[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Traditional rulers in Bayelsa State, South-south Nigeria under the auspices of Paramount Rulers Forum for Oil Host Communities in the Niger Delta (PRFOHCND), have appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene in the planned probe of the Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs, Sen. Godswill Akpabio, and the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the NDDC, by the National Assembly.
The monarchs, who made the appeal in a letter to the president dated June 22, a copy of which was made available to newsmen on Sunday, also urged the federal legislators to halt the planned probe of the minister, pending the conclusion of the forensic audit.
While commending President Muhammadu Buhari for approving the ongoing forensic audit of the NDDC, the traditional rulers said those calling for the probe of the Niger Delta minister and Prof. Kemebradeikumo Pondei-led IMC of the interventionist agency aimed at diverting attention and truncating the forensic audit.
The letter was signed by 21 First-Class and Second-Class monarchs, including Consul Oluku, the Ibedawei of Akassa Kingdom; Gabriel Okiakpe, the Pere of Gbanraun; and Paul Seide, the Ibedawei of Bilabiri Kingdom. Other signatories included D.D.A. Akpele, the Amayanabo of Sangana and Alfred Perekebina, the Central Coordinator and Convener of Paramount Rulers, among others.
It read in part: “Our reasons for supporting you Mr. President is that the NDDC was established based on the agitations of the riverine Niger Delta oil host communities who demanded resource control from the Federal Government. The resultant negotiations gave birth to the NDDC with the sole mandate of delivering empowerment and infrastructural development (projects) to the oil producing areas whose people are impoverished.
“However, the erstwhile NDDC officials failed to empower and develop the areas as mandated, but siphoned, diverted and embezzled money amounting to several hundreds of billions of naira to enrich themselves, leaving the people in a state of perpetual poverty level till date.
“We, therefore, agree totally with your Excellency for your thoughtfulness and the appointment of the IMC to provide every detail about the NDDC for the forensic auditors to show proof of where the monies allocated to the NDDC in the last 20 years are kept while we are dying in abject poverty”.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]