By Okodili Ndidi, Abuja
Ahead the expiration of the tenure of the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), headed by Prof. Kemebradikumo Daniel Pondei, the South South Reawakening Group, has cautioned against extension of the tenure of the embattled Committee.
Convener of the group, Joseph Ambakederimo, in a statement, alleged that the members of the Committee are working to influence the extension of their stay in office, alleging that, “it has become public knowledge that humougeous amount of money is been ferried to Abuja on a daily basis to ostensibly bribe aides of the President for them to influence the extension of their stay in office”.
According to the statement, “another trick in the books being employed by the IMC is the late commencement of the field audit to surreptitiously put forward as the reason for the extension of their tenure when in the actual fact the substantive board is better positioned to oversee this forensic audit that was ordered by the President.
“As of now the IMC is deeply enmeshed in many scandals of which the two Chambers of the NASS has indicted the IMC and all of them are presently been investigated by the ICPC and EFCC. Going further the rethorical question to ask is will the report of the forensic audit capture all of the atrocious underhand dealings of the IMC even when the IMC is been indicted by many government institutions.
“Minister Godswill Akpabio and his IMC have done irreparable damage to the NDDC than any other board since the inception of the NDDC. The damage they have done would become irreversible if their lobby for extension of their tenure is granted. Therefore the President should be weary and be watchful of his aides and not to give in to any such pressure for approval for a tenure extension of this illegal contraption.”
It added that “the President needs to feel the anger of the people of the region and inaugurate the substantive board of the NDDC to give the establishment a breath of fresh air.
“For us in the South South Reawakening Group, we saw through this IMC scheme as a medium to syphon the resources of the Commission for personal gains. Right now we are asking the IMC including the Minister to explain how and where is the source of all of these monies they are ferring to Abuja.
“The President himself has expressed shock and dismay on the activities going on in the Commission when he spoke loud and clear that it is painful when people abuse trust bestowed on them. At that point we thought the President would have sacked the board and other the prosecution of the Minister and the IMC team, but to our utmost dismay nothing further was done and the IMC carried on with reckless impunity to continue to decapitate the finances of the commission.
“The handlers of the President and the President himself should know that the tension in the country and the region is at an all time high and to create another front of tension would be stretching its luck too far. We are prepared to resist another extension of tenure and this time the resistance could be at an unimaginable proportion.
“The wrong of instituting the IMC in the first place must be corrected by ways of the President walking a fine line to ensure the inauguration the substantive board that will usher in a breath of fresh air.”