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How NDDC came under Niger Delta ministry control, by UNDESS

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• Amnesty vendors threaten to boycott mediation, seek appointment of substantive coordinator

The United Niger Delta Energy Development Security Strategy (UNDEDSS) has urged the National Assembly to stop misleading Nigerians by distorting the history of how the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) came under control of the Niger Delta Affairs Ministry.

It explained that the ministry was given supervisory powers over the NDDC in 2016, following negotiations between UNDEDSS and the Federal Government, where the presidency was represented by the late Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari and former Director General of Department of State Services (DSS), Lawal Daura.

Insisting that former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Usani Uguru Usani, wrote the presidency to place the NDDC under the ministry, UNDESS said to claim that the current Minister Godswill Akpabio made President Muhammadu Buhari to put the NDDC under supervision of the ministry was not true.

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“That claim is a lie and an attempt to paint the President as someone short of memory. All the new Chief of Staff, Professor Ibrahim Gambari needs to do is check the records and consult with Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, Usani and Daura who are still alive,” the group said.

Following its emergency webinar meeting it held yesterday, UNDESS accused the National Assembly of undue interference in the affairs of the region, with emphasis on the NDDC.

In a statement issued its General Secretary, Tony Uranta, it noted that the federal lawmakers should remember that UNDEDSS was not an Internet one-man body, adding, “Our capacity for action should not be tested!”

UNDEDSS also said the National Assembly had been suffocating the Niger Delta, while enabling some members of the National Assembly to corruptly enrich themselves and further impoverish the region.

It alleged that the National Assembly masterminded the removal of Joi Nunieh as Acting Managing Director of the NDDC, but had found the new Acting Managing Director, Professor Kemebradikumo Pondei equally resistant to their overtures intended to keep siphoning billions of Naira monthly on spurious consultancies and non-existent infrastructure contracts.

Meanwhile, the incorporated Trustees and Executives of the Niger Delta Amnesty Vendors Association (NDAVA) has urged President Buhari to appoint a substantive Coordinator for the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) to avoid the group boycotting mediation with the third phase ex-militant general, Ebi John.

In a letter to the President dated June 9, 2020 signed by its President, Samson Dabbey, it said its decision was based on the threats John issued on Rhythm 94.7 Yenogoa in an interview where he stated that if a Special Adviser/Coordinator was not appointed within 30 days, the boys would go back to the creeks.

Apart from the appointment of a substantive coordinator, the group also urged President Buhari to urgently direct all verified contracts to move to site and pay them 15 per cent mobilisation since the contractors had already involved their banks.

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