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NDDC Reforms: Frivolous allegations against Umana were expected, says NDN

The Niger Delta Network (NDN) has said the allegations of fraud leveled against the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Umana Okon Umana, were expected.…

The Niger Delta Network (NDN) has said the allegations of fraud leveled against the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Umana Okon Umana, were expected.

A group had petitioned the National Assembly, accusing the minister of attempting to siphon N480 billion intervention fund belonging to the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

Reacting in a statement on Friday, Dr. John Douglas, Director, Public Communications, NDN, said the reforms at NDDC made Umana a target.

“Reports in some sections of the media alleging that the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Umana Okon Umana, has perfected plans to seek presidential approval to collect N480bn on the guise that the money will be spent on special projects is one among several frivolous attempts by desperados to rub tar on the image of the Minister, who is simply following presidential directives to reform the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to make it deliver its core mandates to the people.”

“Although, the Honourable Minister has taken time to educate his traducers the basic concepts of budget capturing and proposals, in a swift response to the baseless allegation, we state categorically that these veiled fightbacks have been expected since he started executing Mr. President’s reforms in the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC. Whereas, these outlandish allegation exists only in the figment of imagination of the writers of that misinformed and poorly written petition, as a group, advocating for truth, accountability, transparency and equitable development of the Niger Region, we would not which to see evil triumph over good. As such, we have investigated and found out the brain behind these latest series of false allegations against the Minister and we want to put the records straight.

“Another fact, is that since the recommended reforms of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, commenced it is no longer business as usual at the Commission Headquarters. Reliable information has it that a cabal of some departmental heads and directors still loyal to the former Minister Godswill Akpabio and Barrister Akwa have repeatedly tried unsuccessfully to frustrate the policy implementation of the President as captured in the Ministerial action plan. As played out through sponsored protests and petitions, they have resisted the reinvigorated push of President Mohammed Buhari to ensure NDDC works for majority of Niger Delta people.”

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