Mike Odiegwu, Port Harcourt
Young people from the nine states in the Niger Delta region over the weekend asked all interested parties to support the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to conduct the commission's ongoing forensic audit. .
The leader of the Youth Coalition of the Niger Delta (NDYC), Vitus Gabriel, who spoke during a solidarity visit to the NDDC headquarters in Port Harcourt, said that people fleeing the investigation should not destabilize the BMI.
He urged the NDDC's acting managing director, Professor Kemebradikumo Pondei, to be firm and resolute in seeking to bring positive changes to the Niger Delta, to the benefit of young people and other stakeholders.
He said: “We have been reading the baseless claims of our detractors, who for some selfish reasons are working against the progress of the region. We call on them to allow the IMC to continue with its good works.
"We asked Professor Pondei and other members of the IMC to disregard the actions of detractors and remain focused on their task".
Also speaking, a member of the delegation, Dimie Siyaidon, said the youth were at the NDDC to support their weight at the IMC and at the Niger Delta Affairs Minister, Senator Godswill Akpabio.
He said: “We thank the minister for bringing transparent people to serve at the IMC. We have seen all sorts of frivolous claims, especially in online media, but we are not deceived because we know that those behind them are trying to cover up their tracks. "
Siyaidon said that young people and other stakeholders in the Niger Delta should insist that the IMC be authorized to do its job and provide the right environment for the forensic audit to be carried out without permission or impediment.
Addressing youth, the Special Assistant to the NDDC Interim Executive Director for Youth Affairs, Amb. Alfred Etuk, said the solidarity visit was timely and reassuring.
He said: “We appreciate this demonstration of support and understanding of what the IMC has done so far. When leadership changes, so do laws. This is what is affecting many corrupt people in the system. I can assure you that BMI is equal to the task of removing the Niger Delta from the depths of underdevelopment, despite the distractions of individuals looking for themselves. "
Etuk said some of the attacks on the BMI were caused by an alleged failure to supply Lassa fever kits, but said the contract for the supply of medical kits was awarded before the IMC took office and that the items were supplied.
He noted that medicines for Lassa fever were donated to the states of Edo and Ondo and Delta by previous NDDC management when the disease broke out in the beneficiary states.
He said: “I can guarantee that the minister is doing what no man in the Niger Delta has done. It takes courage to correct the mistakes of the past, because personal interests want the status quo to remain. That's why the few bad eggs in the region are fighting back. "