Corruption Allegations and Unmet Promises in the Niger Delta: Calls for Accountability and Effective Leadership
High Chief Anabs Sara-Igbe, the National Coordinator of the South South Leaders Forum and former spokesman for the Pan Niger Delta Elders Forum (PANDEF), shares concerns about the state of the Niger Delta and its development in an interview. He highlights various issues, including the expired NDDC Master Plan, interference by the Federal Government in NDDC management, and the role of the EFCC in collecting NDDC funds from oil companies without remitting them. He also discusses the need for new leadership in the Amnesty Program and expresses disappointment in the dissolution of NDDC boards.
- NDDC Master Plan: The NDDC’s 23-year-old Master Plan has not yielded desired results due to continuous interference by the Federal Government and non-compliance by oil companies in providing their statutory funding.
- EFCC and NDDC Funds: The EFCC has been collecting funds from oil companies on behalf of NDDC but has failed to remit the money. Chief Sara-Igbe calls for President Buhari to intervene and ensure the EFCC returns the collected funds to the NDDC.
- Incessant Board Dissolutions: Chief Sara-Igbe expresses concern about the frequent dissolution of NDDC boards, which hampers the region’s development. He commends President Tinubu for retaining the current caretaker team and urges for proper leadership and stability.
- Wike’s Criticism of NDDC: Chief Sara-Igbe criticizes Governor Wike for labeling the NDDC a “cash cow” while neglecting oil-producing communities in Rivers State. He calls on Wike to allow the new governor, Sim Fubara, to do his job without interference.
- Need for New Leadership in Amnesty Program: The Amnesty Program needs proper management and strategic planning to address the proliferation of arms in the Niger Delta and promote peace and development. Chief Sara-Igbe emphasizes the importance of empowering law-abiding citizens and producing more professionals through education and training.
The interview sheds light on the challenges facing the Niger Delta and the urgent need for accountable leadership and effective programs to foster peace, development, and prosperity in the region.