A group, Niger Delta Forum For Sustainable Peace, has raised the alarm on what it described as plans by some faceless politicians, failed contractors and media contractors to sponsor coordinated media attacks on the person and office of the Minister, Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio and the Lead Auditor.
The group, in a statement jointly signed by Comrade Peter Agbor and Pastor Timi Jonathan, President and Secretary respectively, said that the intention of the sponsors of this campaign of calumny is to discredit the entire exercise by accusing the Auditors of being tele-guided by the supervising minister to indict some powerful individuals.
“They have also concluded plans to use fictitious NGO, to write unsubstantiated petition against the Minister and to submit same to the EFCC chairman.”
The Statement reads:
“It is a known fact that those who had benefited from the corrupt practices of the past, were hell bent on resisting the Forensic Audit using various extreme strategies to frustrate government’s genuine effort at repositioning the NDDC.
“These elements and enemies of our nation, however, failed in their desperate bid to blackmail the government from going ahead with the Audit.
“From reports, over 76 hitherto abandoned projects have since been completed and handed over by contractors, while others have since returned to site as a result of the Audit.
“The NDDC Forensic Audit has proven to be one of the single most decisive blow of this administration on the hydra-headed monster called corruption, amongst several other salient gains recorded by the government.
“Our searchlight has however gotten wind of a grand design by these mischievous elements including contractors and some powerful politicians to prevent the report from being presented to Mr President and recommendations fully implemented to the letters.
“The strategy is to smear the image of the Hon. Minister of Niger-Delta Affairs. Already, a non-practicing lawyer has been contracted to write frivolous petitions against Senator Akpabio and the lead Forensic Auditors.
“In the immediate past, we have had cause to alert the nation about these satanic and unpatriotic characters who do not mean well for this administration.
“Our most recent findings indicate that their modus operandi is to raise false alarm of malfeasance against some key members of this administration.
“Barely 72 hours to the submission of the forensic audit report of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to the President by the Lead Forensic Auditors, these faceless politicians and failed contractors who are scared of the outcome of the report, in cohort with their professional petition writers have concluded plans to re-launch series of campaign of calumny against principal actors in the just concluded exercise.
“We reliably gathered that with effect from Monday, August 30, 2021, (Today) these characters have concluded plans for continuous sponsored media campaigns. Their plan is also to use fictitious Non Governmental Organizations in Abuja to submit fabricated petitions against the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs and the Lead Auditors
“It should be noted that this same character that has been hired for this dirty job has written series of petitions against Senator Akpabio since he left office as the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, over six years ago.
“The pertinent question to ask this blackmailer in chief and his co- travellers is, why they have decided to launch their tirade against Senator Akpabio at this time.
“Certainly this is a last ditch attempt to discredit the outcome of the Forensic Audit report of the NDDC ever since they got wind that the report was ready and would soon be submitted to the President. This is truly corruption fighting back.
“We, therefore, urge our dear President to discountenance the sponsored campaigns against the Forensic Audit, receive the report and implement same in the interest of the people of the Niger Delta region and Nigerians as a whole.
“We are certain that with the submission of the Forensic Audit report, the era of unprecedented and monumental corruption manifesting in extensive contract frauds, procurement law infractions, non-budgetary and extra-budgetary spending, audit violations, cronyism, fiscal recklessness and flagrant disregard to procedural rules as well as other financial malpractices shall be put to a final halt, while ushering unprecedented development for the region.
“We urge all discerning true patriots to keep faith with the anti-corruption war of the government as it is in the overall interest Nof Nigeria and no campaign, we repeat no campaign of calumny, falsehood, lies and half-truth can stop this birth of a new era in the Niger Delta Region.”