Whether we accepts it or not, the Forensic Audit ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari for the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, is the only solution to the many years of looting, rape and decay in the commission and challenges of underdevelopment in the Niger Delta region. It will be recalled that the Audit followed a request by governors of the nine Oil producing states sometime in April, 2019. The governors while lamenting the rot in the NDDC noted that the reason for the call for a proper forensic audit exercise is to help highlight areas of strength and weaknesses of the Commission. It was a call described by many as clarion.
The call birthed the unrelenting and focused 3-man Interim Management Committee, IMC of the NDDC, made up of experienced, upright and intelligent politicians with untainted reputation and intact integrity as Hon. Chief. Dr. Cairo Ojougboh and Prof. Pondei by the President with a mandate to audit the commission and assuage the largely angry and disappointed people of the region. The president had frowned at the rot and utter mismanagement of the NDDC over these long years and has through this forensic audit demonstrated how deeply committed he is to seeing accountability of stewardship that will rejig the commission and address the unfortunate paradox, aimed at serving the people of the Niger Delta region properly and adequately.
It is imperative at this point, therefore, to emphatically state and note that the natural resources from the Niger Delta area make Nigeria the sixth largest Oil producing nation in the world, yet well over sixty seven per cent ( 67) of the people live below the poverty line with accompanying parlous education , health , sanitation , job creation, water and infrastructure despite millions of naira annually budgeted into the Niger Delta Development Commission by the Federal Government since its establishment about twenty years ago.
Now, considering the magnitude of corruption in the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, where many contracts were awarded, even to some senators and House of Representative members from the Niger Delta states, paid for but not executed, will anyone on his right thinking cap have any reason to argue that the Forensic audit as solution to the perennial decay is not sacrosanct? In my opinion, it is more than sacrosanct.
In fact, to say the forensic audit is a timeless necessity and the best way to go for now is to clearly state the obvious even as members of the committee continue to reiterated their unyielding determination to manage the forensic audit of the NDDC in an extremely transparent manner, On this backdrop, therefore, those thieves in our government whose interest it is to loot should now get ready to account for their stewardship and possibly face justice rather than the prevalent campaign of calumny and obnoxious political blackmail/ gimmick garnished-with-lies call for the heads of members of the Interim Management Committee, IMC.
To me, it is madness and the height of insensitivity to the unsavouring plight of the people of the Niger Delta region for anyone to call for the scrapping of the Interim Management Committee, IMC. Members of the committee are doing great job and should be applauded, not vilified for the good job they are doing. Those sponsoring media attacks on the Interim Management Committee, IMC, should know that Mr. President knew they (corrupt criminal elements) will fight back to resist the forensic audit.
For instance, these criminal politicians are gradually exposing themselves with their fears. They are so dead-scared of being called to account for their unholy stewardship, making it obvious that their action remains to derail the forensic audit ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari but whether they like it or not, the Forensic Audit/ Interim Management Committee is the way to go.
Lastly, these criminal persons in exalted political offices ought to have known before now that their actions were expected and a space created to accommodate their blackmail ab initio. When the Interim Management, IMC came in with the mandate to drive the forensic audit, it was well aware that it will have enemies but people who have unjustly benefitted from the system who will be brought to book. They are the people fighting back. People like this don’t have any other arsenal other than to resort to the media because the media gives them space to vent their venom.
Nonetheless, it is a yes for forensic audit and the IMC.