Leaders under the auspices of the Niger Delta Movement for Development (NDMD) have flayed the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) Worldwide for what they described as unwarranted and irresponsible attacks on the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, over the forensic audit report of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
The convener, NDMD, Victor Mathew, in a statement on Sunday commended President Muhammadu Buhari and Akpabio for concluding the forensic audit of NDDC.
Mathew described the audit report submitted to Buhari by Akpabio as thorough and far-reaching, saying the recommendations when implemented would reposition the commission to actualise its mandate.
He described Akpabio as a Niger Delta hero and a true son of the soil saying the minister had made history for mustering the political will to see the audit to its end despite all obstacles by mischief makers.
He disassociated the youths of the region from a statement signed by the President of IYC, Peter Timothy Igbifa, calling for the sacking of Akpabio, saying Igbifa lacked the moral rights to comment on the forensic audit report.
He recalled that Igbifa had earlier mobilised the youths for a protest to thwart the audit, a situation he said divided the IYC.
Mathew said: “President Muhammadu Buhari and his Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, deserve our commendation for mustering the political will to begin the audit process and see it through despite opposition by persons, who don’t mean well for our region.
“We recall how the IYC President, Timothy Igbifa, mobilised youths to derail the audit process. But he was resisted and later suspended by the council. Igbifa has no right to speak on the forensic audit report and that is why we are calling on members of the public to disregard his latest statement against Akpabio”.
Mathew called on Buhari to ensure full implementation of the audit report and prosecution of persons such as contractors and politicians indicted for diverting our commonwealth.
“Nobody named in that report to have in way or the other contributed in the underdevelopment of the Niger Delta by diverting monies meant for projects for personal use should be spared by the Presidency.
“All of them must be prosecuted no matter their tribes even if they are from the Ijaw extraction. They must pay for impoverishing our region. We are asking the President to publish the names of these individuals and contractors involved in looting our commonwealth”.