The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately remove the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, to pave way for the inauguration of the Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
The Council also called on the president to publish the names of persons and companies indicted by the commission’s forensic audit.
In a press statement issued by its president, Peter Igbifa in Port Harcourt Friday, the group urged President Buhari not to allow the forensic audit report to end up as an empty threat.
It stated that there was the need to set up a panel of inquiry to ascertain what transpired in the NDDC within the period of the audit, especially how funds were used.
“We want their names to be made public. We are challenging the Presidency not to allow this to slide and end up as one of the empty threats consumed by lack of political will,” Igbifa stated.
He accused the minister of scheming to retain the control of the Board by keeping the commission running under a sole administrator.
He appealed to the Presidency to approach with caution, some of the recommendations said to be contained in the forensic audit report submitted by Akpabio.
He said, “We were told that Akpabio ensured that selfish recommendations were smuggled into the report. If these recommendations are implemented, they will deny states adequate representation on the Board and give the minister more time to continue running the NDDC with a sole administrator.
“For instance, we learnt that there are recommendations for a part-time Board and reduction in the number of members. These suggestions are not feasible because they are designed to extend the sole administrative regime in the NDDC. They require amendment of the act establishing the NDDC and this will take at least six months to achieve.
“How can you think of reducing the Board members? Which state are you going to exclude? These are obviously selfish recommendations and we are calling on the Presidency to be careful to avoid promoting one man’s selfish tendencies ahead of the collective interest and development of the Niger Delta.