The Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately sack the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio.
It also called on Buhari to publish names of contractors indicted in the just submitted report of the forensic audit of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC)
IYC president, Peter Timothy Igbifa, in a statement issued in Port Harcourt yesterday, said the sack of Akpabio would pave the way for the inauguration of the NDDC board.
Igbifa stated that the minister deliberately mismanaged the audit process deploying delay tactics, selfish politics and wicked maneuvering to maintain his stranglehold on NDDC against the collective interest of the region.
He noted that Akpabio was not ready to relinquish the NDDC to serve the collective interest of the region but was determined to keep the commission under his whims and caprices.
The IYC president stated that the Niger Delta minister had worked out his plans to retain the control of NDDC and keep the commission running under a sole administration, adding that the only way to give the agency the desired board was to sack the minister.
Igbifa appealed to the presidency to approach with caution some of the recommendations said to be contained in the forensic audit report submitted by Akpabio.
He said: “We were told that Akpabio ensured that selfish recommendations were smuggled into the report. If these recommendations are implemented, they will deny states adequate representation on the board and give Akpabio more time to continue running the NDDC with a sole administrator.
“For instance, we learnt that there are recommendations for a part-time board and reduction in the number of the board members. These suggestions are not feasible because they are designed to extend the sole administrative regime in NDDC. They require amendments of the Act establishing the NDDC and this will take at least six months to achieve.
“Besides, how can you think of reducing the board members. Which state are you going to exclude from the board? Or do you think IOCs should not be part of the board?
“These are obviously selfish recommendations and we are calling on the Presidency to be careful to avoid promoting one man’s selfish tendencies ahead of the collective interest and development of the Niger Delta.
“We are calling on the President to sack Akpabio for all the embarrassment he has caused for the Presidency in his insatiable appetite to maintain his stranglehold on the NDDC.
“Since he has submitted the report, it is time for him to go home and allow the NDDC have a fresh breath. His continuous stay in office is an obstacle to President Buhari’s desire to inaugurate the board of the commission”.