IYC dismayed over Buhari’s delay in inaugurating NDDC Board
Posted by News Express | 8 January 2022 | 604 times
•President Muhammadu Buhari
The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Worldwide has expressed its disappointment with President Muhammadu Buhari for the continued delay to inaugurate a substantive Board for NDDC in accordance with the NDDC Establishment Act, and also the tardiness to make public the entirety of the forensic audit report for all Nigerians to see “without any political attachments.”
Addressing a press conference to herald the new year, President of IYC Worldwide, Peter Igbifa, restated that the Council will in the new year “engage and mount consistent pressures on the government to make the forensic audit report public without any political attachments, to inaugurate the NDDC Board and build confidence in the IOCs that have released so much funds.”
Igbifa noted with dismay that at the University of Uyo Hostel commissioning last week, President Buhari was shockingly silent on NDDC Board inauguration, an apparent delay tactics on the Board inauguration of the NDDC simply to try and elongate the ongoing illegality of administering the Commission with a sole administrator contraption in breach of the NDDC Establishment Act.
The group accused the President’s aides of plotting to try and elongate the illegal Sole Administratorship contraption to be able to use the Commission “to raise funds for 2023 elections.”
The IYC President also stated that some elements in the government are wrongly advising the President because “The Buhari that the common Nigerian knows would have inaugurated the NDDC board for the Niger Delta people who gave him the goodwill of regional peace like no other.”
The Council further stated that “intelligence reveals that the forensic audit report is being used for political negotiations as per 2023 under the very watch of Mr. Integrity wherein they will ask some indicted politicians to decide whether to go to jail or step down from contesting.”
Few days ago, on January 2, 2022, The President of the pan-Ijaw group, Ijaw National Congress (INC), Professor Benjamin Okaba, had also flayed President Muhammadu Buhari for the delay in making public the entirety of the NDDC forensic audit report, for all Nigerians to see and the unfulfilled promise, since 2019 to bring to justice those who the Federal Government have been accusing of allegedly fleecing the Commission.
According to Okaba, it is diversionary that after two years of President Buhari’s promise to punish alleged looters of NDDC, he is yet to take action, and reiterated that “what we want is the NDDC substantive board to be inaugurated” in compliance with the NDDC Establishment Act to ensure proper corporate governance, probity, checks and balances in administering the Commission, and thereby guarantee equitable representation of the nine constituent states.
Recall that in May 2021, youths from the Ijaw extraction in the Niger Delta region shut down the Corporate Headquarters of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, over the failure of the Federal Government to inaugurate a substantive board for the commission.
The over 600 youths, who are members of the Ijaw Youths Council, IYC, hoisted the council’s flag and sang solidarity songs in front of the new NDDC office on Eastern bypass. The protest halted all activities at the Headquarters and stalled human and vehicular movements in the area.
President Buhari had made a firm promise to inaugurate NDDC Board on completion and submission of the forensic audit report. When the leadership of the pan-Ijaw group, Ijaw National Congress (INC) visited President Buhari, on June 24, 2021, the President promised the nation that he will inaugurate the NDDC Board on receipt of the forensic audit report.
The President said: ‘‘Based on the mismanagement that had previously bedeviled the NDDC, a forensic audit was set up and the result is expected by the end of July, 2021. I want to assure you that as soon as the forensic audit report is submitted and accepted, the NDDC Board will be inaugurated.”
The report of the forensic audit has since September 2, 2021 been submitted to President Buhari by Senator Godswill Akpabio.
Stakeholders have since been calling on the President to heed the call of Niger Delta leaders, governors, youths, women, traditional rulers, civil society organisations, and other stakeholders to comply with the law setting up NDDC, fulfill his own promise of June 24, 2021, and inaugurate the board to manage the Commission, to ensure proper corporate governance, checks and balances, probity, and ensure equitable representation of the nine constituent states. (THISDAY)