The national leader of Host Communities Producing Oil and Gas in Nigeria (HOSCOM), Prof. Jasper F. Jambo, has faulted recent calls on the Federal Government to scrap the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), saying it was irresponsible.
Jambo insisted that the call was an insult and gross disregard and disrespect for the untiring efforts of eminent personalities from the Niger Delta who had been liaising with various federal government agencies to ensure a better deal for oil-producing communities in the country.
In a statement, yesterday, Jambo stressed that the suggestion amounted to throwing the baby out with the bathwater, adding that it was also a frontal challenge to President Muhammadu Buhari’s “commendable forensic audit initiative aimed at sanitising the NDDC.”
He further asserted that those seeking the scrapping of the NDDC were never involved in the struggle for the development of the Niger Delta region initiated by the late Dr. Harold Dappa Biriye and sustained by himself and many others right from 1979.
While acknowledging that the NDDC had not fully lived up to expectations, “primarily due to the fact that the successive managers and directors of the Commission, not having imbibed the spirit, commitment, vision and mission of developing the region, did comparatively less to make the poor and suffering inhabitants feel the impact of the agency over the years.”
He stated that a solution to the frequent squabbles and infighting within the Commission could be found in appointing patriotic Nigerians genuinely committed to the Niger Delta struggle into the board and management of the Commission.
Last Tuesday, Chief Benjamin Style Tams, speaking on behalf of HOSCOM as its national president, urged the Federal Government to scrap the NDDC, describing it as the worst of all the interventionist agencies established for the development of oil-producing communities.
But Jambo charged the Federal Government to disregard the call, describing the source as “an impostor who hijacked, diverted and forged the documents of HOSCOM, whose actions are subjects of investigation by the Force Investigation and Intelligence Bureau (FIIB) of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF).”