From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) has pleaded with Niger Delta youths to resist tricks by some politicians to derail the peace and development of the region.
The group hinged the prevailing peaceful atmosphere and developmental projects in the Niger Delta on the forensic audit of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) ordered by the Federal Government saying several contractors that hitherto abandoned their projects after payment have returned to execute them.
It also appealed to governments at all levels in the region, traditional and religious leaders, to consolidate on the feat already achieved by the Federal Government in ensuring that the region attained its rightful place in the national developmental equation.
In a communiqué by Solomon Adodo, the NYCN claimed that pockets of criticism against the NDDC management and the forensic audit were sponsored by few politicians who had converted the commission into their cash cow at the detriment of the masses.
The communiqué issued after a three-week tour and progress assessment of state of affairs in the Niger Delta region, noted that the appeal had become necessary following series of outcry that the region was restive and volatile.
“While politicians are in Abuja crying foul and others within their ranks have seized the media to blackmail President Muhammadu Buhari and Minister of Niger-Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, ordinary citizens of the Niger-Delta, who are at least, over 99 per cent of the population, welcome the forensic audit of the NDDC by the President.
“Due to the forensic audit, contractors who had hitherto abandoned their jobs after collecting huge sums of money from NDDC have now returned to their project sites to continue the works for which they were paid.
Thus, every naira the Federal Government spent can now be accounted for with matching projects that have directly felt impact on the masses. We have seen first hand the massive road and bridge constructions simultaneously ongoing in the region amongst other intervention programs.The relocation of the NDDC from the Office of the Secretary of the Government of the Federation to the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs is responsible for the better attention the Commission is receiving, which has translated to better development.Any form of blackmail against the President Buhari administration must be met with stiff resistance on account of the several sincere developmental strides of the government in the region.”