By Gbenga Abulude
President Muhammadu Buhari has been advised to sack the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswil Akpabio over revelations of fraudulent spendings by top officials of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and his alleged complicity as the supervising minister.
The Urhobo Youth Assembly, (UYA), a pan-Niger Delta Coalition in a letter to president Buhari urged the latter to fire Akpabio without delay as his actions and inaction are capable of plunging the Niger Delta region into further crisis. The UYA alleged that in the past 20 years of existence of the NDDC, no management of the commission has been so reckless and controversial from the disclosure currently on going at the NDDC probe.
The group enjoined the federal government to initiate a thorough process of arresting and prosecuting all those who have looted and diverted funds meant for the development of the oil and gas producing communities of the Niger Delta Region.
The letter, signed by the President of the Urhobo Youth Assembly, Mr Jude Akpore and Secretary, Mr Frank Onogagamue, stated that the continued existence of the Interim Management Committee (IMC), is unknown to the NDDC Act 2000 and serious breach of extant laws on the part of the IMC and the supervising ministry.
The letter reads in part:
“The Urhobo nation with over 21 flow stations and production capacity of over six hundred thousand bpd and host to the largest gas plant in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Otorogu gas plant cannot play second fiddle in the nation’s oil and gas industry therefore, cannot see reason why the current happenings at the NDDC where over N81 billion have either be stolen or pocketed by some few individuals under the three members kangaroo Interim Management Committee (IMC) should be allowed to continued.
“The UYA resolved that the Federal Government should within the next seven days sack the controversial Minister of Niger Delta Chief Godswill Obot Akpabio,
“The Congress wholeheartedly endorsed all the pragmatic efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari geared towards addressing the multidimensional problems that has bedevilled oil and gas-rich region of the country and we will continue to speak up anytime any day.”