The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has claimed that the leading opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is not interested in the current moves by the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to reposition the NDDC.
The APC said the PDP is “dead-scared” of the outcome of 2001 to 2019 forensic audit and legislative inquests of the NDDC operations.
The PDP, in a statement on Monday, by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said the “dramatic collapse” of acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Professor Kemebradikumo Pondei, while being grilled by the House of Representatives, underscored the weight of corruption that had allegedly bedeviled the APC-led government.
Pondei “fainted” on Monday, during his presentation at the ongoing probe of the agency by the House of Representatives.
But reacting in a statement on Tuesday, APC’s national publicity secretary, Yekini Nabena, alleged that the PDP was doing everything to sabotage and frustrate the audits.
“In recognition of the ongoing forensic audit and legislative inquest into the operations of the NDDC, as a party, we have no intention to trade words on how successive PDP administrations and their cronies institutionalised a culture of contract fraud and other corrupt practices which has robbed the Niger Delta region of badly-needed development.
“We will rather monitor and await the findings of the ongoing audits.
“However, one thing is clear, no vested interest will continue to turn the NDDC into an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) while multi-faceted development eludes the Niger Delta region.
“We must support the forensic audit of the 19 years of the NDDC, which includes the first 4 years of the President Buhari administration as well as well-meaning legislative inquests for the benefit of the Niger Delta region.
“As a party, we totally align and support the resolve of President Muhammadu Buhari to audit and reposition the NDDC.
“As with all institutions of government, we must continue to entrench transparency and accountability.
“The commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari administration remains the rapid and sustainable development of the Niger Delta region.
“Hence, the audit must be seen as a decisive move to clear any stumbling block undermining the development of the Niger Delta region.
“The administration’s fight against corruption is total, unsparing and there are no sacred cows.
“Public records show that officials of past administrations, members of the opposition, APC, cabinet members, appointees, private sector among others have been given ample opportunity by this administration to defend corruption allegations when they arise.
“The PDP’s tales of unbridled treasury looting, Ilusionary fraud and other fictitious allegations are part of their tired, baseless and tactless attempts to get public reckoning, cover past fraud and play the role of opposition which it has shockingly failed at,” the APC said.