Tony John, Port Harcourt
The Niger Delta Rights Advocates (NDRA) has expressed worries about the National Assembly’s delay in probing the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) over alleged corrupt practices.
NDRA, a transparency and accountability group, noted in a statement on Thursday that the federal legislature has an oversight function over the Commission and should exercise such power.
NDRA spokesman Darlington Nwauju, who spoke in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, suggested that the National Assembly’s delay in investigating the Commission has been detrimental to the Niger Delta region.
Nwauju stated that NDRA’s demand is for a comprehensive probe of the activities of the agency from 2000 in order to clear the rot in the system.
‘Our organization is 101 per cent in support of the forensic audit. Our quarrel is that we should not use fraud to probe fraud. That is the point of departure between us and the NDDC IMC (Interim Management Committee) and we dare say that the probe of the NDDC must not end with 2000-2019.
‘The financial activities of the NDDC IMC since January till date must be subjected to forensic probe, because as we speak, we are daily getting credible reports of acts of corruption still taking place, especially with the procurement process in the Agency,’ NDRA insisted.
The group continued: ‘We are demanding for an all-round probe. The National Assembly has oversight function to perform over NDDC and they should exercise their power. We are worried about the delay in probing the commission by the National Assembly.’
NDRA, however, advised key players on the NDDC corruption allegation that employing various Niger Delta youth groups with discordant voices to frustrate the probe would throw the region into more under-development.
‘We do not deny the fact that all Niger Deltans are equal stakeholders in the Niger Delta project. However, we wish to underline the fact that it is the joy of the oppressor that the youths of our region speak with discordant tunes while the oppressor freely loots our common patrimony,’ the group observed.