7 September 2011
The groups said the ACT which established the commission in 2000, gave it an omnibus role from the outset; couple with the lack of proper funding, which underscores the poor performance of the interventionist agency.
This is as they said the mission statement of the Ministry of Niger Delta should be revisited to avoid the current scrambling and seeming duplication between it and the NDDC.
This was the position of the lead speakers of the Institute for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (IHRHL), Ijaw Council for Human Rights, and the Niger Delta Integrity Group respectively at a one day symposium organised by the Federated Correspondent Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in
Port Harcourt , , on Tuesday. Rivers State
In his presentation Executive Director of IHRHL, Anyakwee Nsirimovu, said the NDDC which was established to achieve a people centred development, was now being used as an instrument to under develop people of the region, going by the in-fighting in the board and management of the agency.
Nsirimovu who describe the NDDC as animal farm said it is being controlled by Godfathers who in turn appoint board members by way of patronage, saying the commission was not meant to succeed.
"People of the Niger Delta should rather resort to what I describe as intellectual militancy and stop deficit democracy for the region to succeed," even as he urged the management of the commission to revolt against their Godfathers, as it happened in the Animal farm in order to restore sanity in the system.
Similarly, Deputy President, Niger Delta Integrity Group, John Idumange identified gross violation of the NDDC Act and under funding as major problems facing the commission, saying the provision of the NDDC act makes it to lack focus.
He said, "The Federal Government should revisit the ACT establishing the NDDC, in order to remove the omnibus role given to the commission to do everything, yet poverty, hunger and lack of infrastructural holds sway in the Niger Delta."
On his part, Founding Director of the Ijaw Council for Human Rights, Patterson Ogon flayed the in-fighting in the NDDC and called for the full publication of the report of the committee set up by President Goodluck Jonathan to look into the problems of the NDDC, in view of fears that the report may be biased.