A pan Niger Delta group, the Ijaw Interest Advocates, (IIA), also known Izanzan Intellectual Camp has described the activities of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has more corrupt than previous administrations under what they described as the the lordship of Niger Delta Minister, Senator Godswill Akpabio.
In a statement issued at the weekend by the group’s president, Amb. Arerebo Salaco Yerinmene, the group urged the Presidency to call Akpabio to order, to stop using the name of President Buhari to be given flimsy excuses over the delay in constituting the NDDC board.
According to the group, the recklessness and consistent use of Mr. President’s name by Akpabio to defend illegalities in NDDC were puting President Buhari’s name and image in a bad light before the good people of Niger Delta region.
IlA added: “It is the thinking of most people in the South South region that President Buhari has an hidden or evil agenda against the people of the region, but is not true. It is Akpabio that is manipulating with the name of Buhari against the people.
“A check on the achieves reveal over time that whenever cogent demands are made by Nigerians, most expecially by the people of the Niger Delta region as regards Niger Delta development, the minister, Godswill Akpabio will activate his media boys to delibrately put forward Mr. President name as a shield to give some very funny and flimsy excuses why the board of NDDC can not be constituted now.
The statement reads: “There are over a million matters at the President’s table on NDDC. It is worthy of note that ministers are appointed to assist, supervise and guide the President on decision making. But the reverse is the case of minister of Niger Delta Affairs under the watch and surpervison of Akpabio which was saddled with the responsibility to advice the president. He is busy confusing himself, the President and the entire country just to maintain an illegality for personal financial gains.
Amb. Salaco maintained: “Come to think of it, of all the ministries in Nigeria, the ministry of Niger Delta/NDDC is the most noisy in the country because of the deceiful character and low integrity of one man that could go to any extent to sustain an illegality for personal benefits for the detriment of the whole region. These offices should only be given to people with good character, people who are ready to serve the country and not for very low desperate people that do not wish this government and the country any good.
“President Buhari, should know that Akpabio is using his name as a cover up to intimidate people at every slightest opportunity over the delay of the constitution of NDDC substantive board. Those that brought him to politics can testify.
“The Presidency and the President’s family should remember to keep good legacies even after office.
“The so called Akpabio is deceitful, but he is using the name of Mr. President Buhari to protect illegality in the south south region to achieve his personal aims. Am sure these evils won’t be mentioned tomorrow when the history books will be opened and cited. The government flagrant disobedience of the laws guiding the establishment of an agency created to develop an empoverished region for this number of years.
“When Akpabio took charge, the manner the idea of the forensic audit was sold to the world and Mr. President, all right thinking leaders will fall for the bait. But today, it is very obvious. Akpabio idea from onset was not for any useful forensic auditing but to buy time to hold unto the financial jaws of the NDDC for personal gains hence Mr. President should be very careful.
“Apparently, NDDC under the lordship of Akpabio is 100 times more corrupt than anytime ever since the inception of the commission. Today, to continue the spree of looting, the delay tactics music has changed from the forensic audit to repositioning, and sensational headlines like politicians are jittering over that forensic report. Close to a trillion has passed through Akpabio but nothing on ground but the media tigers on the payroll of Akpabio are defending illegality and attacking from every angle. The entire useful period of the commission has been wasted for worthless forensic and story of repositioning. We dare you Akpabio to publish the forensic now, let the entire country see it and comment on it. Why keeping it as a secret document.
“It is glaring that Akpabio’s presidential ambition 2023 is the simple reason he is totally oppose and will do everything possible, including putting his future integrity on the slaughter bench to delay the NDDC substantive board constitution are very clear.
“Akpabio targets NDDC funds to execute his Presidential ambition come 2023, which he has already spending wastefully in the North. His is only relevant in Abuja, throwing NDDC money recklessly at the detriment of a whole region that’s crying for development.
“The avoidance of substantive board is to also cover up the atrocities and damages he has cause the commission within this short period, especially the amount of money he has looted through wasteful, unverifiable fake water and emergency projects that are non in existence. More than half of the monies that have come to NDDC during Akpabio’s reign has been wasted for the fake and non existing desilting of water weed project
“With the board in place there will be some levels of accountability which he won’t be able to deep his filthy fingers to loot the commission the way he has access now. Currently, he is the Managing Director (MD), Executive Director Finance and Admin (EDFA), Executive Director Projects (EDP) and ironically, all the key finance organs in NDDC are totally under Akpabio’s absolute control.