The Ijaw National Congress (INC), has said that President Muhammadu Buhari will not be taking serious if he does not match his words with action by prosecuting those who were found culpable in the forensic audit report of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
Buhari had vowed during his address in Abuja at the virtual opening of the NDDC Prototype Hostel at the University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, last Thursday to deal with all those involved in the looting of funds at the commission.
But President of the INC, Prof. Benjamin Okaba, described the President’s vow as mere rhetoric, stressing that there was nothing exciting about it as Buhari had made similar promises before.
He spoke on Sunday night during a programme on Arise News Television, which was monitored by our correspondent.
Okaba said: “I won’t say I’m excited by the president’s declaration. We expected this long ago. For many Nigerians, this is just rhetoric. We have said earlier that forensic auditing should be a routine administrative process of the NDDC. It is not anything that anybody should celebrate.
“Buhari has made several promises. People have called for the audit report to be made public. The issues, as they are, remain mere allegations and as a far as the INC is concerned, we have before now demanded release of the forensic audit report and as many persons that have not delivered on the assignments given to them, let appropriate actions be taken.
“The president does not the need the permission of Nigerians to prosecute anybody found wanting. We want to see action. We want to see the list published, we want to see persons involved. We want to believe that whatever is made public is the true report.
“We never demanded an interventionist agency. What the Ijaw people demanded and are still demanding is resource control. NDDC has been a palliative and a stop-gap approach to development of the region. So, those who accepted NDDC in year 2000 had certain reservations”.
The INC President reiterated the call for Buhari to constitute the substantive board of the NDDC, saying “this is the only thing that will excite us and not the promises he is making”.