Niger Delta Leaders Pressure President Tinubu for Transparency on NDDC Audit Findings
Leading figures and organizations in the Niger Delta, including the esteemed Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), Ijaw National Congress (INC), and Future Nigeria Movement (FNM), are urging President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to make the Niger Delta Development Commission’s (NDDC) forensic audit results public.
The region’s representatives stress the importance of acting on the audit’s revelations, cautioning that any inaction could shield culprits who may have mishandled the area’s funds, leading to an oversight in justice. The audit, initiated by the previous president, Muhammadu Buhari, covered the period between 2001 and 2019. Despite the findings being handed to then Niger Delta Affairs minister and Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, in 2021, there was no follow-up before Buhari’s term concluded.
Prof. Benjamin Okaba, head of INC, championed the need for an open approach, underlining the significance of disclosing those who might have committed financial indiscretions. Demonstrating faith in the current leadership, Okaba echoed the necessity of regular oversight checks on public bodies.
PANDEF spokesperson, Rev. Ken Robinson, advised President Tinubu to assess the audit critically before any disclosure, sharing concerns about possible errors. He also championed a fresh approach to how NDDC operates, prioritizing the region’s progression.
Aligning with this sentiment, Livingstone Wechie of FNM accentuated the essence of openness in the administration, indicating that the president’s reformative zeal would be judged based on the audit report’s handling.
CENTREP’s main representative, Oghenejabor Ikimi, expressed urgency in releasing the audit. He warned that any procrastination might compromise the President’s acclaimed dedication to transparency.
However, Chief Idu Amadhe from the Isoko Development Union expressed doubts, hinting at potential high-profile names being involved.
Concluding the stakeholder’s sentiments, Sir Amorighoye Mene from the Itsekhiri Leaders of Thought (ILoT) emphasized the broader message that would be sent by publicizing the audit, discouraging officials from exploiting the NDDC.
Now, the ball is in President Tinubu’s court as he faces mounting pressure to champion transparency and justice in this pivotal Niger Delta issue.