In spite of the achievements recorded so far by the Sole Administrator of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Mr Akwa Effiong, information available to the media has it that some powerful forces have concluded plans to sponsor protests against him even as they are bent on putting further pressure on the President, Muhammadu Buhari, to accept a list of their cronies into the pending substantive Board of the Commission.
Further checks revealed that the identity of the sponsor as a highly placed principal officer at the National Assembly who has left no stone unturned to ensure that the ongoing Forensic Audit is thwarted, frustrating every other person appointed to oversee the process, with a view at presenting a list to the President for the umpteenth time.
A Source who is privy to the scheme and would not want his name mentioned in print revealed that, “the idea is to pressure the President to accept their list for a substantive Board, nominate their cronies into the Board and access the monies about to be released by the EFCC Chairman to the Commission’s account.”
Explaining that after their (powerful stake holders) “failed smear campaign against Akpabio last week, they have resorted to sponsored protests. The question is what is the reason for their renewed onslaught? It is definitely not about scuttling the Forensic Audit again, having seen that the President is poised to see to the conclusion of the Audit. They have changed tactics. It is to hijack the new Board in order to access the money for their political ambition in 2023.”
From the above, it is believed that the unrelenting sponsored media stories in some quarters for the immediate constitution of the Board may not be unconnected to the bid of some powerful forces in NDDC and outside, to have access to the funds of the interventionist organization, as the new Chairman of EFCC, Abdulrasheed Bawa is set to release monies withheld by his predecessor, into the Commission’s Account.
As the countdown to the 2023 General Election begins, it is being alleged that Nsima Udo Ekere, a former Managing Director at the Commission, who has been on a political running battle with Akpabio in their home state, Akwa Ibom, is also in cahoot with these forces because he is scheming to return to the Commission or become Governor in Akwa Ibom, but not with Akpabio and Akwa holding sway at the Commission.
The source therefore advised President Muhammadu Buhari to be cautious in accepting, endorsing or approving any list emanating from the self-acclaimed leader of APC South South, who is known to be pushing for the President to reappoint his cronies whose names were part of the former Board that was cleared by the Senate but was later rejected by the President.
Omo-Agege is alleged to be in a running battle with Senator Akpabio in spite of the fact that the latter has succeeded to have a harmonious working relationship with the two Committes on NDDC at the National Assembly. Recall that the man who was initially tipped as Managing Director for the Commission, Mr David Okumagba is a close ally of the Deputy Senate President.
Reacting to a press statement titled “MOSIEND lambaste Sen Akpabio for escalation of cult war in Rivers, urges Governor Wike to act fast,” a concerned citizen from the region noted that, “it is a figment of the imagination of those behind such infantile, malicious and spurious claims which have no verified evidence. Those who churn out such falsehood are merely tools of destabilization whose destinies have been mortgaged with crumbs from the tables of those who have held the region hostage for several years.
“From the Press Statement, any sane reader can easily deduce the purpose and intents of the faceless group with no visible address except for online reference.
“The recent commissioning of the Headquarters of the Niger Delta Commission has been widely applauded by Stakeholders, Traditional Rulers, Body of Contractors, the Clergy, Captains of Industries and Over 200 Youth groups, to the consternation of those who doubted our ability to complete the edifice and put it to use in good time.”