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NDDC Probe: Group demands Akpabio, Pondei’s sack

 

A non-governmental organisation, under the aegis of Centre for Good Governance (CGG), has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to sack the embattled Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, and the Acting Managing Director of NDDC, Prof. Daniel Pondei.

In a recent statement signed by the Head of Research and Documentation, Douglas Azubuike, the group expressed profound concerns that, in spite of the mind-boggling allegations of fraud, the duo haven’t yet been relieved of their positions.

It noted with dismay that, despite an alleged act of corruption and financial malfeasance by the National Assembly against Akpabio and his cohorts at Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), President Buhari has since hesitated on terminating their appointments.

“We equally read with dismay a press statement by the President’s spokesman, Mallam Garba Shehu, that President Muhammadu Buhari should not be stampeded into taking decisions over the high level of corruption at the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), and that Nigerians should allow the processes to run their full courses.

“We found the statement distasteful, embarrassing and astonishingly disturbing. What more do we need to unravel.

“Nigerians have watched on television the monumental shame, disparagement and opprobrium the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs and the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the NDDC has brought upon the nation and the nauseating dramas that characterised the probe.

“Just last week, we read a report in one of the national newspapers, that Nigerian scholars abroad now resort to menial jobs to survive. Monies meant for their school fees and upkeep have been fraudulently diverted to private pockets of NDDC staff. In deed, President Muhammadu Buhari admitted in an interview he granted on Sallah day, of a ‘breach of trust’.

“The President, at his inauguration in 2015, said with nostalgia that he belongs to no one but belongs to everybody. What would you like to be remembered for, Mr President?

“President Muhammadu Buhari is known globally as an anti-corruption czar and a man with integrity who wouldn’t condone any act of financial malfeasance from anyone, let alone, a cabinet member in his government.

“Mr President, the NDDC scandals have revealed the wickedness of the Nigerian elites and sheer criminality.

“We have seen the plight and deprivation of the Niger Delta people. It is difficult to believe that this is what their elites are doing with the little opportunity given to them.

“It is more tragic that these are the films coming out of Nigeria at a time you have promised to change things from the way it was done in the past. This necessitated the ‘change mantra’ of your party and your government.

“Mr President, the buck stops at your table. Nigerians overwhelmingly voted for you. We urge you to write your name in gold as adumbrated by the African Union when you were honoured as the Anti-Corruption Czar in Africa.

“The right thing must be done to ameliorate the sufferings of the people of the region,” the statement read.

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