An atmosphere of confusion now pervades the headquarters of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, yesterday, over the lingering power play that has almost grounded its operation. Many stakeholders, fearing that the unfolding power play and intrigues surrounding the Board and management of the Commission might hinder the passage of the Commission’s budget for next year and smooth management and operations of the debt-ridden interventionist agency, have called for the urgent intervention of President Muhammadu Buhari to salvage the organisation and the region.
There are indications that struggle for control of power and quest to amass resources ahead of the 2023 general elections are part of the underlying current behind the controversy and intrigues surrounding the beleaguered commission. A top management source in NDDC told The Guardian that unfolding power play among the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Godswill Akpabio, other political forces in the region and the Senate would have adverse implication on the activities of the Commission if not resolved expeditiously.
“The budgetary process of 2020 is in place. Except the NDDC would not have a budget. Who would even stand before the Senate to defend the budget of the NDDC? Akpabio, who is the Minister of Niger Delta, will he not go back to the Senate for the purposes of this budget?