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Monarch Urges Buhari to Inaugurate NDDC Board

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President Muhammadu Buhari has again been urged to inaugurate the substantive Board of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) as the concept of interim/sole administratorship currently applied in running the Commission contravenes the law, NDDC Act, which established the Commission.

 

The traditional ruler of Umiaghwa-Abraka kingdom in Delta State, His Royal Majesty, Lucky Ochuko Ararile, stated this in his palace at Oria-Abraka during his 10th year coronation anniversary.

 

According to the Monarch, the inauguration of the NDDC Board is long overdue as different interest groups have relentlessly demanded for the inauguration of a board in accordance with the law, and are therefore justifiably enraged as they watch few individuals mismanaging the resources of the region unchallenged.

 

 

 

Ovie Ararile, who is a retired Air Vice-Marshall (AVM), stated that the delay in inaugurating the NDDC board has remained a burning issue in the minds of the Niger Delta people, which might create bad blood if not properly handled.

 

The monarch lamented a situation, whereby an individual is allowed to unilaterally implement a N400 billion annual budget of NDDC without proper supervision or monitoring by the board, describing it as a dangerous trend.

 

Ovie Ararile’s position aligns with the unending calls, demands and peaceful agitations across the length and breadth of the Niger Delta region by youths, men and women, political and traditional leaders and civil society organisations that the illegality of administering the Commission through the Sole Administrator contraption should stop and the Board should be inaugurated in line with the NDDC Act to promote and sustain peace, equity and fairness, transparency and accountability, good governance and rapid development and transformation of the region, and douse the tension of militancy as well as curtail the menace of insecurity in the region.

 

The recognizable and authentic Niger Delta ethnic nationality groups, such as Conference of Presidents-General of Niger Delta Ethnic Nationalities (CPGNDEN), Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), the Ijaw National Congress (INC), the Ikwerre People’s Congress (IPC) Worldwide, Urhobo Progressive Union (UPU), Isoko Development Union (IDU), the Movement for the Survival of Izon Ethnic Nationality in the Niger Delta (MOSIEND), Itsekiri Leaders of Thought (ILOT), and Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) amongst others have spoken clearly on this matter that the ongoing illegality of administering NDDC with a sole administratorship, in contravention of the NDDC Act is retarding the development of the Niger Delta.

The non-inauguration of the board negates a promise by President Buhari to inaugurate the board after the forensic audit. President Buhari promised the nation on June 24 2021, while receiving the leadership of Ijaw National Congress (INC) at the State House in Abuja that the NDDC Board would be inaugurated as soon as the forensic audit report is submitted and accepted. The President had said: ‘‘Based on the mismanagement that had previously bedeviled the NDDC, a forensic audit was set up and the result is expected by the end of July, 2021. I want to assure you that as soon as the forensic audit report is submitted and accepted, the NDDC Board will be inaugurated.” The report of the forensic audit of NDDC has since been submitted by Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, to President Buhari since September 2, 2021, but eight months after submission of the forensic audit report, the board is yet to be inaugurated.

Culled from THISDAY

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