A chieftain of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Bayelsa state, Hon. Sunday Frank-Oputu, has described as a show of total disrespect and show of shame to President Muhammad Buhari administration at the ongoing battle of wits between the members of the National Assembly against the Interim Management Committee of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
His outburst followed the attempt to derail the ordered forensic audit with the N40billion probe of the commission. The commission is headed by the Acting Managing Director, Prof. Kemebradikumo Daniel Pondei.
According to Frank-Oputu, though President Buhari is silent over the ongoing face-off between the commission and the National Assembly through the Hon. Tunji Ojo led House Committee on the NDDC, the President Muhammadu Buhari’s silence should be seen as a warning signal to the National Assembly members to allow the IMC of the NDDC continue its ordered audit.
Hon. Sunday Frank-Oputu, in a statement issued in Yenagoa, said the anti-Niger Delta actions of the National Assembly against the NDDC is a self-indictment against members of the National Assembly for years of alleged commission’s budget padding, receipts of monies for fake jobs and show of fear towards the expected outcome of the forensic audit.
According to Frank-Oputu: ”The silence of the President Muhammadu Buhari that I see and study should not be taken as approval of the actions of the National Assembly members against Pondei and the NDDC.
“Buhari looks at issues from an elderly perspective. He is only studying the outburst of the National Assembly members and allowing them to expose themselves as the corrupt entity in the expected audit. He is allowing them to expose themselves. Buhari has once said that with such ordered forensic audit, corrupt persons will fight back and thereby expose themselves. The president will act soon”.
Frank-Oputu pointed out that the decision of the members of the National Assembly to frustrate the ordered audit is unfortunate and in bad taste, saying “these are the same people who used the NDDC as their cash-cow. If you go through the list of jobs under investigation, you will discover that over 90 per cent of National Assembly members have enriched themselves through the NDDC. They know that if the forensic audit is allowed to be done, it will expose lots of rot in the commission. The ordered audit will expose them as the real enemies of the Niger Delta region.”
“Prof. Pondei was appointed because he is non-partisan and a professional. He is capable of ensuring the success of the ordered probe. The National Assembly decision to throw up a N40billion non-existent probe is a clear attempt to stop the forensic audit.”
On the recent calls by some ijaw groups seeking a probe of the Prof. Kemebradikumo Daniel Pondei over alleged N51million security vote for the office of Acting Managing Director of the commission, Hon. Sunday Frank-Oputu dismissed the allegation as frivolous, pitiable and unfortunate, saying “it is unfortunate that some ijaw groups are being used against their brother.
“How much do the senate president and the Speaker of the House of Representative get as security votes? Some governors get as much as N2billion as security vote and no one cries out? How much is N51million security vote for the acting Managing Director that answers to nine state members of the commission? This is a desperate campaign launched against the forensic audit.”
He announced that the elders and youths of the region have met and resolved to back their own, Prof. Kemebradikumo Daniel Pondei against the National Assembly,” we are solidly behind the Acting MD. There is nothing anyone can do about it. They should go and check the numbers of projects allocated by the NDDC and you will see that Bayelsa is the least beneficiary. We are not saying the Acting MD is our own alone, we are saying they should allow a Bayelsa son deliver on the assignment given him by President Buhari.”
The APC chieftain also cautioned the Deputy Senate President, Chief Ovie Omo-Agege and the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources to come out clean over their alleged involvement in the ongoing attack against the Professor Pondei led Interim Committee of the NDDC, ”These men should come out clean and back Pondei. They should stop bootlicking those against the Niger Delta development”.
“For us as a people, the plot against Pondei is a plot against the development of the Niger Delta region. They should call their people working with the anti-Niger Delta members of the National Assembly to order. Except they want to tell us that they were also part of those to be possibly indicted by the ordered forensic probe.