By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
Non-governmental organizations, Niger Delta NGOs, on Friday challenged Niger Delta Minister of Affairs Sen God’swill Akpabio to publish names of contractual beneficiary NGOs of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, as claimed in the ongoing investigation by the Probe Committee of the National Assembly.
The demand was made by the Executive Director, African Network for Environmental and Economic Justice, ANEEJ, Rev David Ugolor, on behalf of the NGOs while speaking about the claim presented by the Minister at the Committee hearing.
It will be recalled that 37 CSOs in the region recently demanded that a thorough investigation be conducted of the factors that led to the level of reckless looting that has been associated with the Commission since its inception, and anyone found guilty must be prosecuted.
They also accused the Commission of the mass withdrawal allegedly carried out from the Commission’s account while its investigation was ongoing in the National Assembly, and called for the immediate freezing of withdrawals from the Commission’s accounts.
Ugolor said: “We are challenging Akpabio and the acting Managing Director of NDDC to publish the names of the NGOs that obtained jobs and did not carry them out or participated in dubious contract processes.
“In fact, all the NGOs that got jobs from the NDDC allowed their names and details of the contracts they got to be published so they could be analyzed.”
In addition, he stated that the Minister and the MD should not think that the NGOs working in the Niger Delta region are corrupt and that they do not have good intentions for the people, adding that if it is a matter of obtaining a cheap political point and also bring credible NGOs to discredit without verifiable claims he (Akpabio) must show facts.
“They should not undermine and create credibility problems for NGOs working selflessly in the region to improve people’s lives, including their environment,” he said.
He also added that “As civil society organizations and people in the region, we have documented all the allegations of corruption and abuse of due process in the Commission revealed at the public hearing.”