By Williams Anuku, Abuja
The Host Communities of Nigeria (HOSCON) in the Niger Delta Region on Sunday advised President Muhammadu Buhari not to take the recent resolutions of the Senate on the corruption allegations rocking Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) with levity.
The group equally advised that stakeholders of the region would want President Buhari to swear-in the already screened Board just as the National Assembly has suggested.
HOSCON, in a statement issued by Okakuro Whiskey, its National Director of Media and Publicity, also noted that the myriad of problems and sleaze bedeviling the interventionist agency would only be solvable when the responsibility of overseeing its administration is redeployed from the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, back to the Presidency.
Commending the National Assembly for being bold and resolute in confronting the NDDC crisis, by instituting probes into its activities and facing up with the commission’s Interim Management Committee (IMC), HOSCON observed that its initial fears that the interventionist agency could not fair well under the supervision of Godswill Akpabio, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, had been affirmed.
It, however, pleaded with President Buhari to save the Commission and the dream to develop the Niger Delta region by giving life to the resolutions of the Senate, especially as they concern the return of the supervisory authority to the Presidency and the inauguration of the already screened management Board.
“The Leadership of the Host Communities of Nigeria (HOSCON) is pleased to note that in spite of the orchestrated plot to blackmail and intimidate the National Assembly by agent of the Federal Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs and the three (3) member illegal kangaroo Interim Management Board (IMC). The Leadership of the National Assembly has again proven to Nigerians that they are indeed independent and can be relied upon by the down-trodden Nigerian people.
“HOSCON is happy that in spite of the gangstarism and the unprecedented looting in the current NDDC IMC, the National Assembly has shown professionalism, boldness and courage to unravel the multi-billion naira fraud resulting in the Assembly directing IMC Management to refund 4.9Billion Naira back into the Federal Government coffers is a welcome development that vindicated HOSCON’s advocacy that NDDC under the supervision of Chief Godswill Akpabio is rotten and needed to be salvaged urgently.
“We are more pleased with the resolution requesting Mr. President to inaugurate the Board already screened and confirmed by the National Assembly as no statutory Board of the NDDC can be so shameless to carry out these unprecedented looting and show of ganstarism as exhibited by the current IMC.
“It is instructive to note that with the current allegation and counter allegations about the activities of the Federal Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs and the 3-member IMC, the resolution of the National Assembly urging the president to Inaugurate the NDDC Board and return the Agency back to the presidency is a surest solution to the problems that are currently bedeviling the Agency.
“We cannot continue to pretend that all is well, especially when HOSCON from the very beginning we did alert Nigerians that Chief Godswill Akpabio is an interested party and cannot be the proper person to supervise NDDC operations as his personal interest will be at variance with general interest of Niger Deltas”, the statement said.