Niger Delta leaders and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) is set for an unprecedented showdown.
The showdown arises from the interrogation of senior management staff of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
Notable leaders in the region, under the aegis of Niger Delta Leaders Forum (NDLF) see the action of ICPC as a distraction.
Speaking in Port-Harcourt, NDLF spokesperson, Chief John Harry, described the invitation of NDDC officials by ICPC as unnecessary and ill-motivated.
He was flanked by Akwa-Ibom, Cross Rivers, Abia, Rivers, Imo, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo and Ondo representatives.
In a unanimous decision, the Forum condemned the interrogation of the Commission’s workers.
The leaders praised the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Chief Godswill Akpabio for redefining leadership in the region. They also lauded him for sanitizing NDDC and decentralizing the functions of NDDC.
Specifically, they offered salutary praise for Akpabio’s solutions to the region’s problems. “His effective actualization of the ideals on which the Commission was established is salutory.
‘’Chief Godswill Akpabio is the most positive Minister in the Niger Delta region,’’ he said.
The leaders also commended Akpabio for the sense of independence in the interventionist agency.
“ICPC’s approach will conflict with the mandate of the Interim Management Committee and the Act setting up the Commission. It is in every sense witch hunting’’
The leaders accused ICPC of disrupting the progress of the region.
‘What ICPC has done now is sabotage of the forensic agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari. The Interim Management Committee is a panacea for the region’s problem, IMC’s problem is understandable. Some politicians want to control the Commission. The idea of a minister who is not controlled by them is unthinkable’’
They urged President Buhari to ignore the antics of mischief makers and pecuniary seeking elements. “Their actions are unpatriotic as they are all out to bring down the minister and the IMC,” they submitted.
“There has been well oiled machinery by failed politicians to bring down Akpabio and the Interim Management Committee. Those frustrated by the achievements recorded by the IMC are using ICPC against the Commission,’’ the leaders said.