NDDC: Ex-Militants warn against extending Pondei’s tenure

A Coalition of Niger Delta ex-militants, National Coalition of Niger Delta Ex-Agitators, has warned the Federal Government against any attempt to renew the tenure of the Interim Management Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) led by Professor Keme Pondei.

National President of the Coalition, Eshanekpe Israel, a.k.a Akpodoro, in a statement made available to newsmen on Friday in Abuja, called on the President Muhammadu Buhari to inaugurate the Pius Odubu and Bernard Okumagba-led board of the agency that was screened already screened by the Senate.

He urged the President to be consistent in his actions saying the people of the region have endured enough of maladministration in that intervention agency.

Akpodoro noted that there was no reason the IMC should continue in the office under any guise be it for the reason of forensic audit or no, stressing that no amount of pressure should make the Government extend the tenure of the ‘illegitimate IMC” as he added that the Nigerians await the December terminal date set out by the Presidency for the IMC.

Irrespective of the drama the Professor Pondei-led IMC played to the entire world during the investigation of the body earlier in the year, the former warlord noted that the indigenous people of Niger Delta had borne the brunt of the maladministration of NDDC with enough patience and understanding adding that, this is the time the President should change his style.

The Urhobo-born ex-militant noted that until a new NDDC evolves, the President’s efforts would be in futility, stressing that the right thing must be done at the right time.

He questioned the rationale behind the purchase of vehicles for the forensic experts by the IMC noting that the interim board was part of the corruption in the agency as witnessed in the allegations and ‘disgrace’ Nigerians witnessed during an investigation into the activities of the Pondei’s interim management.

The only way out of the NDDC quagmire Akpodoro noted, was for the President to dissolve the IMC and sign on the already screened board which he said are peopled by well-meaning Nigerians with the capacity to use the agency to achieve all the developmental goals as earmark by the act establishing the intervention agency.

He called on the President to note that the Niger Delta region is not an exclusive preserve of a particular ethnic nationality saying the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) was being rightfully and productively managed by a man from Ijaw ethnic nationality and that it would be wrong to allow Pondei who he noted is of a same ethnic group with the Acting Administrator of the PAP.

He warned that the patience of the people of the region particularly the critical stakeholders in the Niger Delta project should not be taken for granted by anybody while appealing to the President to do the needful before he is compelled to do so, saying “nobody is more ‘Niger Deltan’ than the other.”

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