Senator Godswill Akpabio, the Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs, has reacted to what he called “a cornucopia of false, malicious, and libellous press interviews” granted by Ms. Gbene Joi Nuineh, the erstwhile Acting Managing Director of the Interim Management Committee, of the Niger Delta Development Commission, (NDDC) in some news and social media platforms and a “series of concerted vicious campaigns of calumny deviously orchestrated by her” against his person.

National Youth Leader, Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, Olorogun Vincent Oyibode, Wednesday, appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to inaugurate without any further delay the new board of Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, previously screened and confirmed by the Senate, to check the highhandedness of the Minister of Niger Delta, Senator Godswill Akpabio.

Oyibode, who addressed newsmen, said: “We wish to state here that handpicking the IMC and disregarding the already screened and confirmed board by the Senate attest to Senator Akpabio’s disrespect to President Buhari and the National Assembly.”

He said: “This has become necessary as Akpabio rode on the Commission like a demi-god, which became manifest in the form of autocracy, highhandedness and rapacity and the urgent need to reposition the NDDC, which, over the years, was an agency where greedy politicians gathered to share loots.”

According to him: “NDDC should be made an autonomous commission, not an agency under the supervision of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs. This is crucial to avoid the negative influence of ‘Abuja’ politics on the motive of regional development that informed the establishment of the NDDC. “

“We must not derail from the fact that the commission was set up to develop the oil-rich Niger Delta region, which produces the wealth that advances the rest part of the country.

“Niger Delta leaders should collaborate positively and harness the great opportunities offered by the NDDC for the overall development of the Niger Delta environment and its dwellers. The completion of the East-West road should be pursued vigorously by all Niger Delta leaders.

“All youth-leaders from the Niger Delta region, irrespective of ethnic affiliations, should shun sycophancy and unite to serve as watchdogs to the NDDC so that the impact of the commission will have positive bearings on the lands and people of the Delta.

“There should be an annual forensic audit of the NDDC to ascertain its positive impact on the Niger Delta region and her people,” he asserted.

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