“NASS, stop strangling the Niger Delta!”~~UNDEDSS
The Niger Delta cannot breathe because of the National Assembly’s stranglehold it, angrily avers the civil society coalition for the region, UNDEDSS, the United Niger Delta Energy Development Security Strategy.
In a media briefing following an emergency Webinar Meeting of UNDEDSS anchored in the creeks of the Niger Delta yesterday, UNDEDSS accused the National Assembly of undue interference in the region, with especial self-serving emphasis on the Niger Delta Development Commission NDDC.
“Let us remind the NASS that UNDEDSS is not an internet one-man body,” stated Mr. Tony I. Uranta, UNDEDSS Secretary General, “and that our capacity for action should not be tested!”
“NASS Leadership must stop hoodwinking Nigerians with their revision of history. For example, *the Niger Delta Ministry was given supervisory powers over the NDDC in 2016, following talks between UNDEDSS and the FGN (where the Presidency was ably represented by a team led by the late Chief of Staff to Mr. President, Mallam Abba Kyari and the former DG DSS, Mallam Lawal Daura; whilst Pastor Usani Uguru Usani was Minister of the Niger Delta. It was under Usani that the Presidency wrote to place the NDDC under the Ministry,*” the UNDEDSS statement revealed.
“To lie that the current Minister of the Niger Delta in any way made the President to put the NDDC under supervision by the Ministry is as shown above a lie from the pit of hell, that attempts to paint Mr. President as being short of memory. All the new Chief of Staff, erudite Professor Ibrahim Gambari needs to do is check the records, and consult with Messrs Malami, Usani and Daura who are still very alive”, continued the UNDEDSS statement.
Mr. Uranta, UNDEDSS Scribe, disclosed that the National Assembly has, for years, had knees on the throat and chest of the Niger Delta thus choking the region whilst enabling some members of both chambers to corruptly enrich themselves and impoverish the region for years. *NASS legislators routinely padded the NDDC budget and compelled NDDC management to give juicy contracts to them, even with all parties knowing that the contracts will never be executed, although the putative contractors will be paid 100% for work not upto 15% completed*.”
“Even the Presidency’s decision to deliver palliatives to the region has attracted the hyenas in the NASS. *They’ve demanded to ‘share in’ even this compassionate program of Mr. President, or kill it, thus denying our people the much-needed palliatives to survive this Covid19 season!*”
The UNDEDSS statement queried that “NASS leadership and members are very much afraid of what will be revealed by the Forensic Audit being carried out on the explicit orders of President Buhari, else why are they hellbent on scuttling the already-begun audit?”
“They got Ms. Joi Nunieh sacked,” continued Uranta, “but have found the new DG, Professor Pondei equally resistant to their overtures intended to keep siphoning billions of Naira monthly on spurious consultancies and non-existent infrastructure contracts!”
If this hostile interference is allowed to impede Buhari’s singular act of decisiveness concerning the Niger Delta, in the face of non-delivery of remediation in the region (not even in Ogoni lands as promised by President Buhari), non-relocation of the Shipbuilding Dry Dock originally slated for the region (which is still lying idle in Lagos waters!), etc., *the FGN must hold NASS Leadership to blame should there be unrest in the creeks*. Of course, UNDEDSS is not saying any one individual or management team is angelic. What we are against is this attempt by people we know to be corruptly impoverishing the Niger Delta to derail the very welcome forensic audit and Covid19 palliatives ordered by President Buhari himself. NASS, we cannot breathe, remove the stranglehold on the Niger Delta or else…”, concluded the UNDEDSS Secretary General.
*Tony I. Uranta*
Secretary General, UNDEDSS.
Niger Delta Creeks.
Wednesday June 11th, 2020.