Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers, says the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) wasted trillions of dollars without achieving its mandate in the region.
A statement by Kelvin Ebiri, the governor’s special adviser on media, noted that Wike spoke when he played host to the interim management committee of the NDDC at the government house, Port Harcourt, on Tuesday.
He said the NDDC wasted funds bowing to the dictates of outsiders, instead of focusing on how to lift the region out of poverty.
“The problem with us is that you allow people outside to control you. You want to have godfathers from east, west and north. NDDC is created for Niger Delta. Use the money for the people and region,” Wike said.
“They are abusing us that Niger Delta is a curse. Trillions of dollars have been spent, and we cannot say this is what we have spent the money on.
“Those Abuja portfolio contractors are part of the people controlling you. They tell you what to do and you do it for fear that they will remove you. But eventually, you will be removed. So, why not work for the people? When you’re removed, you’ll know you did your best for the region.”
The governor also cautioned the NDDC management to obey the subsisting court order that makes it mandatory for the commission to seek the consent of the state government before embarking on any project.
“I will not hesitate to tell the attorney-general to file contempt against officials of NDDC and NDDC itself. We will not hesitate, because we have come to the time that Nigerians must understand we must follow rules,” Wike said.
“The only way you can talk about good governance is when you obey the rule of law. There cannot be good governance when there is nothing to show you obey the law. Good governance is predicated on the rule of law.”
Wike condemned the posture of some ethnic groups in the region, saying the notion that only people from core Niger Delta states should be appointed by the commission must stop.
“Anybody can be appointed in Niger Delta. There are people who believe that if they appoint somebody from Edo or Cross River states for example, they say ‘no’, that those people are not the core Niger Delta states. We have to stop that,” he said.
“NDDC does not belong to any ethnic group in the Niger Delta region. It does not belong to anybody. There are people who have seen themselves that they are the owners of NDDC. They leave their state and come to NDDC to block NDDC gate.
“We are peaceful people, but nobody should push us to the point where we can tell you ‘enough is enough’.
“The next time they try it again to cause crisis in our state, I’ll mobilise our people against them. I am not saying if you have grievance with NDDC you shouldn’t seek how to settle it. But don’t use it to cause problem for us, to begin to make economic activities not to move on.”
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