…Plans mass action against plot to frustrate exercise
…Urges Buhari not to allow any interest derail it
The National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari not to allow any interest to derail the on-going forensic audit of the financial activities in the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC.
The NANS leadership in a statement by its President, Danielson Bamidele Akpan, Saturday, in Abuja, urged President Buhari to remain firm on his decision that the Forensic Audit be concluded by Prof. Pondei led IMC in record time, for the benefit of the teeming population of Niger Delta region people.
Mr Akpan noted that “After about 20 years of the establishment of the NDDC, it is worrisome, that the vision of the founding fathers has remained blurred. The Commission became a prisoner of sorts under the PDP, to vested interests who had turned it to conduit pipe and to embezzle the common resources of the people of the region.”
He said, “The annual budget of NDDC, which runs into billions of naira, has not made a reasonable impact in the lives of the people of the region. It turns out that a few people have become billionaires by constantly calling the shots in the Commission. They divert and take up contracts without execution.
“It is our fervent belief that the forensic audit that captures 20 years of its existence in our democracy excludes no party whether the APC or PDP and any administration.
“It will expose contract padding and duplication, multiplication of contracts by selected folder companies, shady and underhand dealings of colluding civil servants, politicians and including those who resort to petitions when affected by the routine transfer, from the “juicy headquarters” among other anomalies.
“We are aware that some persons somewhere are dead-scared of the outcome of the NDDC Forensic Audit, and can do anything to make sure it does not succeed. These faceless enemies of the region must be stopped and the Forensic Audit with the support of the Governors must be concluded by Prof. Pondei led IMC in record time, for the benefit of the teeming population of Niger Delta region people.
“This bold move by the Minister for Niger Delta Affairs, Sen. Godswill Akpabio has become a consistent threat of business extinction to those who have, over the years, made brisk business portfolio from the contracts of NDDC.
“This will no doubt generate mud and dust from the perpetrators which the honourable minister and those tasked by Mr President must be prepared for.
“The outcome of the forensic audit will bring an end to the days of perpetual corruption in the commission and thereafter make the funds serve the people of the region.
“We are not amazed but alarmed at the latest twist and outburst from the immediate past Interim Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission Miss Joi Nunieh, we wonder why all these allegation and drama she is acting were not staged when she was in office as the Acting MD of the Commission.
“Her attack on the personality of Senator Godswill Akpabio is seen as designed in connivance with the distractors who she originally called detractors while she serves as acting MD.
“The same people who were hell-bent on pulling down the promoters of the forensic audit from the inception have become frightened by the commitment and resolve to push on the assignment to fruition as directed by Mr President. Miss Nunieh has suddenly become friends with them and now their main character in the script.
“The person of Senator Godswill Akpabio who from our assessment is upright and has contributed immensely to the development of democracy in Nigeria, as Governor of Akwa Ibom State, the developmental projects he executed and his nationalistic attributes are testimonial.”
The students’ union body stressed further that, “We are bewildered by the fear of Miss Nunieh which is evident in her constant attack on Senator Akpabio, the IMC and the attempt to frustrate the ongoing efforts of the forensic audit. This is a clear indication that she is afraid of the forensic audit for fear of exposing her new partners. Little wonder!
“There is no gainsaying that the minister and the IMC are major targets and they need the support of all Niger-Delta people at this time, to rally round support and clean the Augean stable of the NDDC cabal, that has taken into their custody the collective wealth and resources of the people of the region.
“We call on President Muhammadu Buhari to fortify the minister, the IMCand not to be hoodwinked into carrying out any action that attempts to undermine his good intentions to sanitize the NDDC and the Niger Delta region.
“As stakeholders in the Niger Delta, our frustration is that our students that have been stranded overseas just because of the commission’s failure to pay their school fees that were duly budgeted for in the commission budget since 2016 which was only rescued through the intervention of the present IMC under Prof. Kemebradikumo Pondei. The same Miss Nunieh has ignored the appeal of students and left them to suffer until Prof. Pondei came in.
“We are aware of the courageous efforts by Dr Cairo Ojuigbo, the Executive Director Project as the only member of the IMC who prioritized the payment and visitation of Nigerian Students under the Commission’s scholarship scheme.
“As a peace mechanism, he began the processes of mediation to assuage the feelings of abandonment of the best brains in the region sent on foreign scholarships.
“As an organization, we are aware he personally facilitated the payment of outstanding school fees that kept our students stranded in various countries and offered to attend some of the graduation ceremonies.”
Allegations of diversion of school fees are false and unfounded.
“We hereby call for an immediate investigation of this latest crocodile cry approach and scheming of Miss Nunieh and her attempt to rubbish the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration. Her intentions and motives are questionable just like her character.
“Any attempt by person or group of persons whose sharp practices in the commission is to frustrate the ongoing forensic audit will be met by mass action of Nigerian Students.”
A forensic audit is not negotiable, Nigerian students will stand for the development of the Niger Delta region.