The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has said it is not true that that the socio-cultural group, Niger Delta Alliance for Economic Survival, NDAES is working with some contractors to frustrate the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari to reconstitute a board for the commission.
In a statement, signed by Ibitoye Abosede, Ph.D, Director, Corporate Affair, the commission noted that the spurious allegation, published by an online news medium, Sahara Reporters, claiming that the NDDC Acting Managing Director entered into “an agreement with some members of the Senate to continue to share the Commission’s funds,” is false.
“The group, led by one Mr. Tubonemi Chibisi, in one breath, accused the Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs, of complicity in the plan to sabotage the good intentions of the Federal Government. In another breath, it expressed “deep respect” for the Minister and management of the NDDC.
“Obviously, the group is a confused bunch of people driven by mischief. It is unfortunate that these misguided people, hiding under a non-descript group, have continued to create confusion by promoting rumour in the mass media”, the image maker of the commission said.
This attempt to feast on an imagined scandal, he said fits into the mold of previous efforts by certain individuals and groups to return the NDDC to the inglorious past of corruption and mismanagement.
“As the politics and campaigns for 2023 elections heat up, it is possible that these campaigns of calumny, blackmail and subterfuge will become even more urgent and strident.
“These characters, who are working against the interest of the people of the Niger Delta region, would be wishing for the Commission to be reduced to a cash cow. Unfortunately, for them, President Buhari will not allow them to put their hands in the till. Rather, he has directed the Attorney-General of the Federation to look into the recommendations of the forensic audit and prepare a White Paper to guide the government on how best to reposition the NDDC before a new board is inaugurated.
“We want to state unequivocally that the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Obong Umana Okon Umana, as the NDDC supervising Minister, has laid out a roadmap for regeneration of the Commission”, the NDDC said.
The commission explained that recently, the Minister told NDDC management and staff when he visited the Commission, that pending issues such as the absence of a board have been addressed. He stated: “Mr. President has transmitted the names of members of the board to the Senate and I do know that on resumption the Senate would act on it.”
“We urge all our stakeholders to disregard the antics of those peddling falsehood in the hope of scuttling the repositioning and transformation taking place in NDDC”, the agency said.