The people of the oil rich Niger Delta region have raised alarm about the planned diversion of millions of dollars in the custody of Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) belonging to Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) which paid by International Oil Companies (IOCs) for the past six months following directive by federal government to stop remitting NDDC until final investigation on the current financial mismanagement of NDDC’s IMC is over.
They vowed to stage a demonstration to the streets the non-remittance of funds paid by the International Oil Companies to the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
National Coordinator of Ijaw Interest Advocate, otherwise called Izanzan camp, Amb. Arerebo Salaco Yerinmene, and the Chairman Emeritus of Ijaw Youth Congress, IYC, Eastern Zone and National President of Patriotic Ijaw Youth Leaders, had in a press statement accused the anti-graft agency of diversion of funds meant for the development of the region, urging President Muhammadu Buhari to investigate the issue and stop the injustice on the people of Niger Delta region.
Sir Sammy George alleged that the Interim Management Committee(IMC) of NDDC has been restricted from having access to IOC’s funds for about six months now following law enforcement agencies recommendation.
The group noted that the collective sensibility has been taken for granted and jeopardized, while fingering some ministers from the region for conniving with the EFCC in the diversion of IOC for personal reasons.
The group vowed “we shall never, for any reason, allow anybody, for any reason whatsoever, to impoverish us further and any further attempt to loot the commonwealth of our people, we shall resort to occupying the streets of the Niger Delta to disrupt the operation of the IOC’s and their facilities until such broad daylight manoeuvring of funds is stopped.
The statement reads in part: ”As we go down to express our fears, I want to believe that we are all genuinely in this challenging course, targeted to change the ugly narratives of our all-round developmental deprivation.”
Going further, the statement stated: “We are all here to express our fears exhaustively over the way and manner the Niger Delta region is being treated. We are all here to openly reject how we are being treated as second class citizens in this country. We are all here to unveil to the Nigerian state how the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, in alliance with the some ministers is said to be diverting funds belonging to the Niger Delta region for whatever strange reasons we don’t know. If this is really true, we want our dear President to investigate and do justice to this matter.
“Having postulated the reason why we have reassembled here, I want to clearly open to Nigerians, particularly Niger Deltans, that our collective sensibility has been taken for granted and jeopardized by these group of people.
“It will specifically shock the general public, especially Niger Deltans, to know that over the last six (6) months, the NDDC’s Interim Management Committee (IMC) has been restricted from having access to IOC’s remitted funds by the directive of the Presidency, following law enforcement agencies recommendation.
“Despite all the looting going on in the country, we are very shocked that President Buhari is yet to act as expected by the peace loving people of the Niger Delta, thus we still believe that the needful will be done soon enough.
“If the information is correct, we are calling on all Niger Deltans to rise up against this gang up against our development as a people.
“For clarity purposes, information in our situation room clearly reveals that over a month ago, all the IOCs’ were remitted to the mother host of all the IOCs across the nation, which is the NNPC. The NNPC credited the remittances to the EFCC Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) account.
“And as we speak, instead of some ministers that have hint on the matter to be patriotic in reporting this questionable move, they decided to be part and parcel of impoverishing the Niger Delta region in collaboration with very strange elements in the Nigerian State.
“In as much as the development of the North-East, through the North-East Development Commission, is a top priority to the northerners, the develoment of the oil rich-Niger Delta region is also a top priority to us. As such, any attempt to embezzle the IOCs’ remittances, we shall take over the streets of Niger Delta with peaceful protests.
“Therefore, we are calling on President Buhari to heed our call and pay attention to our revelations and take necessary actions to stop further looting at the NDDC. We are ever ready to confront any force set against the development of our oil-rich region, especially when the ordeals of the revelations of the massive looting of the commonwealth of the people is still fresh in our memories, a situation that kept us wondering if the Presidency is celebrating corruption, thereby putting a serious credibility question on the government’s acclaimed anti-corruption war. We are beginning to wonder if the said anti-corruption crusade is a reality or a hoax.
“To this end, we are appealing to President Buahri to look into this matter by not allowing anyone to tamper with the IOCs fund, which is primarily meant for the development of the oil-rich Niger Delta region.”