Niger Delta activists including Annkio Briggs believe that the scandalous corruption in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) have the imprimatur of lawmakers, including those from Niger Delta.
The activists were however more worried that both National Assembly (NASS) members from the region and NDDC managers did not seem to see the impending danger of playing into the hands of the ruling cabal, which could push for the appointment of a sole administrator to take over the NDDC.
Briggs, who alleged there were already plans to scrap most of the development agencies for the region especially the NDDC, Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), and Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs (MNDA) warned that the people of the region would resist it.
Describing the system that birthed the NDDC as being bastardized, she faulted lawmakers for turning themselves to NDDC contractors, saying, “If you want to be a contractor, leave the National Assembly as a lawmaker, then go and do your contract business.
“When you look at the level of involvement of corruption in the NDDC itself, you will notice that the pathway that is used for corruption has been inbuilt silently into the system, hence the system of corruption had been setup along with the creation of the NDDC itself.
“The fact that the management of the NDDC has to be appointed by any President of the country is one major place where this corruption takes place because it becomes a political appointment.
“With situations when you have the Chief of Staff, Secretary to the Government of the Federation and all manner of people sending their own persons as Managing Directors for the NDDC, these MDs are not answerable to the people but those who nominated them.”
On what President Buhari should do, she said, “President Buhari has called for a forensic audit, but he must also go ahead by publishing names of the companies that have ever done projects in the region because the people have a right to know the people that were given jobs.
“Secondly, we need to know if the jobs were completed. These are some of the things we want to know. Next, this IMC is now embroiled in accusations of corruption and they must be removed immediately. As a matter of fact, the moment the former acting Managing Director was removed, all of them ought to have been removed for there to be confidence-building”, she stressed.
“Indeed, the IMC ought not to have awarded jobs and contacts, they were to assist with document provision for the audit. Even the Joi Nunieh-led board should be audited as well because of the allegations she had raised.”