Ijaw Elders Kick Against Presidency’s Silence On NDDC’s Forensic Audit Report
Ijaw elders from the nine Niger Delta states have expressed anger over the continued silence of the Presidency on the forensic audit report of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), saying that the report should be made public.
The Ijaw elders under the aegis of the Ijaw National Congress (INC), noted that the secrecy surrounding the report was worrisome and demanded that President Muhammadu Buhari should make the report public and unmask those culpable in the mismanagement of the funds of the NDDC and abandonment of projects over the years.
President of INC, Prof. Benjamin Okaba, in a statement at the weekend, condemned the secrecy with which the report of the forensic audit was being handled.
He argued that the people of the Niger Delta region deserved to know the details relating to the report of the forensic audit on the interventionist agency.
Okaba insisted that there should be no cover-up or sacred cows in the implementation of the outcome of the forensic audit, noting that all the persons culpable, irrespective of party or political affiliations, should be brought to justice without fear or favour.
He urged the federal government to stop the practice of using the NDDC as a political patronage agency, which is controlled and managed from Abuja instead of the people of the Niger Delta region.
He said the commission must be accountable to the people it was created to serve and not those in positions of authority in Aso Rock.
He warned that any further delay in the inauguration of the NDDC board would be a clear betrayal of trust and display of the federal government’s insensitivity to the plight of the ljaw nation and Niger Delta region.
The INC boss also noted that since the submission of the report to the Presidency, President Buhari had not said anything about it and about the constitution of the substantive board of the NDDC.
After 16 months of postponement and rigmarole, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Chief Godswill Akpabio, has finally submitted the long overdue report of the forensic audit on the NDDC two weeks ago through the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami to President Muhammadu Buhari.
The complexities and superfluousity that trailed the said audit process in addition to the diversionary comments of Malami have left us more worried and suspicious of the true intentions of the exercise. Why has President Muhammadu Buhari till date not said anything about the report and the inauguration of the substantive board six years into the life of his administration, despite public concerns on the implications of managing the NDDC as a private estate for this long?’
It is a huge integrity test and task on Mr. President to immediately submit the forensic report undiluted to the corridors of public domain with the guarantee of free and easy access by anyone that cares in line with the Freedom of Information Act.
Justin Nwosu is the founder and publisher of Flavision. His core interest is in writing unbiased news about Nigeria in particular and Africa in general. He’s a strong adherent of investigative journalism, with a bent on exposing corruption, abuse of power and societal ills.