A coalition of activists from the Niger Delta under the aegis of Niger Delta Activists Forum, on Monday, protested against what they described as “the downsizing of the Niger Delta Development Commission
Board as recommended in the forensic audit report.”

They also demanded the publication of the names of those allegedly involved in the abandonment of 13,000 projects in the region over the years, including the immediate constitution of the NDDC Board.

The PUNCH reported that the lead forensic auditor, Alhaji Kabir Ahmed, had in a brief overview of the report, said the team recommended managerial as well as structural changes, chief of which was the downsizing of the NDDC Board.

Ahmed said to reduce cost, the team recommended that members of the team should henceforth be appointed on a part-time basis.

But at a press conference on Monday in Abuja, the President of NDFA, Success Jack, and former Special Assistant to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan (Youth Affairs), Jude Imagwe, said such structural changes would have to be extended to other commissions if the government should go ahead implementing the recommendation.

“There is a law that established the NDDC and that law still stands with every state and zone duly represented. If we want to go that way with NDDC because it concerns our region, we will equally say that every arm of government or sector or commission should be treated that same way as part-time”, the NDAF said.

Speaking on the outcome of the report, the organization argued that the people in the Niger Delta deserved to know every detail relating to the report as the process was powered with taxpayer’s money.

The NDAF said, “Our people have suffered degradation, water contamination, air pollution and we can’t even farm. It is worrisome that some people decided to cart away with public funds meant for projects that were allocated for the benefit of the people.

“What forensic audit, therefore, means that there is an in-depth investigation into a matter.

“It is expected that the details should be published and made known to the public. The report is not a private document but a document that covers how taxpayer’s money was spent and taxpayers should know what is contained in the report.

“It can only be just, seen to be fair, and it can only stand to represent what it should represent if the president takes a step further as a crusader of anti-corruption to publish the names of every person and corporate bodies that are indicted in the audit.”

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