A group, the Niger Delta Development Initiative (NDDI), has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to sack the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio.
NDDI based its call on the allegation that Akpabio hijacked the “functions of the NDDC in violation of the spirit and letters of the enabling law” that set up the commission.
This was contained in the group’s petition to President Buhari on Thursday and signed by its President, Ebikalome Tonye Anselm and Secretary-General, Johnson Oghenekevbe.
NDDI also in the petition, appealed to Buhari to inaugurate the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), which he appointed in August 2019.
It said there were currently many illegalities in the NDDC and called on President Buhari to act in accordance with the law setting up the commission.
The NDDI wants Buhari to inaugurate the which had the names of Dr Pius Odubu as Chairman; Bernard Okumagba, as Managing Director and 13 other member nominees, which Buhari sent to the Senate for approval in October 2019.
After the senators gave their approval of the nominees, rather than inaugurate the board, Buhari had instead appointed an Interim Management Committee (IMC) for the NDDC.
In their petition, NDDI said it was Akpabio that advised Buhari against the inauguration of the board, whose objective it said was to join other compatriots to develop the Niger Delta region.
This is not the first time people from the oil region had called on Buhari to sack Akpabio.
In August 2020, monarchs and stakeholders of oil bearing communities had also urged Buhari to urgently restore peace to the NDDC by sacking Akpabio.
They had then accused the minister of being the mastermind of the massive corruption in the NDDC and that he deceitfully misled Buhari to set up the IMC and to transfer the commission to his ministry to enable him hijack it.
By Ebere Ndukwu…
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