Friday, 8 November 2019

Don't forgive all those who ate NDDC money, C'River deputy Speaker to Buhari

The Deputy, Speaker, Cross River State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Joseph Bassey has called on the Federal Government to ensure all those found guilty of squandering funds meant for the development of the Niger Delta region are brought to book. 

Speaking with News Agency of Nigeria, Friday, in Calabar, Hon. Bassey comended President Buhari for carrying out the forensic audit exercise in the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, stating that as a lawmaker, he feels embarrassed at the spate of development in the region. 

While urging the president not to relent in prosecuting offenders after the audit exercise, he revealed that past leaders of the Commission from both Cross River and Akwa Ibom states have had the privilege of robust budgets that's not commensurate to the rate of development in the region. 

He lamented the deplorable state of the road linking the two sister states, stating that he feels embarrassed whenever he plies the road, as that Nigerians in the region are severely affected by the selfish acts of politicians over the development of the region. 

In his words; "I pity the common man on the street. As a politician, I feel very guilty passing through that road because you cannot drive for a minute without falling into a major ditch.

"From the time past, we have had Chairmen and Managing Directors of NDDC from Cross River and Akwa Ibom states and the volume of budgets have been high.

"It is sad that the only road that connects the two sister states is still in a state of decay years after years because some few individuals have taken what belongs to the people.

"I strongly commend Mr President for ordering the audit of the commission. Also, I want to commend the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Sen. Godswill Akpabio, for standing firm to that.

"However, I am soliciting for the immediate intervention of the Calabar-Itu road because as we speak, a journey from Calabar to Akwa Ibom that ordinarily should be for an hour is now five hours.

"I don't think anybody who has been in NDDC and was given resources to do that road should be forgiven because most of them are flying around and building houses with the funds," he said.

He urged South South indigenes to support Akpabio in his drive to ensure speedy development in the region, adding that all forms of distraction towards him should be discouraged.

He suggested that when the funds are recovered from the audit, the focus should also be on immediate rehabilitation of roads in the South South, especially the Calabar-Itu road.

From NAN