Publisher and fiery investigative journalist, Oby Ndukwe, a chief in Abia State in her full rights, is known for her deep contacts in sensitive places. Once in a while, she would pull off a big exclusive that shakes the earth. This week, Oby makes a contribution to Silver News Online with her treatise on the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), a commission where people say no amount is too small to disappear. Read her….
Finally, sanity coming to the most violated, plundered, pressed, squeezed, ravaged and raped institution East of the Niger- Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC.
19 years siege on the Commission is over as the Interim Management Committee led by Prof. B
Pondei and backed by the supervising Minister, Godswill Akpabio dare to tread where others failed!
For the first time, the real tormentors and looting experts at the Nddc from the defunct OMPADEC have been axed.
Since the President approved a Forensic Audit of the bleeding Commission, all hell has been let loose as Senior Civil Servants have been massively transferred out of the Dappa Biriye Building, Headquarters of the Commission.
The last straw was the conspiracy by a serving Director in charge of procurement who in cahoots with some National Assembly Members decided to award a contract for the supply of COVID-19 equipment to the nine states under the NDDC.
The letter which was unauthorized by the Management alleged that the contract had been awarded to a company called SIGNORA to the tune of N5 billion. And when the Management found out, they canceled and sought to investigate those behind it. The senior staff involved in the illicit award letter quickly played a fast one by making the said letter public, in a bid to indict and cause public opprobrium against the IMC and the Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio.
A game of wits you may say. Of course the scandal trended in the social media space.
Not deterred though rattled by the public outcry against the IMC and the Minister, the Management, yesterday after a meeting, took a stern decision to punish all those who were part of the sleaze and the plot to further cast aspersions on the integrity of the Commission. They were ordered to go on compulsory leave, from where, they would be retired.
It is no longer news that these sets of civil servants have held the Commission hostage with fake and inflated contracts, fraudulent payments and padding of emergency jobs which they award to their companies through some of their cronies and other youth organizations.
They have consistently blackmailed every politician appointed into submission, to either do their bidding or be petitioned out.
Every document in the Commission is photocopied and transmitted to certain “Youths” who are on their payroll to carry out the nefarious activities of holding press conferences and petition writing to EFCC and ICPC.
This group of public servants claims to run things in the Commission and have ways of covering their tracks. Yes they have been there for too long!
They aid and abet the politicians assigned to manage the affairs of the Commission. With a huge financial war chest, they can prosecute any media war against any management who would not suit their purpose.
Unknown to many, this set of senior staff flaunts their wealth unhindered. They own porsche hotels and houses all over and even overseas.
The latest trend in the media and sponsored attacks on the present Management was catalyzed by the audacity of Akpabio and the IMC to transfer over 50 of them that have held the Commission and the Niger Delta region hostage for almost 20 years.
The decision by the President for a forensic audit over six months ago is another reason for the heightened media attacks and trial of the Management.
For the 19-year period under probe, the PDP held sway for 15 years under President Obasanjo, Yaradua and Jonathan, while the APC under President Buhari has been in charge for 4 years.
Presently, the two Committees on NDDC at the National Assembly are headed by PDP members who were alleged to have paid their ways into those committees.
They have been at logger heads with every management appointed by Buhari to head the Commission, contrary to the easy passage of budgets and approvals in the past when their party held sway.
Surprisingly, the NASS is controlled by the ruling APC, yet, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for the APC controlled Management of the Commission to have easy access to funds for the development of the region. Who is then responsible for this mess? Is it an orchestrated plot by some people to frustrate the development of the oil producing states which have been the pillar of the Nigerian economy?
The intrigues and power play behind the scene will shock many as details of those involved will be unveiled soon.