By Eseoghene Emuke
The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) has hailed the decision of the Senate barring the Interim Management Committee of the Niger Development Commission (NDDC) from defending the 2019/2020 budget of the interventionist agency.
IYC, an umbrella body for Ijaw youths worldwide, described the directive by the senate as demonstration of capacity to ensure that only the right thing in line with the country’s constitution is done in the ninth Senate.
The President of the Senate President, Dr. Ahmed Lawal, while referring the 2019/2020 budget of the NDDC to the Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs on Thursday directed the committee to only deal with the duly confirmed board of the NDDC.
In a statement by IYC President, Mr Eric Omare, on Friday, reemphasized that the Interim Management Committee inaugurated by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs remains illegal and unknown to law.
The statement said, “The Senate has once again demonstrated its 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 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 charismatic Dr. Chuba Okadigbo and Hon. Ghali N’Ubah 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 illegal IMC from coming to defend the 2019/2020 NDDC.”
Omare in the statement further called on the National Assembly to probe the expenditures of the illegal Interim Management Committee and sanction those culpable for spending money from the funds of government without authorization.