The attention of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has been drawn to an advertorial in the Vanguard newspaper of Wednesday, April 6, 2022, by the Movement for Sustainable Development of the Niger Delta, MSDND, and signed by its National Coordinator, Chief Ayibatekena Olodin.
The group in the advertorial entitled: “Niger Delta Group Hails Akwa, Cautions Senators, Reps Against NDDC Blackmail,” tried to portray members of the National Assembly as people working against the interest of the Commission by investigating its activities.
The NDDC Management states unequivocally that it has nothing whatsoever to do with this group and dissociates itself from the views expressed in the publication.
Contrary to the uninformed position canvassed by the Ayibatekena Olodin-led group, the NDDC had always received the support of members of the National Assembly in matters relating to the development of the Niger Delta region.
We had enjoyed maximum cooperation from both the Chairman, Senate Committee on Niger Delta, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi and the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on NDDC, Hon. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, in our quest to enhance our service delivery to the people of the Niger Delta region.
Obviously, the Movement for Sustainable Development of the Niger Delta did not get its facts right, otherwise it should have known that Hon. Tunji-Ojo is neither a member of the Senate Committee on Ethics and Privileges nor its counterpart in the House of Representatives.
The NDDC has every reason to be grateful to the legislators, especially Senator Nwaoboshi and Hon Tunji-Ojo, for the modest achievements it recorded in the last two years. When the Interim Administrator, Dr Efiong Akwa, was appointed, the Commission was operating without a budget. The lawmakers ensured that the budget was passed quickly, allowing the Commission to deliver on its mandate of developing the Niger Delta region.
The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, acknowledged the contributions of the lawmakers in his speech at the inauguration of the Muhammadu Buhari Nigeria Police Special Protection Unit, Base 6 Project in Omagwa, Rivers State on September 28, 2021. He said: “The National Assembly has been a big pillar of support for the NDDC.”
It is, therefore, preposterous for any group to present the NDDC as an organization that bites the fingers that feed it. We urge all our stakeholders, especially members of the National Assembly, to disregard the vexatious advertorial in the Vanguard newspaper.
We hereby sound a note of warning to all detractors to stop stoking the embers of distrust between the National Assembly and the NDDC. The Commission has been enjoying a good working relationship with the lawmakers and we intend to maintain these positive engagements in the interest of the people of the Niger Delta region.
The NDDC Management holds the distinguished and honourable members of the National Assembly in the highest esteem.