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Monarchs, oil stakeholders urge Buhari to sack Akpabio, restore peace in NDDC

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Smarting from a meeting yesterday, traditional rulers and critical stakeholders of oil-bearing communities in Warri, Delta State, have condemned the crisis rocking the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), especially the alleged mismanagement of N81.5 billion by the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the commission.

The monarchs and stakeholders of Host Communities of Nigeria Producing Oil & Gas (HOSTCOM), unequivocally, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently restore peace to the NDDC by removing the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, whom they accused of being the mastermind of the recent massive corruption in the commission.

They also advised the President to immediately disband the IMC and inaugurate the substantive board of the NDDC led by Pius Odubu as chairman and Bernard Okumagba as managing director, who were nominated, screened and cleared by the National Assembly.

Besides, the traditional rulers alleged that the Niger Delta Affairs minister deceitfully misled the President to constitute the IMC and also transferred the NDDC to his ministry to enable him control it.

The Pere of Seimbiri Kingdom and former National Chairman of Traditional Rulers of Oil Producing Communities of Nigeria (TROMPCON), His Majesty, Dr. Charles Ayemi-Botu, who spoke on behalf of the monarchs and stakeholders, told journalists that as custodians of culture in the Niger Delta region who played pivotal role in the establishment of the NDDC, they would not “fold their arms and allow a megalomaniac to torpedo and destroy the agency for his personal gains and self-aggrandisement at the detriment of millions of Niger Deltans living in squalour and abject poverty.”

Ayemi-Botu, who alleged that Akpabio ploughed the NDDC to near extinction during his eight years’ tenure as governor of Akwa Ibom State, nominated his cronies to the NDDC board and stashed away billions of naira, said that the minister had no credibility to superintend over an ineptly corrupt NDDC.

He said: “This is a clarion call to President Muhammadu Buhari to sack the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, without further delay to forestall the impending looming crisis that may worsen the already downtrodden economy of the country.

The monarchs, therefore, urged Akpabio, whom they called “our dear son,” to follow the path of honour and resign honourably than being booted out by the President.


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