The Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) has described the continuous appointment of interim administrators for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) as unfortunate and unacceptable.
It lamented that the Federal Government has changed Interim Management Committee (IMC) twice and now an interim administrator in less than two years, saying the NDDC, which was established to facilitate development of the region had been reduced to a political coliseum.
National Publicity Secretary of PANDEF, Ken Robinson, argued that the NDDC Act did not provide for an IMC or interim administrator. Also reacting to the development, former President of the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP), Ledum Mittee, said it was illegal for President Muhammadu Buhari to keep appointing IMC and sole administrator for NDDC, stressing that the law establishing the commission prescribed a substantive board and management team.
“What does the President’s continued appointment of an interim committee and now interim sole administrator tell about his accountability and transparency and anti-corruption fight,” he asked. Mitee said the action showed that the NDDC would continue to remain a conduit pipe for the current administration, adding that the people expected Buhari’s government, which came to power through its campaign for accountability and anti-corruption should to have done the right thing by setting up a board for the commission.
Also, a political analyst and Senior Lecturer at the Department of Sociology, University of Port Harcourt, Prof. Sofiri Peterside, said the continuous appointment of interim management for the commission was illegal and worrisome. “The NDDC was created to bring development closer to the Niger Delta people, but what we keep seeing is corruption, it is now a tradition for this administration to keeping making such appointments, which shows a deliberate move to siphon public funds,” he added.
Besides, a public analyst in Cross River State, Etim Udosen, said appointments in the NDDC was fraudulent, insisting that some persons were manipulating the presidency for their own personal interests. On his part, a social critic and columnist, Dr. Edwin Madunagu, noted that appointing a sole administrator or an IMC was wrong and admonished the Federal Government to follow the law that established the commission.
Meanwhile, an environmentalist and Cross River State Coordinator of Partners for Peace in the Niger Delta, Dr. Moses Abang, pointed out that it was obvious that the region, which has been suffering underdevelopment, has been deserted, lamenting that with the new development, the region has been completely neglected.
Source: The Guardian