S’south Govs Back NASS’, Presidency’s Forensic Probe Of NDDC…

Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa (3rd right), Governor of Bayelsa, Senator Douye Diri (right), Governor of Akwa-Ibom State, Emmanuel Udom (2nd right), Governor of River State, Nyesom Wike (3rd left), Governor of Edo State, Dr. Godwin Obaseki (2nd left) shortly after the South, South Governors Meeting in Asaba. Thursday 5/3/20 .Photo: BRIPIN ENARUSAI.

…Decry ‘Attempted Abduction’ Of The Commission’s ex-MD, Nuniel

The South-South Governors Forum, on Thursday, say they are in full support of the National Assembly probe of the financial records of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) as well as the presidential forensic audit of the commission’s spending over the years.

This was contained in a statement by the Chairman of the Forum and Governor of Delta, Senator (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa.

The governors, in the statement said, “we believe the Senate is operating within its oversight functions through the ad hoc committee set up for that purpose.

“It behoves us to respect the Senate oversight function and allow it to discharge this responsibility in a fair, transparent and equitable manner.

“The South-South Governors are desirous to see an NDDC that is fully alive and responsive to its mandate of accelerating infrastructural development of the Niger Delta region and enhancing the general living conditions of our people. Hence, we will not hesitate to give our unqualified support to any policy initiative that will make this a reality.

Meanwhile, the governors noted with deep concern the ongoing crisis rocking the commission and call for a refrain by parties involved so as not to hit up the polity.

The governors believe both the national assembly probe and the forensic audit ordered by President Buhari would serve to put the NDDC on a sound corporate governance footing and reposition it to better deliver on its mandate.

“The Forum wishes to advise the combatants in the current crisis in the NDDC to refrain from utterances and actions that will breach the peace and security of the region”.

It vehemently condemned the ‘attempted abduction’ of Ms Joi Nunieh, the immediate past Acting Managing Director of the Commission, in the early hours of Thursday, saying it was unwarranted, unnecessary and uncalled for.

The forum called on relevant security authorities to investigate the unfortunate development, but said, “let it be on record that we are neither in support of nor against Ms Nunieh in the current cloud of controversy surrounding the NDDC.

“However, as responsible public servants and leaders in the Niger Delta, we are mindful of the implications her attempted abduction could have on the peace and security of the region, which the current administration has laboured to sustain in the last five years.

“We do not want that to be truncated as it can have adverse consequences on the national economy.

“We urge the feuding parties in the NDDC to conduct themselves in a civil, orderly and lawful manner for the good of the region and the progress of the country.

“Democracy is about the rule of law; we have the courts and the various democratic institutions to deal with any grievances people may have without resorting to underhanded tactics and methods to intimidate and hound others.

“Finally, we wish to reiterate our stand that both the forensic audit and the Senate investigation should continue and be concluded with dispatch so that the NDDC can quickly return to its role of advancing and protecting the developmental aspirations our people”, the statement added.