The South-South Governors Forum on have thrown their weight behind the ongoing forensic audit of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Forum while lamenting over the crisis rocking the NDDC, stated its conviction that the forensic audit would serve to put the Commission on a proper corporate footing in repositioning it for a better delivery on its mandate.
Chairman of the Forum, Governor Senator (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta state, in a statement on Thursday revealed that the governors are wholeheartedly backing the ongoing investigation of the NDDC by the Nigerian Senate.
Governor Okowa stated his believe for the Senate, saying it is operating within its oversight functions through the Senate Committee on the NDDC.
The Forum also condemned the besiege of the residence former Acting Managing Director of the NDDC, Dr Joi Nunieh, who was only rescued by the timely intervention of Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers state.
The statement reads in full;
“It behoves us to respect the Senate oversight function and allow it to discharge this responsibility in a fair, transparent and equitable manner.
“The South-South Governors are desirous to see an NDDC that is fully alive and responsive to its mandate of accelerating infrastructural development of the Niger Delta region and enhancing the general living conditions of our people. Hence, we will not hesitate to give our unqualified support to any policy initiative that will make this a reality.
“The Forum wishes to advise the combatants in the current crisis in the NDDC to refrain from utterances and actions that will breach the peace and security of the region,’’ the forum stated.
“let it be on record that we are neither in support of nor against Ms Nunieh in the current cloud of controversy surrounding the NDDC.
“However, as responsible public servants and leaders in the Niger Delta, we are mindful of the implications her attempted abduction could have on the peace and security of the region, which the current administration has laboured to sustain in the last five years.
“We do not want that to be truncated as it can have adverse consequences on the national economy.
“We urge the feuding parties in the NDDC to conduct themselves in a civil, orderly and lawful manner for the good of the region and the progress of the country.
“Democracy is about the rule of law; we have the courts and the various democratic institutions to deal with any grievances people may have without resorting to underhanded tactics and methods to intimidate and hound others.
“Finally, we wish to reiterate our stand that both the forensic audit and the Senate investigation should continue and be concluded with dispatch so that the NDDC can quickly return to its role of advancing and protecting the developmental aspirations our people.’’
Meanwhile, we brought you news of how the Acting Managing Director of the Interim Management Committee of the Niger Delta Development Commission, Prof Pondei walked out on the House Committee of the Commission during an investigation on Thursday.