A group, Vanguard for Transparent Leadership and Democracy (VATLAD) yesterday took a swipe on governors of the South-South geo-political zone of the federation on their move to exercise control over the affairs of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), the intervention agency in the oil rich region.
The governors had at their Tuesday’s meeting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, blamed the poor performance of the NDDC on the alleged refusal of the agency to forge and foster synergy, consultation and cooperation with the state governments especially, on project location, development and execution.
This was as they resolved that the state governments would no longer allow the NDDC to execute any project (s) in any state of the region without consulting the respective state governments. National President of VATLAD, Odafe Igbini, who faulted the claim of the governors, however, said that it was “totally untrue” that lack of synergy was the problem of the agency, but accused the governors of seeking to expand their powers in order to muzzle down the management of NDDC.
“Our governors must be reminded that it was because of the continued failure of our state governors to utlilise our huge monthly oil derivation funds and other funds accruing to our states for the development of our people and region that we demanded and fought for the establishment of NDDC. We also insisted that the agency should operate independently and without direct or indirect interference or control by the state governors or their agents,” he said.
Igbini, who added that no state government has the constitutional power to stop any Federal Government agency from entering any state in Nigeria for the purpose of pursuing and ensuring the development of the state, however, alleged that the current move by the governors was an attempt to hijack the NDDC for the purpose of controlling its funds and diverting same to serve their political interests.