The monarchs and stakeholders of Host Communities of Nigeria Producing Oil and Gas (HOSTCOM), have urged the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio to resign.
The monarchs and stakeholders, who appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to sack Akpabio, said it would be honourable for the minister to resign from his position than to be booted out by the president.
The group made the call at a meeting of traditional rulers and critical stakeholders of oil-bearing communities in Warri, Delta State on Wednesday.
Condemning the alleged financial recklessness in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), especially the alleged mismanagement of N81.5 billion by the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the commission, they insisted that Buhari should without any further delay restore peace to the agency by sacking Akpabio.
According to them, the minister remained the suspected mastermind of the recent massive corruption in the commission.
They equally called on Buhari to immediately disband the IMC and inaugurate the substantive board of the NDDC led by Pius Odubu as chairman and Bernard Okumagba as managing director, who were nominated, screened and cleared by the National Assembly.
Addressing newsmen on behalf of the monarchs and stakeholders, the Pere of Seimbiri Kingdom and former National Chairman of Traditional Rulers of Oil Producing Communities of Nigeria (TROMPCON), His Majesty, Charles Ayemi-Botu, said that as custodians of culture in the Niger Delta region they played pivotal role in the establishment of the NDDC.
He added that there was no way “they would fold their arms and allow a megalomaniac to torpedo and destroy the agency for his personal gains and self-aggrandisement at the detriment of millions of Niger Deltans living in squalour and abject poverty.”
Accusing Akpabio of ploughing the NDDC to near extinction during his eight years’ tenure as governor of Akwa Ibom State, Ayemi-Botu said the minister in order to continue his action against the agency nominated his cronies as its board and allegedly stashed away billions of Naira.
Further saying that Akpabio had no credibility to superintend over an ineptly corrupt NDDC, he said:
“This is a clarion call to President Muhammadu Buhari to sack the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, without further delay to forestall the impending looming crisis that may worsen the already downtrodden economy of the country.”
For Akpabio the monarch said, “Our dear son, follow the path of honour and resign honourably than being booted out by the President.”