The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Worldwide has kicked again against President Muhammadu Buhari’s continued silence and alleged refusal to form a substantive board for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
The IYC expressed resentment that despite the hue and cry raised by critical stakeholders from the Niger Delta, Buhari was yet to constitute the board after the submission of long-awaited forensic audit was concluded and submitted to the government.
The group’s anger is contained in a statement on Sunday by its National Spokesman, Comrade Ebilade Ekerefe, wherein it urged the President to constitute same immediately without further delays.
It advised him not to allow myopic and self-centered politicians to provoke violence in the region and discredit his administration.
“We accept the submission of the audit report as commendable but demand the immediate of the substantive board of the NDDC, “the IYC noted.
The group argued that the quick decision of the President to constitute the EFCC board, the NNPC board and other boards of agencies and parastatals showed that his position on the conduct of the forensic audit and submission of the report were mere excuses and cover-up of his disdain for the people of the region.
The IYC noted that though the region had remained peaceful despite the repeated failed promises on the inauguration of the substantive board, the youth of the region would no longer condone excuses for the delay as the forensic auditors had concluded their job.
It further argued that the Niger Delta was losing big time due to the continuous delay in the constitution of the board.
The IYC said: “The NDDC was set up to plan and execute developmental projects in the region, especially in the areas of skills acquisition and youth empowerment programmes, construction of roads and jetties, provision of health care facilities, employment, agriculture and fisheries, housing and urban development, water supply, electricity and industrialisation.
“We can categorically say that the region has lost greatly in the aforementioned due to the deliberate delay of the constitution of the board. Let it be on record that since President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, the NDDC has been functioning without recourse to the Act which established it and that has contributed largely to the underdevelopment of the region despite the forensic audit which was used as an excuse for the delay of a substantive board.
“Notwithstanding the decision of the Ijaw youths to study carefully the submitted audit report which showed that over 13,000 abandoned projects in the Niger Delta with 77 road projects completed, the reported claim of recommendation for a part-time membership of the board is unacceptable. It is a violation of the provision of the Act setting up the NDDC and we will resist it at all costs.”
The IYC pointed out that the purported recommendation for a part-time membership of the NDDC board was the handiwork of self styled politicians who desired to turn the NDDC as their own personal enterprise.
It warned that any strange clauses smuggled into the NDDC aside the constitution of a substantive board would be resisted and the activities of the commission crippled.
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