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NDDC: Why Akpabio is most petitioned as Buhari’s minister – Aide

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More than any minister in President Muhammadu Buhari’s cabinet, Godswill Obot Akpabio is the most petitioned by those who didn’t mean well for the development of Niger Delta region, according to the minister’s aide.

Speaking with journalists in Abuja on the update of issues on the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Anthony Ekene Onwuka, Special Assistant to the Minister on Project Monitoring Committee on NDDC revealed that since Akpabio ordered a forensic audit of the Commission’s previous projects, he has had no rest from petitioners again.

According to him, the forensic audit initiated by Akpabio would unveil sharp practices with regards to authenticity of some projects or otherwise, a situation that challenged the old order, thereby, letting hell loosed with all forms of petitions to frustrate him out of office.

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He said: “But l am worried that some people don’t want Akpabio to succeed; they do everything possible to sabotage him by writing all manner of petitions against him.

“However, he is an enigma and a transformer who seriously want to change the narrative in the Niger Delta region.

“I will never forget the day he was addressing his staff, and he said, ‘NDDC must succeed and Niger Delta must register uncommon development. What will I tell my children tomorrow; I must stamp my trademark, my brother, you need to see the passion for a better Niger Delta. The love for his people, I was challenged and when he said SA, go back to your office, you have my support.

“At this juncture, I want to humbly appeal to all stakeholders in the Niger Delta region to support Senator Akpabio in his efforts to make NDDC work, develop and sustain a new Niger Delta region.”

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He listed another sin of Akpabio to be the completion of the NDDC headquarters office which has lasted for over 26 years before he was appointed minister.

“Since he assumed office, the Minister has completed the NDDC’s headquarters after 26 years in the works, a project that defied seven consecutive boards and many CEOs.

“When the Interim Management Committee (lMC) was accused of corruption and ineptitude, Senator Akpabio, in his struggle to succeed as a supervising minister of the agency, accepted the introduction of the appointment of an Interim Administrator by Mr President to ensure a smooth running system pending the completion of the forensic audit report before the constitution of a substantive board according to relevant sections of our constitution.

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“Within this period of the Interim Administrator, the NDDC permanent site was completed and commissioned by President Buhari, saving NDDC a whopping 300 million Naira paid as yearly rent by the commission”, he said.

Onwuka, who is a Diaspora Nigerian having lived in Germany for years called on Nigerians living abroad to come home and invest in the economy, saying the system in Nigeria wasn’t different from those foreign countries, save for culture and tradition of the people.

“The system here in Nigeria is not completely different from the one we know abroad, except that our customs and values here are not the same, and these are variables that one has to contend with.

“Frankly, the Nigerian system in particular, presents a lot of interesting challenges but they are still surmountable.”

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