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Niger Delta leaders sets for decisive confrontation with ICPC over NDDC staff

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BY CHRIS NJOKU

The leaders of Niger Delta under the umbrella pressure group known as Niger Delta Leaders Forum (NDLF) and Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission may be heading for a face-off over the panel game of senior management staff of the Niger Delta Development Commission.

Prominent leaders in the region on Friday have frowned at the development, hence described the action of ICPC as a total distraction.

Addressing journalists in PortHarcourt, the spokesperson of the NDLF, Chief John Harry, described the invitation of NDDC officials by ICPC as unnecessary and ill-motivated. Chief Harry, who was flanked by Akwa-Ibom, Cross Rivers, Abia, Rivers, Imo, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo, and Ondo representatives, condemned the quizzing of the Commission’s workers.

The leaders praised the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio for redefining leadership in the region, sanitizing NDDC, decentralizing the functions of NDDC, finding solutions to the problems confronting the region, and bringing the Commission closer to the ideals for which it was established. They lauded him specifically for the sense of independence in the interventionist agency.

‘’Chief Godswill Akpabio is the most positive Minister in the Niger Delta region’’

‘’The approach of ICPC is bound to result in conflict with the mandate of the Interim Management Committee and the Act setting up the Commission. It is in every sense witch-hunting’’

The leaders accused ICPC of disrupting the progress of the region.

“What ICPC has done now is sabotage of the forensic agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari. The Interim Management Committee is a panacea for the region’s problem, IMC’s problem is understandable. Some politicians want to control the Commission. The idea of a minister who is not controlled by them is unthinkable’’

They urged the office of President Buhari to ignore the antics of malevolent and mischievous characters that are all out to pull-down the Minister and the IMC.

‘’There has been well-oiled machinery by enemies of progress and failed politicians to bring down Chief Akpabio and the Interim Management Committee. Those frustrated by the achievements and sense of commitment recorded by the IMC are using ICPC against the Commission’’ the leaders said.