Ijaw Interest Advocate (IIA) also known as the Izanzan Intellectual Camp has said the minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, should stop using the name of President Muhammadu Buhari to give flimsy excuses over constituting the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Board.
According to a statement by the leader of the group, Arerebo Salaco Yerinmene, SNR, he dared the minister to publish the forensic audit report of the NDDC.
He said Akpabio’s consistent use of Mr President’s name to defend the illegality in NDDC was portraying President Buhari’s name and image in a terrible light before the good people of the Niger Delta region.
Yerinmene said that the thinking of most people from the south-south region is that President Buhari has a hidden and evil agenda against the people of the Niger Delta, which is not the truth.
Checks from the archives, he noted, have shown over time that whenever cogent demands are made by Nigerians, most especially people from the Niger Delta region to do the lawful process by following the Act establishing the NDDC, the minister, Godswill Akpabio, will activate his media boys to deliberately put forward Mr President’s name as a shield to give some very funny and flimsy excuses why the board of NDDC is delayed or cannot be constituted now.
He said: “there are over a million matters at the President’s table at any given time which of course NNDC is not one of the most pressing, because of workload on the table of the president, ministries and ministers are appointed to assist the President to supervise, present and guard the President on the right path.
“But the case of a minister of Niger Delta Affairs under the watch and supervision of Akpabio saddled with the responsibility to advise the president the opposite is the case.
“Come to think of it, of all the ministries in Nigeria, the ministry of Niger Delta/NDDC is the noisiest in the country because of characters that could go to any extent to sustain illegality for personal benefits to the detriment of the whole region.
“These offices should only be given to people with good character, people ready to serve the country.
“President Buhari should know that Akpabio that is using his name as a cover-up to intimidate people at every slightest opportunity over the delay of the constitution of NDDC substantive board won’t call his name for anything good after 2023.
“The Presidency and the President’s family should remember to keep good legacies even after office.
“That government flagrantly disobeyed the laws guarding the establishment of an agency created to develop an impoverished region for this number of years.”
Yerinmene further stated that when Akpabio took charge, the manner in which the idea of the forensic audit was sold to the world and Mr President, all right-thinking leaders will fall for the bait.
“But today is very obvious Akpabio’s idea from the onset was not for any useful forensic auditing but to buy time.
“The entire useful period of this administration has been wasted for worthless forensic and story of repositioning. We dare you Akpabio to publish the forensic now, let the entire country see it and comment on it. Why keep it as a secret document.
“To this very end, we are again appealing to President to shun the ill excuses of Akpabio to save the Niger Delta region from collapsing by constituting the substantive board is devoid of party affiliation and sentiments,” he added.