A group of ex-militants, Conscience of the Niger Delta, has thrown its weight behind the National Assembly’s probe of an alleged N40 billion irregular expenditure by the Niger Delta Development Commission.
In a statement on Monday in Abuja by the Coordinator, Odudoh Okpokiri, the group called on the National Assembly and all anti-corruption agencies to “ignore the ranting of fake militants”.
The coordinator alleged that shadowy groups were being sponsored to gag the National Assembly from carrying out the probe through threats and mindless blackmail.
Okpokiri urged the lawmakers to proceed with any lawfully assigned responsibilities regarding the investigation of the alleged corruption in the NDDC to make it function better.
He said: “We know ourselves; the statement of threat against those who want to probe is not from any of our members.
“Is it the members that are being owed by the commission for many years that will threaten anybody?
“That statement is not from us, Nigerians should ignore it, our members want the NDDC to be repositioned to work for Niger Deltans and we will not stand against anything that will make the place better for everybody is tired of the corruption.
“We call on the leadership and members of the National Assembly to ensure the probe is carried through and findings made public else, members from the region should consider themselves personal non grata in the region.”
Okpokiri said the group wants the Federal Government to pay more attention to the plights of people in the region, pledging support for the government for everything that would reposition the NDDC.
He said that ex-militants would not allow politicians to use them to settle personal and political scores when the people were being shortchanged in the region.
The group, therefore, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure a thorough forensic audit of the commission’s account.
He said: “We call on President Muhammadu Buhari to personally appoint a neutral Forensic Auditor to audit the account of NDDC since the politicians involved now are accusing themselves of corruption.
“Let the anti corruption agencies and the National Assembly be allowed to carry their investigations to a logical conclusion and compare notes with the outcome of NASS probe.”
Okpokiri said every stakeholder from the region, except those profiting from the sleaze, are in support of the Federal Government’s move to clean NDDC.
The group also reiterated its support for Buhari in his determined efforts to rid the commission of monumental corruption, which it said had been ravaging the agency since its creation over 19 years ago.