A coalition of Ijaw groups, on Sunday, attributed the alleged looting of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, to the failure to put in place the Presidential Monitoring Committee, PMC, in accordance with the NDDC Act.
The coalition also insisted that the forensic audit of the NDDC should be commissioned and supervised directly by the office of the Auditor-General of the Federation.
This was contained in a statement signed by Secretary, Ijaw Elders Forum, IEF, Lagos, Efiye Bribena; Moderator, Ijaw Nation Forum, INF, Mr. Ben Okoro; former Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Management Board, NCDMB, Embasara Foundation, Chief Amagbe Kentebe; President, Ijaw Professionals Association, IPA, Lagos, Mr. Elaye Otrofanowei; Executive Director and Niger Delta Women International Resource, Environment & Development Centre, NDWIRED CENTRE, Ms Ibiba Don-Pedro
The groups also warned of an emerging design to cripple and destroy the interventionist agencies in the region set up to drive human capital as well as infrastructure development.
The statement read: “The looting of the NDDC is caused mainly by the failure to put in place the Presidential Monitoring Committee, PMC, in accordance with the NDDC Act.
“Therefore, a necessary step is to constitute the PMC, which should be funded independent of the commission and to report periodically and mandatorily to the President.
“The forensic audit of the NDDC should be commissioned and supervised directly by the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation.
“The Federal Government should ensure that a thorough investigation is carried out on the involvement of all parties alleged to be involved in misconduct, corruption, misappropriation and stealing of funds in the NDDC, especially members of the executive and legislature. Everyone found culpable should be brought to book.
“Any Niger Delta person and their collaborators involved in the NDDC sleaze should, apart from being made to serve the maximum penalty, be bill-boarded in their communities and kingdoms.
“The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, should resign as a minister or be removed by Mr. President if he refuses to resign honourably. As an interested party, he should not be superintending over the forensic audit of the NDDC.
“The IMC or any interim body should be dissolved and a Governing Board promptly constituted in line with the NDDC Act under which the Chairman is now to be produced from Delta State (not Edo State as done with the last screened Board nominees) and the substantive Managing Director from Bayelsa State (not Delta as in the last screened list of nominees).
“The new Governing Board, upon assumption of office, should immediately conduct a review and update of the Niger Delta Regional Development Master Plan or undertake the development of a fresh stakeholder-participatory one.
“The Niger Delta governors must wake up to their statutory role as members of the Niger Delta Development Advisory Committee created by the NDDC Act.
“The calls for the scrapping of NDDC should be ignored as it would amount to punishing the masses of the Niger Delta people, who are not responsible for the rot and looting of the agency.
“To set an example, all implicated members of the National Assembly should be tried on an accelerated basis and those found guilty should be made to serve their penalties and promptly vacate their seats in our national parliament.
“The values and qualities of the people appointed into leadership are critical. The top 10 desirable qualities for leadership in Ijawland and the Code of Ethics, Leadership and Governance, CELG, developed by the Ijaw People are available for consideration in selecting leaders from the Niger Delta.”