By Chibuzo Ukaibe, Abuja
Elder statesman and former federal commissioner for information, Chief Edwin Clark, yesterday cautioned that funds allotted and donated to the North East Development Commission (NEDC), should be judiciously utilized for the purpose it is meant for.
He further stated that there should be no discriminatory treatment in the execution of projects, as the people of the North East have suffered an unprecedented hardship, whether Christians, Muslims, atheists or pagans.
The elder statesman stated this in a statement which hailed President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Assembly and the people of the region over the passage of the NEDC Bill.
While he advocated for the commission to be independent of the federal, state and local government interference, Clark noted that it should also be manned by technocrats and not by politicians, who will tend to use it for personal political benefits.
He said, “I wish to commend Mr. President, His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari, and the National Assembly for the passage and signing into law the Bill establishing the North East Development Commission.
“This Act will amongst other things, receive and manage funds meant for the reconstruction, rehabilitation and resettlement of the Boko Haram ravaged North East, in order to reintegrate the people of the North East and give them a new lease of life.”
He added, “I wish to suggest strongly that funds allotted and donated to this commission, should be judiciously utilized for the purpose it is meant for; there should be no discriminatory treatment in the execution of projects, as the people of the North East have suffered an unprecedented hardship, whether Christians, Muslims, atheists, pagans or ethnicity.
“The programmes of the commission should be executed in line with the post-World War II Marshall Plan, where everyone worked for its success. The Boko Haram bombings, killings and destructions, did not discriminate in carrying out their havoc.”
“The commission should also be manned by technocrats and not by politicians, who will tend to use the scheme to climb the rung of their political ladder, and make money for themselves, as it is very common with many of the government interventionist agencies and parastatals, thereby defeating the very laudable purpose for setting it up.
“In addition, the commission should be independent of the federal, state and local government interference.
Let me also congratulate the people of the North East in this plan to rehabilitate them and give them succour.”
Clark noted that the action by the National Assembly goes to show that Nigerians have been in very strong support of the rebuilding of the war torn North East, as they would, to any other part of the country that faces similar situation, baring all sentiments.
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