From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
A Niger Delta group, the Movement for Sustainable Development of the Niger Delta (MSDND) has warned members of the National Assembly not to be willing tools in the hands of politicians working against the interest of the region.
According to the group, the dramatic sequence of harassment, incessant issuance of summons and probes targeted towards arm twisting various interventionist agencies in the Niger Delta region
is worrisome and provocative.
The group, in a statement by its national coordinator, Chief Ayibatekena Olodin, warned that instead of searching for cash cows such as the NDDC and the Presidential Amnesty Programme, the National Assembly members should join hands with other lawmakers to review the failed security architecture of the nation, the economic woes, nationwide black out, rising inflation and killings across the country.
MSDND which commended President Muhammadu Buhari in the area of improved funding to the NDDC, urged the duo of Senator Peter Onyeluka Nwaoboshi (Delta North) and Chairman, Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs, and Hon. Tunji Ojo House Committee Chairman on Niger Delta Development Commission to desist from using legislative power to intimidate NDDC.
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“Despite the fact that we are not out to engage in murky revelations about the activities of the National Assembly Committees, we are aware that the dramatic sequence of harassment, incessant issuance of summons and probes are targeted towards arm twisting the interventionist agencies to part away with meagre funds meant for the development and empowerment of the people of the region,” he said.
The group noted that a check showed that despite refusal of the Federal Government to release trillion of funds owed the NDDC, the Effiong Akwa led management have managed fairly in paying recurrent expenditures and achievable offset payments of projects owed past and present contractors of the commission.
“Unlike the past few months, Effiong Akwa has done well in quietly working and improving the lives of the people of the region through empowerment and redeemable payment for jobs done. It is now left for the President Muhammadu Buhari led leadership to assist by releasing the needed fund to instigate improved economic activities in the region.”
“Unlike his predecessors, Effiong Akwa has been paying for some of the executed projects. He has been effectively and efficiently piloting the affairs of the NDDC. You don’t need to know him personally for him to pay you. As long as you have done your job, and your file has been processed by the NDDC officials, he approves your payment and everyone in the Niger Delta region knows this, contractors are unanimously pleased with his performance and are united behind him.”