By Uche Amunike
Ex-Agitators from the Niger Delta have commended President Bola Tinubu for his decision to return the supervision of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), back to the presidency.
Speaking through a statement signed by the National Secretary of the First Phase ex-agitators, Mr. Nature Dumale, Sunday, in Port Harcourt, he stated that it was delightful to hear the news that NDDC would henceforth report directly to the President, like the North East Development Commission.
According to him, they had long wished for the development and had led a campaign in the past for the Commission to be directly supervised by the president, as it would ensure transparency and quick development in impoverished regions that are rich in crude oil and gas.
Dumale further stated that President Bola Tinubu’s act of returning the NDDC to the presidency, showed how genuinely he intended to turn the fortunes of the Commission around.
His words: ‘We want to use this opportunity to appreciate Mr. President, for the wisdom in returning the NDDC to the Presidency. We believe that this will speed up the development of the region, and stem the culture of turning the Commission into a cash cow.’
‘For us, it is a sign that the President has good intentions for the Niger Delta region for summoning the political will to move the interventionist agency back to the Presidency.’
‘This means that he wants proper supervision of the NDDC. As ex-agitators, we can boldly say that the Niger Delta has been suffering because of mismanagement.’
He further averred: ‘This move will engender accountability, transparency and the much touted development of the Niger Delta, would become a reality. This is one step Mr. President has taken to give us hope as leaders in the region. We believe that the NDDC under the supervision of the Presidency would facilitate meaningful development.’
He continued: ‘The only time we experienced some development was when NDDC was under the direct supervision of the Presidency. As soon as it was moved to the Ministry of Niger Delta, it became a cash cow, for the Niger Delta Cartel, whose only agenda, is to keep the Niger Delta underdeveloped.’
Dumale went on to explain that there was a Niger Delta Recovery Plan, discovered by them, aside from the NDDC and the PAP. It was a plan that entailed that the ministries of Petroleum, Environment and Niger Delta Affairs worked in collaboration in articulating the development of the region.
Hear him: ‘We live in an environment where a lot is taken away on a daily basis by the Federal Government, yet there is little to show for it. The condition of Ogoni-Onne-Eleme Road, which is part of the East-West road, comes to mind. The road has remained a death trap making it impossible for free movement of goods.’
‘We are standing behind President Tinubu and we await, with great enthusiasm and renewed vigor, the speedy development of our homeland’, he stated.
He warned that the ex-agitators were educated and intended holding their leaders accountable, as they would no longer entertain mismanagement of their Commonwealth, adding that by their training, they communicate positively and present their case to the United Nations, therefore, they would not engage anybody with arms.
He also called on President Bola Tinubu to convince the NDDC to make the forensic audit report on interventionist agency, public, as everyone responsible for diverting the resources of the commission, must be held accountable.