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Protest rocks NASS over NDDC probe

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The National Assembly has been hectically busy with pro and anti Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) probe protests on Monday.

A group, Niger Delta Development Commission Initiative (NDDI), an initiative of young people from the nine States of Niger Delta region during its protest to the National Assembly berated investigative Committees of the upper and lower legislative Chambers, accusing them of underhand dealings.

Publicity Secretary/Spokesperson for NDDI, Comrade Peter Ogbu urged President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene by ensuring that the forensic audit which he ordered for was not scuttled.

He said the group was not against the investigation of activities of NDDC, but alleged that Chairmen of those Committees were also culpable in the alledged malfeasance in the Commission.

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According to him, the forensic audit of NDDC should begin from 2015 instead of 2019 as proposed by the Presidency.

They also expressed confidence in Akpabio to bring his wealth of experience to bear on activities of NDDC, saying that the core mandate of NDDC has been derailed in the last 20 years.

“My name is Peter Obudu. I am the Publicity Secretary/Spokesperson for the Niger Delta Development Initiative (NDDI). It is the initiative of young people which cut across the nine states of the region.

“Of course, we are here this morning for reasons that we felt should be addressed. If you check, one of the reason why NDDC was created was to develop the region. We have also seen that there are a lot of issues that bothers on underdevelopment of the region and that means the NDDC has not in its full capacity done what it ought to do.

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“And for us as young people from the Niger Delta, it’s time for us to air our views and register our displeasure in ways and manner that the NDDC operates.

“The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, if allowed could use his wealth of experience to assist the NDDC to develop the region. But what we are seeing from the Committees is distraction.”

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On the other hand, a group known as Emerging Leaders Forum (ELFON) in their protests, called for the sack of Niger Delta Affairs Minister.

In their placards, the group alleged that Godswill was the brain behind the fraud in NDDC, while asking him to stop intimidating lawmakers probing activities of the Commission.

Convener of ELFON, Godstime Chukwubuikem Samuel said that Akpabio’s meddlesomeness in NDDC has caused more damage to the region, adding that preliminary investigations by the parliament indicated that he has soiled his hands in the finances of the Commission.

Both protests took place simultaneously at the entrance to the National Assembly under serious security watch.

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