Posted by News Express | 7 June 2020 | 620 times
By MIKE ODIEGWU, Port Harcourt
Ex-militants from the Niger Delta region at the weekend called on Senator Peter Nwaoboshi and Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo to immediately step aside as Chairmen of House and Senate committees of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
The ex-militants, who met in Port Harcourt under the auspices of the 21st Century Youths of Niger Delta and Agitators with Conscience (21st CYNDAC), said the committee chairmen lacked the locus standi to sit on any probe panel involving the commission.
The leader of CYNDAC, Izon Ebi, who spoke on Sunday after the meeting, said the chairmen with all available facts had become interested parties in the case and could not act as judge and jury in the interest of natural justice.
He said: “We, therefore, use this medium to warn that the so-called inquisition in the name of probe by the lawmakers should not in any way truncate the ongoing forensic audit in the NDDC instituted by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“For the sake of equity, probity and fairness, we recommend that the chairmen of the house committees both in the upper and lower chambers of the national assembly stand down their chairmanship of the respective committees since they are interested parties in this case and as such cannot act as judge and jury in their own case.
“Secondly, the probe of the NDDC by the National Assembly should not end with the N40billion sledge but should be more holistic starting from the creation of the NDDC, headquarters rent racket, the revenue consultancy racket, and most of all the mystery concerning how a single contractor can have access to 1000 NDDC jobs.
“These are the parameters that will give Niger Deltans and Nigerians as a whole the assurance that the probe has not been called due to the fact that some national assembly members have been called and shamed by the IMC of the commission”.
Ebi also warned persons attacking Ijaw National Leader, E.K. Clark following his position on the face-off between the National Assembly and the NDDC to stop their insults or face the consequences.
He said the ex-militants were solidly behind President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision to sanitize the NDDC and ensure punishment for persons raping the commission of its commonwealth.
Ebi said: “We are solidly behind our President Muhammadu Buhari in his quest to sanitize the NDDC and expose those leaders and administrators that have plunged us into this sorry situation we find ourselves in.
“Any lawmaker, politician and administrator whose paws have been found in the cookie jar of the NDDC should be made to face the full wrath of the law. We commend the Honourable Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Obot Akpabio for being a bulwark against the onslaught of the NDDC by rogue politicians and also the IMC of the NDDC for naming and shaming the politicians whose stock in trade is wanton pillage of the NDDC and the Niger Delta.
“We urge them to rev up the momentum. We applaud the IMC of the NDDC and most especially the Executive Director of Finance, Cairo Ojougboh, for being courageous in naming and shaming the politicians whose calling is the looting of our common patrimony. We urge them to I keep the momentum going as Niger Deltans are solidly behind them.
“We also use this medium to advise the moles in the NDDC, staffs and management of the commission that instead of passing unsubstantiated information to us and other media organizations in their quest to blackmail the IMC and the commission, they should do well to send such to relevant agency of government or even send memos to the forensic examiners.
“We wholeheartedly commend and applaud the father of the Ijaw nation and elder statesman Dr E.K. Clark for standing up to speak the truth about the inquisition in the name of probe in the NDDC. The open letter by the elder statesman to the leadership of the National Assembly has gone a long way in vindicating us.
“We therefore state equivocally that our agitation over the years have not been for pecuniary gain or for singular political interest but for the development and emancipation of the Niger Delta and its people from the shackles of poverty, greed, underdevelopment, pollution, environmental degradation and most importantly the wanton destruction of our local economy and ecosystem by oil multinationals in the region”. (The Nation)
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