Former militant leaders in the Niger Delta have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately inaugurate the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), as screened and confirmed by the National Assembly.
The former warlords, under the auspices of the 21st Century Youths of Niger Delta and Agitators with Conscience (21st CYNDAC) made the call in a statement on Sunday, September 5, 2021.
In the statement, signed by its Coordinator, Comrade Izon Ebi, the ex-agitators urged the President to do the needful now that the forensic audit report of the commission has been concluded and submitted to him.
The group noted that any attempt to further delay the constitution of the board even after the forensic audit, which was used as a plausible excuse, will be seen as a deliberate action to undermine the region.
The ex-agitators challenged President Buhari to match his words with action by creating an enabling environment for peace, stability and development to reign in the Niger Delta.
The statement reads in part: “By inaugurating the substantive board that was screened and confirmed by men of impeccable character and integrity in the National Assembly, it will truly put the board members on their toes to deliver on a new template for the much-awaited development of the region.
“We reiterate that the inauguration of the screened and confirmed board by Senate will douse the current agitations and restiveness that have become pervasive in the region these past months as well as rekindle the hope and aspirations of the people.
“It will also prove the seriousness of the Federal Government towards ameliorating the plight of the long-suffering people of the region to give them a sense of belonging”.
The group also commended the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, for delivering on the mandate assigned to him by the President on the forensic audit of the NDDC.
It expressed the hope that with the conclusion of the forensic audit, the leakages in the administrative structure that allegedly facilitated the massive corruption and malfeasance that riddled the commission would be checked if the recommendations of the auditors were adhered to.
The ex-agitators demanded that the management structure of the commission should be rejigged for better service delivery to the long-suffering people of the region.