller payments to contractors.
The group regretted that members of the National Assembly Committees have allowed themselves to become tools in the hands of politicians that are working against the interest of the Niger Delta region and have become willing actors in the dramatic sequence of harassment, incessant issuance of summons and probes targeted towards arm twisting the interventionist agencies to take steps inimical to the interest of the Niger Delta region.
MSDND served notice of legal action and mobilization of the people of the Niger Delta against the Senate Committee if it did not desist from the intimidation against the NDDC management team.