The Ijaw Youth Council Worldwide, (IYC) has vehemently rejected the appointment of a Sole Administrator to manage the affairs of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) by President Muhammadu Buhari.
In a statement on Monday signed by its spokesman, Comrade Ebilade Erekefe, the IYC faulted the move by the Nigerian government, insisting that the commission is long overdue of substantive board for a smooth running of the interventionist agency.
Recall that President Buhari had sacked the Prof. Kemebradikumo Pondei-led Interim Management Committee (IMC) on Saturday and appointed Mr Effiong Okon Akwa as a Sole Administrator of the NDDC until the ongoing the ongoing forensic audit of the commission is complete.
The group stated that while the President has the power to sack any of his appointees at any time, it is provocating to see a sole administrator being appointed to manage the Commission rather than a substantive board.
The IYC also alleged that the appointment of Mr Akwa Effiong was preceded by the distribution of billions of Naira to lobby aides of the Buhari to get the the president’s approval.
The statement reads in part;
“The decision to appoint Mr Effiong Okon Akwa as the Interim Administrator of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) without the appointment of Executive Director Projects(EDP) and Executive Director of Finance and Administration (EDFA) in the commission is a deliberate act of encouraging the re-looting of billions of naira recovered by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) from contractors.
“The President appointing a sole administrator of the NDDC, he has confirmed again that he is not up-to-date on the happenings in the Niger Delta region and have not hearken to the calls by the South Stakeholders and Governors in Port Harcourt in Rivers State on the need for the appointment of a substantive management board for the NDDC which will accelerate developments in the region.
“Under the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, it has become a pattern that all appointments that is supposed to benefit the people of the Niger Delta region directly have been temporal, instead of substantive, whereas, in the north where the president comes from, that isn’t the situation.
“However, this attitude of undermining the Niger Delta region with contempt by the federal government is gradually signaling signs of obscurities. And therefore, if deliberate steps are not taking to renew the confidence as trust between the region and the federal government, the situation will spiral and get out of control and all the efforts that stakeholders has put in the stabilization of the region will be defeated”, the statement.
“We have credible intelligence which suggests that N3.5billion was spent around to key aids of President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that the appointment of the Executive Director of Finance and Administration, Mr Akwa Efiong Okon, a brother and kinsman to the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs scales through as the sole Administrator to oversee the NDDC and ignorantly endorsed by the President.”
“This is a president who talks about fighting corruption, but right in his nose, appointments are giving to the highest bidder without his knowledge.
“It is becoming a dangerous precedence for the president’s continues decisions of appointing interim and sole administrators to oversee sensitive institutions within the region just like the PAP rather than substantive.
“This particular appointment of sole administrator of the NDDC is annoying and it is sending provocative signals to agitating groups and the people of the region. The president should reverse this unpopular and unconstitutional decision and appoint a substantive board made up of credible individuals for the commission which is long overdue.”
The NDDC has long been embroiled with allegations of corrupt practices exhibited by different boards across the years of it’s existence.
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