Traditional rulers from the nine states in the Niger Delta region have challenged President Muhammadu Buhari to own up to his promises over the immediate setting up of the substantive Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) on the completion and submission of the forensic audit of the account of the commission.
The monarchs under the aegis of the Association of Rural Chiefs for Peace and Development (ARCPD) called on Buhari to immediately inaugurate nominees screened and cleared by the National Assembly (NASS) and security agencies.
The national coordinator of ARCPD, Chief Nengi James-Iriworio, who made the call while reacting to the completion and submission of the reports forensic audit, recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had assured stakeholders of region that the NDDC board will be inaugurated immediately after the completion of the audit and asked him to stand by his words.
James, who is also the Second Vice-President of the Ijaw National Congress, INC, said President Buhari had during the a meeting with the national executives of the INC at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, assured Ijaw leaders that the board will be inaugurated on conclusion of the probe,” we call calling on President Buhari to honor his words and we urge him not to succumbed to pressure to replace the names of those that have already been screened with others, noting that replacing those that have already been screened will send a dangerous signal to the Niger Delta region that Mr President is not in charge.
“Now that it has been submitted, the Association of Rural Chiefs for Peace and Development, want Mr President to adhere, and comply with the earlier statement he told us, he should keep to his words and inaugurate the persons that have been screened.
“Having concluded that exercise, the integrity of Mr President will be questioned if these people are drop for new persons and it will imply that the government has been infiltrated for people to be shortchanged; it will further create animosity and acrimony amongst the people of the Niger Delta. If things are going the way it is going, definitely our organisation will stampede the new screening process by instituted a legal action to challenge the process.”
According to James, the confirmation by the forensics report that there are over 13,000 abandoned projects by the NDDC, confirms the earlier submission by the group that the Commission has the highest rate of abandoned projects in the Niger Delta region.