The Traditional Rulers of Oil Producing Communities in Nigeria (TROMPCON) have called on the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, GODSWILL OBOT AKPABIO and the Interim Management Committe (IMC) of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDCC) to expedite action on the audit of the commission.
The group made the call in a communique titled, “Pull Him Down Syndrome, Vested Interests and NDDC” and signed by its Secretary, Oba Obafemi Ogbaro, Odoka of Ogbaro kingdom on Monday and made available to media in Lagos.
According to the group, it is necessary to expedite action to track, trace and bring to justice all those who have misappropriated commission resources.
TROMPCON said was when the audit had been done, only then could the spate of sponsored attacks stop and therefore the commission could concentrate fully in delivering on its mandate without constant distractions.
The group said: “Ordinarily, we would not respond to sponsored attacks of fabricated allegations at the persons of the Hon. Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs GODSWILL OBOT AKPABIO and the Interim Management Committee of the NDDC, seeing that we are not their spokespersons.
“However, being stakeholders and custodians of the heritage of the people of the region, we are compelled to put a stop to the selfish and targeted attempt by a few to frustrate genuine attempts to refocus the NDDC towards delivering on it’s mandate to our people.
“Following the legitimate complaints of waste, graft, lack of focus and the inability of successive boards of the NDDC to deliver on it’s mandate to the people of the region, a situation was created where the commission served as a conduit to enrich politicians, fund grandiose projects irrelevant to the purpose of the commission.
“Hence, the creation of a powerful though small clique of staff members who having frustrated legitimate contractors and cornered for themselves and their fronts the contracts award system of the commission and have become a wealthy and entitled class.
“They owe all the choice hotels and properties in the region, the board of the commission was dissolved and an Interim Management Committee was constituted by the President and Commander in Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces to asides running the affairs of the commission, investigate and audit the books of the commission for irregularities and breach of the rules.
It said naturally one would expect some opposition, based on loss of privileges of easy money and fear of detection and prosecution.
“However, this brazen and persistent harassment of an IMC obviously fulfilling its mandate is a pointer to a dangerous reality of a clique that has lost it’s sense of rationality with a bloated sense of entitlement.
It said there had been an allegation of non compliance to the rule of the NDDC act by the President in the setting up of the IMC, describing it as cartel sponsory a supposed “Nigeria Delta Youth Coalition Council on Transparency and Accountability”.
TROMPCON said the group’s allegations also included contract racketeering by the Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs and the Interim Management Committee; applauding and celebrating the treasonous leaking of official documents by aggrieved staff of the commission, while calling for the dissolution of the IMC.
“As elders we are cautious in publicly interfering in official government workings and we do not hold brief for the Minister nor the IMC of the NDDC but we are compelled in the interest of our region and her people to endorse and commend the IMC for it’s wonderful strides in it’s short period of existence.
“This is especially in its effort to expedite action on moving the commission to it’s permanent site, bringing sanity to the procurement process, transparency in processing contractor claims and it’s support to the state governments and local communities in the fight against Covid-19,” it added.
In a similar vein, Niger Delta Youth Movement (NDYM) said the development meant that the IMC had proven to understand the mandate of the commission.
The group said in a communique signed by its President, Mr Joe Jackson that even in the crisis of the global pandemic Covid-19, the commission proved itself to be an integral part of the region, with substantial support to the people through the state governments and direct to local communities.
It said, “In furtherance of its mandate to audit the shady past of the commission and capability to do a thorough job, nerves are frayed, emergency billionaires who have acquired all the best hotels and properties in town without corresponding means of capital.
“Those who have always cornered the commonwealth of the region and their minions are desperate to sow disaffection and muddy the water with the hope to escape justice.
“We encourage the IMC to focus on its mandate and avoid all distractions and advise them to expedite action on the audit of the commission with a view to recovering all ill gotten wealth, for as long as these people have access to the billions they have stashed, they will always find hacks to do their bidding while playing the victim.”