The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) has commended President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmed Lawan, and the entire Senate for barring the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) from defending the Commission’s 2019/2020 budget.
Lawan had, while referring the budget to the Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs, directed the committee to only deal with the duly confirmed Board of the Commission and not the IMC appointed by Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio. IYC, in statement signed by its President, Eric Omare, said the decision has demonstrated the Senate’s capacity to defend the rule of law and democracy in Nigeria.
“We also commend the Senate for always standing on the side of the oppressed people Niger Delta region. “It would be recalled that when the NDDC Act was passed in the year 2000, the then President Olusegun Obasanjo refused to assent to the bill as passed by the National Assembly because of the funding provisions.
“However, the National Assembly, led by the late Dr. Chuba Okadigbo as Senate President and Alhaji Ghali Umar Na’Abba as Speaker of the House of Representatives stood on the side of the people of the Niger Delta region and vetoed the presidential assent and passed the NDDC Act into law and established the NDDC.
“In effect, the NDDC is a baby of the National Assembly and we are glad that the present National Assembly lived to the expectation of the people of the Niger Delta region by coming out to defend the survival of the NDDC.
“Consequently, we call on the House of Representatives to follow the lead that has been provided by the Senate and also bar the IMC from coming to defend the 2019/2020 NDDC. “We further call on the National Assembly to probe the expenditures of the IMC and sanction those culpable for spending money from the funds of federal government without parliamentary authorisation,” the statement added.