Former militants in the restive and volatile Niger Delta region, under the aegis of Iduwini Volunteer Force (IVF) , have asked President Muhammadu Buhari to sack the Minister for Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio.
The ex- agitators made the call in a
statement signed on behalf of the group by one of its leaders, Johnson Biboye recently.
The ex- agitators also warned that the activities, particularly the establishment of the Interim Management Committee (IMC), put in place to run the affairs of the NDDC, by the Minister is a misnomer and is capable of upsetting the peace in the volatile region.
The group also demanded what it termed : the “urgent return” of the NDDC to the supervision of the Presidency.
Affirming its support for the anti corruption crusade of the president administration, the IVF described the three-man committee as a “smoke screen put in place to cover up huge financial atrocities that have been committed by notable figures in the Niger Delta, Chief Godswill Akpabio, inclusive.”
They equally called on President Buhari to as a matter of expediency, inaugurate the recently screened board of the Commission just as the services of a reputable and globally recognized accounting firm be engaged carry out a forensic audit of the activities of the interventionist agency.
The statement reads in part : “we are saddened that in spite of your administration’s concerted desire to ensure that the underdevelopment challenges confronting the Niger Delta region is tackled with more seriousness, we are forced to report to you that activities of one of your political appointees Chief Godswill Akpabio who is currently the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs is threatening the fragile peace in the Niger Delta region.
“As critical stakeholders in the Niger Delta peace process, the leadership of the Iduwini Volunteer Force ( IVF) having complied with the Federal Government Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) believes that the only thing that can return our troops back to the creeks is the type ( of leadership) been perpetuated by your Minister of Niger Delta Affairs without any control from the Government of the day.
“As a former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Chief Akpabio is an interested and active participant in the multi- Billion Naira fraud that has taken place in the NDDC and for such a person to be given the responsibility to superintend over such organization is not only fraudulent but an invitation to avoidable crisis”
“Having critically reviewed this pathetic situation,the meeting resolved that Federal Government under your able leadership should remove Chief Akpabio as Minister of Niger Delta Affairs and urgently return the NDDC back to the Presidency to avoid selfishly motivated individuals from wanting to control the regional developmental agency.
“The meeting also resolved that the already screened board of the NDDC nominated by your very self be given a matching order to resume just as you should appoint a reputable and globally recognized accounting firm to carry out the proposed forensic probe ( of the agency ).”
They further stated that failure to acceed to their demands may compel to return to the creeks.
“While we look forward to your early resolution of this impending avoidable crisis, we want to say that our present peaceful disposition should not be taken for weakness as we are still capable of striking when we are pushed the wall,” the group warned.