The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) and the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) have called on the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio and others indicted in the corruption scandal rocking the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to step down in order to give room for proper investigation and audit of their activities.
NANS and NYCN made the call in separate statements on Sunday.
NANS in its statement signed by its Senate President, Gambo Abu Mohammed, said it decided to lend its voice to the ongoing corruption scandal in order to protect the interest of youths and students in the Niger Delta region whose lives and wellbeing will be directly affected by the activities of NDDC as the body set up to make life better for the people of the oil rich region.
The statement read:
“The Senate Secretariat of NANS have observed with utter dismay the recent ignominious fiasco playing out by the Interim Management Committee of NDDC and it’s supervisory Minister, after careful consideration of the revelations into the activities of the agency by various members involved, it’s only sane for the actors to recuse themselves by stepping down while the verification and hearing into the colossal fraud revealed lasted.”
Mohammed called on President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently wade into the crisis by asking those accused of fraud to step down “ while the audits, as well as the hearing from the National assembly Committee is concluded”.
“The riot act read to MDAs by the President and conveyed by his Media Aide, Mal. Garba Shehu isn’t enough to the flagrant disobedience shown by members of his cabinet,” the statement read. “The Niger Delta region deserves a better deal considering the humongous budgetary allocation year in year out, hence the NDDC and it’s supervisory ministry must be purged. The National assembly must be allowed to perform its constitutionally saddled function.”
While calling on all actors in the case to allow the NASS perform its duty of oversight function, the NANS Senate President said “the parliament remains the conscience of every virile democracy and it should be seen to be discharging such responsibilities of oversight into government expenditures without hindrance or disrespect, as provided by our constitution and National assembly act, with a view of blocking wastages, manifest corruption and corrupt practices like the those exposed by Ms Joi Nunieh in NDDC.”
NYCN in a statement by its Deputy President, Comrade Adamu Kabir Matazu, called on President Buhari to immediately suspend Akpabio, in order to give room for unhindered investigation into the damning allegations of corruption levelled against the Minister by the former Interim MD of the Commission, Joy Nunieh.
NYCN said it is disturbed by the growing corruption in the NDDC which has continued to cripple development in the oil rich Niger Delta region since it was established 20 years ago.
“We are stating our position because we are interested in seeing NDDC that works for the benefit of the Niger Delta people,” the statement read.
“We demand President Buhari to act in the best interest of the nation and in the spirit of fighting corruption and routing corrupt public officials in his administration to immediately without further delay suspend Senator Godswill Akpabio.”
The group also passed a vote of confidence on the leadership of the House of Representatives and National Assembly for beaming search light into the books of the NDDC.
The statement further read:
“The NYCN salutes, commend and appreciate the House Committee on NDDC for instituting a probe and immediately swung into action in order to unravel the alleged illegal expenditure and mismanagement by the Commission under the supervision of Senator Godswill Akpabio.
“The National Youth Council of Nigeria is a responsible National Youth organization that is interested in seeing a corrupt free Nigeria and will do everything within our powers to fight and bring corrupt public officials to book who are denting the image of Nigeria amongst the comity of nations. And we will not fold our arms to allow this Akpabio matter to be swept under the carpet.
“Finally, we stand with the National assembly Ad-hoc committee and people of the Niger Delta region and we hope and pray that Justice will prevail at the end of the day and all those vultures and economic vampires who are wreaking havoc in the NDDC would be exposed and put to shame.”