The Ijaw Interest Advocates (IIA) has said the 12-storey Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) headquarters complex in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, remains uncompleted despite plans for President Muhammadu Buhari to commission the building on Thursday.
IIA, an Ijaw notable group, called on President Buhari not to commission the building unless the complex is fully completed and habitable for staff of the interventionist agency.
A statement on Wednesday by Coordinator of the IIA, Arerebo Salaco Yerinmene (Snr.), accused the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, of wanting to “deceive” the President to inaugurate the NDDC secretariat.
IIA, also known as Izanzan Intellectual Camp, said after a tour round the complex and its interiors, it discovered the building to be “empty”.
The group further decried the purported inhabitable state of most of the floors, despite the whooping sum of N16 billion spent on the project.
Parts of the statement read, “having gone round the complex, it is a clear fact that the inside of the building is empty; yet Akpabio has spent a whopping sum of 16 billion for a project that was already 67% completed; yet the complex of 12-storey building only 2 floors, 6th and 10th are habitable.
“He fought very hard to change over 4 NDDC boards including a junior minister Festus Kayamo to operate solo to loot the commission dry. Over 450 billion has passed through Akpabio as supervisory minister, let him show us which other project he has done with the balance.
“One is tempted to say, the Presidency is clearly behind Akpabio over the looting in the NDDC, considering the presidency’s continued silence over the broad day robbery of the commonwealth of the Niger Delta people by Akpabio and his collaborators.
“We were the first to expose the looting by Akpabio in NDDC and with the exposure by National Assembly which are also collaborators in the looting. One right thing we thought was for the presidency to look deep into the affairs of the commission, but they seem to be enjoying the looting spree by Akpabio as well.
“Severally, we appealed to President Buhari to heed to our calls, but he gave us deaf ears which has prompted us to assume and declare that the current presidency is a promoter of corruption in the Niger Delta region and the country at large.
“We shall not depend on the presidency anymore because they have failed us woefully and we shall also not relent. Our next resolve is to go down to all oil producing communities across the Niger Delta region to sensitize our people that we all rise to stop the daylight robbery coordinated by some key figures in the presidency with Akpabio.
“We enjoin some good Nigerians that might be in attendance in the show of shame on Thursday, not to only view the cosmetic work outside the complex, but go inside from floor to floor to see things for themselves and not to fall for Akpabio’s sugar coated speech.
“We said it from day one that the so-called Akpabio’s forensic audit will be endless and baseless and so it has become today for all to see, the forensic appointed by Akpabio is today another conduit pipe applying for payments on weekly bases without doing any work.
“Akpabio’s stay as supervisory minister of NDDC needs more forensic audit than all that has run the affairs of the commission put together from inception. Akpabio’s looting is the oga kpata kpata of all that has never happened in any government agency in Nigeria.
“Akpabio’s case is unpardonable, he has turned NDDC to corruption agencies, even after this Buhari’s government someday you will give account of all the river desilting and emergency contracts you have used to loot NDDC mercilessly. Akpabio do not want to learn from history, some Niger Delta big names before now had parked monies meant for the development of our region for political patronage to Abuja but none succeeded”, the statement said.