The media aide to Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari on Social and Digital Media, Lauretta Onochie, says the Niger Delta has been the problem of Niger Delta.
She told the extremely shortchanged rich-in-oil people that a non-Niger Deltan Fulani that is President of the country, Buhari, has the capacity to sort out the problem and that he is already doing so.
In a short submission backed with loaded self-expressing cartoon and posted on her officially recognised Facebook handle on Saturday, Onochie tried to explain the nature of the problem that has bedeviled the sub-region which is the usual claims of “North is the problem” whereas, the real enemies of the region have been sons and daughters of the region who mismanaged its resources and diverted same for personal purposes.
Thanking the cartoonists she credited as Bulama’s Cartoons for a good work of art, the presidential media aide spoke straight.
“Niger Delta has been the problem of the Niger Delta. But Mr. President is sorting out the NDDC. The Niger Delta will be better than he met it,” Onochie said.
It will be recalled that President Buhari ordered a Forensic Audit of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), when it became clear to him that over N300 billion pumped into it, as an interventionist agency to make the good people of Niger Delta live like a people truly blessed to be host communities of the nation’s economic cash-cow, had yielded no impactful result.
In order to frustrate the audit, the traditional, online and social media have in the last four months been dominated by arguably sponsored reports misrepresenting the real situation of things in the NDDC especially to discredit the new Interim Management Committee (IMC) set up by the president to, under the supervision of Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs Godswill Akpabio, oversee the clean up process in the commission.
Those efforts, which in a statement by Dr. Cairo Ojougboh were later revealed to be part of what N50 billion paid to NGOs in one day was meant to achieve, later met brick walls when some other media reports of the real situation started coming out and countering the attempt to rubbish the IMC in the court of the public.
Publications began to fly around about how some members of the National Assembly, alleged to have been part of corruption and damages the NDDC had suffered in the past periods under the Forensic Audit target, were scheming to be the ones to probe the agency that the audit was already ordered to probe.
This is not unconnected with the current revelations at the National Assembly.
It will be recalled also that leader of Niger Delta, Chief Edwin Clark had recently written the leadership of National Assembly warning them against allowing their members alleged to have corruptly enriched themselves with fortunes of innocent Niger Delta people to be the same people to probe the NDDC.
On Thursday July 16, 2020 the acting Managing Director of the NDDC, Professor Pondei walked out on the House of Representatives lawmakers seated to take his account of situation in the agency.
His reason for walking out was that the chairman of the investigative panel to probe corruption of his agency was one of the lawmakers who hijacked the projects of the NDDC.
There has also been the angle of Gbene Joi Nunieh, former Acting MD of the NDDC whose allegations against the minister, Akpabio, had gone viral until it was becoming clearer lately that there was more to it.
Nunieh’s secret started coming out from the point Akpabio began appearing, responding and debunking her claims about presence of security agents in her residence.
She had told the media that Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Joseph Makun, told her that he knew nothing about the presence of the security agents but the CP said that she lied.